American Muslims Celebrate Ramadan

November 27, 2000

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On November 27, 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that "the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins today and marks the revelation of Islam's sacred scriptures to the Prophet Mohammed, is a period of abstinence, spiritual reflection and renewal. For many American Muslim parents, it is also an opportunity to share the history, traditions and beliefs of their religion with their children's schools...Fasting students often are excused from gym class or other strenuous activities. And many schools make offices or vacant rooms available for Muslim students who need to say daily prayers during school hours...Abid and Aisha Bengali of Naperville have discussed Ramadan and other Muslim issues with their children's schools over the years...After the Bengalis wrote to school officials, Naperville North High School allowed their oldest son, Zain, now a University of Michigan senior, to use an empty office for prayer. And 9-year-old Ibrahim Bengali's private school has made space for his mother to pray in a private office on the days that she volunteers at the school...A Chicago Internet site has a host of resources available for Muslim parents looking for tips on talking to school officials about their children's special needs during Ramadan. has posted a detailed Ramadan plan for families with school-aged children, including sample letters to teachers and school administrators, a downloadable Ramadan fact sheet and presentation. The site also sells a video called 'Ramadan Mubarak' that follows a Muppet-like character named 'Adam' through his first Ramadan fast."