Ramadan brings out time for peace and positivity for Muslims

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Although the holy month of Ramadan only comes once a year, the Muslim students at Skyline College are around everyday.The month of Ramadan is the 9th month of the lunar calendar. Along with the two major components of fasting and prayer, Muslims are encouraged to maintain a healthy state of mind and practice world peace, by refraining from acts of injustice, feelings of hate and anything negative that can become addictive. Muslims are able to receive forgiveness of all sins committed in the past. During fasting, they are not allowed to eat or drink from sun up to sun down. Fasting is required of Muslims; however, there are some exceptions to fasting. Women who are on their menses, young children, individuals with variations of health issues and the elderly are not required, but maintain their obligations of Muslims. Fasting during Ramadan and prayer are some of the five pillars of Islam. By fasting, Muslims learn discipline as well as how to defer from physical gratification. “In this month, we believe that if we pray and ask for forgiveness, God will accept… it gives us a chance to wash off our sins,” said Nadia Teriq, a Muslim student at Skyline. Muslims must pray a total of five times a day, and during Ramadan, the prayer in the evenings is a lot longer than normal. During Ramadan, there is a bonus prayer where the Imam (Islamic leader) recites the entire Qu’ran over the month.What about when prayer times fall during school hours? Some of the Muslim students at school don’t pray during school hours, “There must be a clean area, and there should be a particular area to pray,” says Teriq.Since Skyline College does not provide an area for Muslim Students, most wait until they get home. “Ramadan helps to unify Muslim people,” said Samer Nashashibi, another Muslim student at Skyline. “Right now, I think there’s an artificial conflict between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims(two predominate Muslims groups). During Ramadan, everybody’s fasting, which helps them [Muslims] to identify these similarities, and not the differences. I encourage people to educate themselves about Islam; it is a really wonderful religion.”