Muslim Life Marks End of Ramaḍān with Eid Banquet

June 6, 2024

The annual banquet for Muslim Life at the University of Richmond returned to an Eid celebration this year after a four-year hiatus, marking the end of the holy month of Ramaḍān. The Eid Banquet is a platform for the Muslim community at the University of Richmond to introduce itself to the University, celebrate spiritual accomplishments, and raise awareness about Islamic teachings. With over 100 attendees, including faculty, staff, students, and community members, it is the largest event hosted by Muslim Life at UR.

The holy month of Ramaḍān is observed by Muslims worldwide as a period of fasting from dawn to dusk. Fasting during Ramaḍān is one of the five pillars of Islam, mandatory for all capable adult Muslims, and includes abstinence from food and drink. Throughout this month, Muslims undergo intensive mental, physical, and spiritual training, cultivating patience and composure. Muslims believe that the benefits of Ramaḍān extend to society, teaching empathy for the less fortunate, promoting charitable giving, and fostering community fellowship. The month culminates in the celebration of Eid al-Fitr.

In line with Muslim customs, the Banquet commenced with a recitation from the Qur’ān. This was followed by a reflection from our Muslim Chaplain, Waleed Ilyas, on the significance of Eid as a divine mercy and a worldly joy. After dinner, two student speakers shared their reflections on Ramaḍān and their experiences as Muslim students on campus. Central to their reflections was a profound contemplation of the atrocities in Israel/Palestine, navigating the juxtaposition of Eid's joy and the sorrow of conflict and devastation. The event concluded with students enjoying the opportunity to socialize and take photos at the photo booth.

Community members, including student leaders from neighboring institutions of Randolph-Macon College, Virginia Commonwealth University, and VCU Medical School, were present to celebrate with the Muslim community at UR. This not only strengthens ties within Muslim Life at UR but also provides neighboring communities the opportunity to get to know UR’s Muslim community.

Muslim Life at UR is immensely blessed to host the Eid Banquet and expresses gratitude to all attendees. Celebrating this significant holiday with the community fosters a sense of belonging and home away from home for students, making Eid on campus a truly special occasion.