Ramadan: Fasting and Tips During a Stressful Testing Season


   Ramadan is a crucial time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion for Islam. Muslims all over the world — even within Charter’s own school grounds– are prepared to take part starting April 12. Although the celebration of Ramadan is a bit different this year due to COVID restrictions, its core pillars remain the same, with fasting being one of them. According to freshman Hana Bushra, “We fast to be aware of what less fortunate people go through. It helps us cleanse our minds, bodies, and souls as well as making us more grateful for everything we have.” However, fasting is no easy task. 


   When fasting during Ramadan, Muslims abstain from the intake of food and water from dawn to dusk. A pre-fast meal known as Suhoor is eaten before sunrise, and the fast is broken at sunset with a meal called Iftar. For the entire time in between, no meals are consumed, often resulting in an empty stomach. But, as testing season is right around the corner, fasting and testing definitely take a toll on each other. On the other hand, “many people, like myself, may not find it much of a hassle,” says Hana. “Studying can be done after Iftar (the meal eaten to break your fast), when your stomach is full and you aren’t exhausted from the lack of food and water. Furthermore, since most exams are in the morning around Suhoor, the sluggishness from fasting may not be in effect yet. But, if the side effects of fasting during exams is unbearable, especially when medical conditions are involved, it’s completely fine to break your fast. It can be made up before next Ramadan.” 


   Although the weight of fasting and testing can seem overwhelming at times, the end of Ramadan is near. On May 12, Muslims may celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, where congregation is held and festivities begin. Hana says “we enjoy the day with friends and family to pay respect to Allah for providing strength and stamina during the month-long fasting rituals. The holiday acts as a great reminder to be thankful for what we have and to share with those who are less fortunate.” This reminder is especially important nowadays, with the ongoing pandemic. 


   As for advice on keeping stress-free during the overlapping Ramadan and testing season, Hana says to distribute time accordingly. Preparation shouldn’t be done midday, when food withdrawals are at its peak, and should be done after meals. As for end-of-year tests, don’t let the fear of breaking fast mess up your performance. Good luck on upcoming exams!