Abraham Lincoln statue on Carthage College?s campus.
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Dear Carthage community members,

Al-Salamu’ Alaykum! Peace and blessings be with you all.

As of March 10, we entered Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. For Muslims all around the world, Ramadan is regarded as a blessed time since the revelation of the Qur’an, and the prophetic call of Prophet Muhammad started in 610 CE in this holy month. Many mark this month with extra worship, supplication, contemplation, studying the Qur’an, and fasting from food and drink — including water — from dawn to sunset.

Fasting is one of the most observed pillars of Islam, with sick, elderly, travelers, pregnant, and breastfeeding mothers being exempt. During fasting, Muslims physically feel the value of, and their need for, basic sustenance when they experience the pains of hunger and thirst. Fasting in Islam is not merely about staying hungry or thirsty; it is also about struggling to contain harmful thoughts and behaviors. Therefore, this transformative spiritual experience is to exercise willpower and attain self-restraint.

You all understand the feelings of sleepiness, thirst, and energy loss that come with not eating and drinking during the day. Please be aware that our Muslim students may have lower power than usual between fasting, early pre-dawn meals, and iftars (the break-fast dinner) after sundown. We ask that you be understanding during this month if our Muslim students exhibit any unusual lack of participation in your classes.

Students, faculty, and staff, we invite you to dig into the traditions you have inherited or chosen. Or perhaps those who have been buried or forgotten. They are many. And they are deep. And we encourage you to be curious about the faiths of those all around you. College is a wonderful place to wonder, to ask, and to explore. May you find the sacred as you search.

Especially this season, we say Ramadan Mubarak to all those participating in our Carthage community! May this blessed month bring understanding, respect, and peace to your lives. If you have any questions about Ramadan, please feel free to connect with our office.

Peace,

Pastor Tom Gaulke
Professor Fatih Harpci

Sponsoring Department, Office, or Organization:

Center for Faith and Spirituality, Religion Department

For more information, contact:

Tom Gaulke: tgaulke@carthage.edu, Fatih Harpci: fharpci@carthage.edu