Finals week is known to be a stressful time for most students. However, this year Muslim students have a new challenge to conquer: final exams while fasting during the upcoming month of Ramadan. Muslim students will fast from sunrise to sunset (about 14 hours) without food or water.
Ramadan is expected to begin May 5th, which is unusual for BenU students, this being the first time in several years that fasting is during the Fall or Spring semester.
“You are hungry throughout the day and all you can focus on is food. It can be a little distracting if you are in the middle of something like finals,” stated anatomy professor Dr. Prasad. “I would be concerned that students would be lightheaded but if it’s a part of the students’ belief system [then I wish them the best].”
Ramadan is around the 9th month on the Islamic calendar and is considered a time to devote yourself to worship and practice self-restraint. This is done through fasting which is one of the five Pillars of Islam. During the month of Ramadan, it is revealed in the Quran, Islam’s holy book, that God forgives the sins of those who observe the fasts, prayers, and self-restraint.
With finals ranging from 8 am in the morning to 6 pm in the evening, there is a question as to how students will maneuver their way through finals and Ramadan.
“I feel it will be difficult since school drains energy and the first few days of Ramadan are usually challenging. It takes time to get used to but my cousins in Pakistan did it, so can I,” stated junior Zainab Ahmed.
Some students may choose not to fast during their finals week while others have their own tips and tricks up their sleeves.
“I plan to sleep right after my night prayer and study after suhoor then maybe steal an hour nap at noon on my off days or an hour before I am supposed to leave for school on my exam day,” continued Ahmed.
Eating lots of protein and avoiding salt during the pre-dawn meal is recommended by experts at the Birmingham City University. BCU also suggests skipping the coffee as it acts as a diuretic, dehydrating the body much faster than other drinks. Another tip they provided was to try multivitamins during the pre-dawn meal and skipping the fried foods when it is time to break the fast.