1.6 billion Muslims around the world, including 986 million in the Asia-Pacific region, will mark Ramadan, the most sacred period of the year beginning the evening of April 1.
The Pew Research Center says 62% of Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region, more than anywhere in the world. 344 million Muslims live in India and Pakistan alone. That’s more than in the Middle East-North Africa region, 317 million.
Those who follow the Muslim faith will fast during the daylight hours and will engage in more prayer and charity work, reports Middle East Eye. Ramadan will end May 1.
For students, fasting during Ramadan can cause stress.
“There’s a lot of anxiety, I would say, for a lot of Muslims,” sophomore Sarah Selougha of American University said to The Eagle. “For me, I personally like being preoccupied while I’m fasting. It makes the day go by faster. However, there’s a lot of physical aspects that can impede schoolwork and stuff, so not eating will make you more tired or make you less focused I would say, so I am a bit worried.”
Many Muslims will break fast at the end of the day by holding iftars in their home with family and friends. Mosques also open late so that the faithful can gather to eat after sundown.
Some rise before dawn to eat an early meal called suhoor.
At American University, the Muslim Student Association has sent letters out to faculty to ask for religious accommodations and understanding.
“If you know somebody, if you know that that person is a Muslim, telling [them] ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ is like telling him Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah,” said Professor Ghiyath Nakshbendi at American University.
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