Cal High MSA club celebrates Ramadan

Cal students host festivities during the Muslim holy month.


Photo courtesy of Raza Ali

MSA students collaborate to make goodie bags for teachers to inform them on why their students may feel lethargic while fasting during Ramadan.

As people look back on the holy month of Ramadan, Cal High has made a strong effort to celebrate and accommodate Muslim students as they took part in their religious traditions.
From fasting to prayer, the month-long festivities are an important part of the Islamic faith. Ramadan is a time for Muslims around the world to better themselves, reflect on their actions, and devote themselves to Allah.
Fasting is a well-known tradition during this month as it is one of the five pillars of Islam on which the religion is built. The others are prayer, profession of faith, pilgrimage, and charity.
Cal’s Muslim Students Association (MSA) club ensured to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for its Muslim members during this time.
MSA President Emaan Ali, a senior, was in charge of all the club’s traditions and celebrations for the holy month.
“In years prior we have held meetings for Ramadan that involve a Kahoot that tests students on facts related to the Islamic faith,” Ali said. “Along with this, we have incorporated more informative events such as the Ramadan gift bag for teachers.”
The MSA club joined forces with the Interact club on March 16 and continued an event from last year. Students gave teachers goodie bags of cookies and chocolates along with a note. The note explained the meaning behind Ramadan and why some students may not appear as energized as weeks prior.
Alongside this event, the MSA has made a great effort to have its members speak to their teachers regarding Ramadan, and the many traditions that revolve around the holiday.
“MSA has given the Muslim students here at Cal an opportunity to talk with their teachers regarding the traditions of Ramadan giving them an even greater insight into our religion.” junior Raza Ali elaborated.
Junior Zarian Iqbal is glad to see more recognition for his fellow Muslim students on campus because of the MSA’s efforts.
“The actions of MSA have benefited us, Muslim students, especially during Ramadan,” Iqbal said. “Teachers are now even more aware of the lifestyle we students have during Ramadan, and the traditions we uphold throughout the month regardless of school and work.”
MSA adviser and government teacher Tasneem Khan couldn’t be more amazed with the work put in by the MSA club.
“I hope teachers were as impressed as I am with the dedication of the Muslim students we have here at Cal.” Khan said. “To be able to have fast for consecutive days, and not ask for accommodation proves that these students are devoted to their faith, regardless of whatever obstacles they may face.”
The feeling of celebration for Ramadan wasn’t only expressed at Cal, but also around San Ramon. Every Friday during Ramadam, the SRV Islamic Center hosted youth iftar gatherings.
“These events made it easier for Muslim youth around the city to have a place to open their fast and be with those similar to them.” junior Mahad Durrani said.
Iftar is the time of day when Muslims across the world open their fast for the day. It occurs after sunset and is a time for family and friends to come together and feast.
San Ramon’s Muslim youth had a place where they could congregate and open their fast with one another during the iftar gatherings. Generally at these events, food is served and a lecture is given by one of the event hosts, such as Islamic scholar Shaykh Maseehullah Hassan.
“The three main principles that I’ve learned through Ramamdan have been willpower, patience, and empathy,” said Raza Ali. “The ability to experience the lives of those less fortunate than me is a blessing I owe to Ramadan.”