Ramadan | St. Louis Public Radio


Dr. Mahrukh Khan (far left) and Malik Sims (far right) volunteering at the free, mobile COVID-19 testing spot in north Ferguson.
Provided by Malik Sims

Muslims observing Ramadan are now halfway into the holy month marked by daily fasting, increased religious observance, alms giving and self-reflection. Leading up to the month, which started April 24, the coronavirus dampened the spirits of many looking forward to all the festivities people usually have planned to help keep the momentum going throughout this period.

Provided | Nash Abdullah

Like many religious groups, Muslims are having to shift how they observe Ramadan. 

Traditionally, the month of Ramadan is a time for prayer, fasting, community and reflection. Typically during this time mosques are filled, but the pandemic has closed them. 

“We’re missing that big communal connection,” said Mojda Sidiqi, a local community activist and the former executive director of the Missouri Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “But that’s OK, because we’re safe in our home, and we’re able to get rest and we have quiet time to read the Quran.” 

(May 10, 2019) Rawan Hamed (at left), Faizan Syed (center) and Imam Djilali Kacem talked about what the Muslim holiday Ramadan is all about and how schools can help accommodate students fasting during the month on Friday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

This week marked the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Many Muslims locally and around the world are observing this holiday by daily fasting, increased religious observance and self-reflection. For the next few decades, the month will take place within the school year.

The Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations recently released “An Educator’s Guide to Ramadan and Accommodating Muslim Students” to help schools better understand and accommodate Muslim students during this time. It gives clarity on things such as whether students should participate in physical education and how to deal with medication for fasting students.

(L-R) Nisar Syed-Power, Mojda Sidiqi and Faizan Syed talked about their observation of the holy month of Ramadan.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For the month of Ramadan, Muslims in St. Louis and across the world are counting down the days left of the holy month marked by daily fasting, increased religious observance and self-reflection.

But also added in the practice is refraining from smoking, bad behavior, such as cursing, gossiping or fighting, and impure thoughts. It’s a time for people to reflect on their habits and rekindle a practicing relationship with God, as well as build self-discipline.

Nermana Huskic, right, and Diana Mrzljak, 15, set out watermelon before lunch at Gateway 180 June 18, 2017.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Because Islam puts a special focus on charity during the holy month of Ramadan, many Muslims St. Louisans are taking extra time to serve others.

This year, Ramadan began May 27 and ends June 25.

Sunday a couple dozen people from a nonprofit organization called RukaNade served lunch at the Gateway 180 homeless shelter in St. Louis’ Carr Square neighborhood.

Tanya Raja, with her family, of Wildwood, talks about observing Ramadan
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Throughout the year, people like you have helped St. Louis Public Radio report news and events that matter to you.

From music lovers mourning the death of David Bowie, to individuals who shared reflections on the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, many of you contributed to 27 St. Louis Public Radio stories in 2016. With your help, through our Public Insight Network (PIN), we produced news stories with added depth and context.

Younger children, like 11-year-old Tanya Raja, don't have to fast during the month of Ramadan like older Muslims do, but many start practicing at an early age.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan, with its daily sun-up to sundown fasts, increased prayer and focus on charity, is drawing to a close. That means there are only a few days left for young Muslims to try to fast for the first time.

CAIR-St. Louis executive director Faizan Syed said this year's Sharing Ramadan event will be the biggest yet.
Council on American-Islamic Relations-St. Louis

As many as 500 St. Louis area Muslims and non-Muslims are expected to share in food and faith traditions Thursday for a "Sharing Ramadan" event, but this time, security measures will be in place.