Celebrating diversity at saltash.net

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in News | No Comments

ramadan-display

Year 7 students at saltash.net community school have recently begun studying Islam in RE (Religious Education). Sunday 25th June saw the end of the sacred month of Ramadan. In this month, Muslims are encouraged to fast during the daylight hours. This tradition is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are duties including praying five times daily, donating 2.5% of their annual income to charity and making a pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in their lifetime. 

One of the most challenging pillars is Sawm, which is the requirement for Muslims to go without food or drink during the daylight hours of the month of Ramadan. This is to commemorate the time that the Prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him) received the words of the Qur’an from the Angel Gabriel in Makkah, Saudi Arabia over 1500 years ago. Ramadan takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar (which is lunar and comprised of thirteen months in total) and therefore changes each year.

For Muslims living in the United Kingdom, June is one of the most challenging months to fast given there are so many hours of daylight. In London, Muslims fasted from 2.29am until 9.03pm, a total of 18.5 hours. Muslims in Chile from 6.34am until 4.41pm totalling 10 hours. Muslims living in Greenland had to endure the most daylight hours, with many fasting from 2.16am until 11.14pm, a staggering 21 hours!

Before daylight, Muslims first eat a meal known as ‘suhoor’. Nothing must then pass their lips until they break the fast with the ‘iftar’ meal, often at the mosque or at home with family. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid Ul Fitr, where cards and gifts are exchanged and delicious food eaten. Having learnt about this festival, year 7 students were tasked with making their own Eid cards for homework.

As the photographs of the display in Miss Sayer’s classroom demonstrate, standards have been incredibly high! Several students, remembering that Arabic (the traditional language of Islam) is read from right to left, actually designed their cards to open this way. Others attempted to write long passages of congratulations and blessings in Arabic.

Students of all backgrounds and beliefs at saltash.net community school have fully embraced the opportunity to learn about Islam in RE this term, especially in light of recent world events. Violence and the harming of innocent people is forbidden according to the Qur’an, so now is as an important time as ever to find out about a religion where its very name translates as ‘Peace and submission to the will of Allah’ (God).