For the first time in years, the religious holidays of two faiths coincided, leading to the convening of both Jewish and Muslim students on campus. Rosh Hashanah, the first of the Jewish High Holidays, began last Wednesday at sunset and ended last Friday at sunset. Ramadan, the month-long period of religious observance for Muslims, began on Thursday during Rosh Hashanah.
Because the Islamic calendar operates according to the lunar year, Ramadan migrates throughout the months of the Gregorian calendar, making the coincidence between the first date of Ramadan and Rosh Hashanah uncommon.
During Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holiday that follows Rosh Hashanah, Jews will fast from this Friday at sunset to this Saturday at sunset. Muslims also practice fasting, abstaining from food during the daytime throughout Ramadan.
Accordingly, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Jewish Student Union (JSU) of Washington University have plans to hold a joint break fast at the end of Yom Kippur. The break fast will take place at sunset, when Jews and Muslims may resume eating.
Senior Tasmeem Ahmad, president of MSA, expressed optimism about the event.
"I know that the MSA is very excited to be participating in the joint break fast," said Ahmad. "It's something we wanted to do last year but weren't able to. I think it's going to be a very good experience. Instead of just meeting with the entire Jewish population, we'll be breaking fast with 15 of them, so it's not going to be such a skewed proportion of Jewish and Muslim students. I think the intimacy is going work out really well." (MORE)