It’s time to make Eid an official school holiday


Graphic designed by Fozaan Noor via Canva

Muslim RCHS students oftentimes must miss school in order to celebrate Eid. However, Muslim students should be allowed to celebrate Eid just as others celebrate Christmas; without worrying about missing school.

Muslims around the world are currently celebrating the holy month of Ramadan, which began on Mar. 23, 2023. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for 30 days, ending with the grand festival known as Eid al-Fitr.

But to fully understand what Eid is, one must understand its origins.

There are actually two different Eid celebrations, the first called Eid-al-Fitr.

“Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan,” junior Rianna Mamun said. “We celebrate [Eid] with family and friends and we have a special Eid prayer.”

Essentially, Eid-al-Fitr is the first day of Shawwal, a month of the Islamic calendar following the lunar cycle, when Muslims celebrate the conclusion of Ramadan.

The second Eid festival is called Eid-al-Adha, which honors Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to God. Similar to Christmas, both Eids are days of rest, prayer, family, and feasts. 

Now the question arises, if Eid is a holy festival for Muslims around the world, why are students required to attend school?

Christmas falls during winter break, giving students the opportunity to celebrate in peace without having to worry about school and studies.

Moreover, according to the local New York publication The City, Diwali, a Hindu holiday, has recently become a religious holiday in New York City and is no longer limited to South Asian countries. 

Why not allow Muslim students to celebrate Eid as a holiday as well without having to worry about missing assignments?

“There is a big Muslim population at the school, and we deserve a day off for our religious holiday,” said Mamun. “It is important to be inclusive in schools to every culture and religion. Eid is important for Muslims and it is like our Christmas, therefore we should get the day off.”

Similar to how people often give gifts to one another during Christmas, Muslims also give gifts to others on Eid. Moreover, for both Islamic holidays, there are important communal prayers that occur early in the morning. 

However, unlike Christmas, which has a day off, Eid does not. Consequently, Muslims often worry about how they will pray, rest, and celebrate without having to miss school.

“Much like Christmas and Diwali are to their respective religions, Eid is highly important to Muslims and Islamic culture as a whole,” senior Maha Tahir said. “But, unlike those holidays, Muslim students risk their grades if they decide to celebrate their holiday.”

And, as Maha said, Muslims often have to worry about their grades with tests and quizzes that may take place on Eid.

“I was worried on Eid last year because of the amount of work I had to miss and tests or quizzes I had,” said senior Maala Noor. “It wasn’t easy.”

However, although Muslism students may not have the ability to celebrate Eid on school days with peace, they do have the ability to pray in the library during second lunch. . 

Muslims are required to pray five times a day so that they may get closer to God. These prayers typically take place in the morning before sunrise, during the noon hour, in the afternoon, evening, and at night. 

Even though Muslim students have the ability to pray during lunch at school, it still is not easy for Muslims to have school on the day of Eid. Essentially, it is important that Muslims also have the right to be excused on their own religious holidays.