Ramadan 2024 at Williams

Background

Ramadan is the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar for Muslims that is marked by special observations such as fasting and nightly prayer. Fasting is often observed by abstaining from food and water, from dawn to sunset throughout the month. Additional nightly prayers last for about an hour every night during Ramadan. Many Muslims also commemorate certain special nights in this month, especially the last ten nights when many keep vigil through standing in ritual prayer in congregation or individually, reading Quran, praying and imploring God.

This year Williams and most of North America, many Muslims will begin observing Ramadan from sunset on Sunday, March 10th and end observing the month at sunset on Tuesday, April 9th according to the Fiqh Council of North America. The first day of Ramadan will be Monday, March 11th. The 29 or 30 day lunar month is normally commemorated with an Eid al Fitr (lit. “celebration of breaking the fast”) holiday celebration, falling for many on Wednesday, April 10th. Observation of the start and end dates may vary by one day depending on different locations and on different schools of thought within the Islamic tradition. Those Muslims who adhere to the naked eye moon-sighting of the new crescent can refer to Chicago Hilal for the latest moon-sighting declaration in North America. 

For suhoor, iftar, and prayer times, please see the Ramadan 2024 Calendar for Williamstown.

Ramadan moves up about 11 days annually. The second two weeks of Ramadan this year coincide with Williams’ Spring Break from March 16th to 31st. 

For Administration, Faculty, and Staff

  • As noted, Ramadan is calculated to begin on Sunday night, March 10th and end on Tuesday, April 9th.
  • Students observing the fast may ask for a 15 minute break during class or athletic practice/game to pray and eat a snack if their class or athletic event coincides with sunset. This year, for most Sunni Muslims, sunset during Ramadan will range from 6:55 PM at the beginning of month, to 7:28 PM at the end of month. Shia Muslims tend to observe their break of the fast about 15 minutes after the given sunset times.
  • Due to fasting practices, some Muslim students may request religious accommodations  for alternative exam times.
  • Muslim Chaplain Sidra Mahmood ([email protected]) is available to assist the Deans’ Office and faculty who receive requests for academic accommodations. 
  • Students on campus often gather with the Muslim Student Union (MSU) for iftar, the sunset meal, and can dine in or take campus meals to-go to break their fast. They are also encouraged to take additional food for the pre-dawn meal along with the suhoor (pre-dawn meal) packages that Dining Services will be providing to students on the meal plan. The time for beginning one’s fast (dawn) in Williamstown at the start of the month of Ramadan will be at 5:55 AM and will be a minute or two earlier every day thereafter. Dawn at the end of the month will be at 5:00 AM. There may be slight variations in method to calculate the dawn time from which the fast begins.
  • Eid al-Fitr: Students are encouraged to take the the day of Eid off on Wednesday, April 10th. If they are going home, they may request additional days off depending on how far home is for them. Some cultures celebrate three days of Eid beginning Wednesday, April 10th to Friday, April 12th.

For Students

Students seeking religious accommodations for their observation of Ramadan should contact their professors and respective dean as soon as possible. Williams has a Policy on Observance of Religious Holidays. For questions about Ramadan or religious accommodations, please contact Muslim Chaplain Sidra Mahmood at [email protected].

Programming

Muslim Life at Williams and MSU are offering a number of iftar dinners in the Interfaith Common Room in the lower level of Thompson Memorial Chapel (860 Main St).  Students are also welcome to join the nightly taraweeh prayers in the Muslim Prayer Room at the same location.
There will be an Eid al-Fitr prayer and celebration on campus:

Eid al-Fitr Celebration | Wednesday, April 10, 7:30am at Bascom House – Everyone is invited!

Community Potuck Iftars 

Sunday, March 17, 2024 (The Oakley Center, 90 Denison Park Drive)

Saturday, March 23 (The Oakley Center, 90 Denison Park Drive), 6:30-8PM

Sunday, March 31, 2024 (Dodd Dining Room, Dodd House, 64 Mission Park Drive), 6:45-8PM

Saturday, April 6, 2024 (Dodd Dining Room, Dodd House, 64 Mission Park Drive), 7-8:30PM

Dining

Iftar meals can be eaten at the dining halls or taken to-go. Driscoll Dining Hall will be having to-go boxes for Muslim students during Spring Break to pack their iftar before the closing of the dining hall. Students who are on the Dining Services meal plan can pick up to-go meals for suhoor (predawn meal) on Saturdays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from Paresky Grab ‘n Go during the semester and from Driscoll Dining Hall during Spring Break. Please see the dates below for the respective pickups and sign up for the boxes on the following form:

Ramadan 2024 Suhoor Care Packages

March 10 – March 14 (March 9th is the first pickup)

and

March 31 – April 6

Fresh ‘n go Air Screen (Lower level Paresky)  

Time: 7pm – 10pm 

Spring break:  March 16 – March 30 will be at Driscoll Dining Hall

Time: 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm  

Students’ names will be on the packages and one swipe per package (total of 3 swipes per week) will be deducted from the meal time. The deadline for each upcoming week is the Friday before at 2:00 pm. Students without a meal plan can pay for a meal through dining dollars or by credit cards.

Ramadan and Sports Nutrition

Please see the following infographic shared by one of the athletic trainers: