What is Ramadan?

Quick Facts

  • Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. 
  • During Ramadan, many Muslims fast from pre-dawn to sunset.
  • Fasting in this circumstance means no food and no water. Learn more about fasting.
  • Ramadan celebrations often involve gatherings and prayers that go late into the night, including a meal eaten after sunset called iftar.
  • It is not unusual for those celebrating to be up past midnight for prayers and then get up early to eat before dawn.
  • The month of Ramadan lasts for approximately 30 days and concludes with the festival, Eid al-Fitr.
  • "Ramadan Mubarak" is a common greeting during this season and means to have a "blessed Ramadan." "Eid Mubarak" is similarly used on the final festival day for a "blessed festival."

Video on How to be a good ally during Ramadan

This video was published in 2019, Ramadan changes each year which is why the dates listed in the video and the dates below are different. 

When is Ramadan?

In 2024, Ramadan will be from March 10th* through April 9th.*

*These dates are approximate because the Islamic calendar is lunar and therefore dependent upon the phases of the moon. 

Process for Students

At the start of the winter semester, check to see if your exam date falls during Ramadan.  If it does, talk to your professor about your accommodation request.  After you talk to your professor, fill out this accommodation request form for the exam that conflicts with Ramadan and write down what the accommodation looks like.  You may be able to take the exam in the Disability Support Resources testing center at a different time. Once your accommodation is approved, the DSR Testing Coordinator will reach out to you to share the DSR testing policy with you.

Process for Faculty

A student should approach you within the first two weeks of classes if your exam time falls during Ramadan.  A student will fill out a Religious Accommodation form.  Once they do that, you will get an email to approve or edit the request.  Once the student is on the list, you will be prompted by the DSR portal to provide approval confirmation/details and upload the test into the DSR portal.  

Employee Accommodations

The following is from our religious inclusion policy.    

Staff: The use of vacation and personal leave is governed by the staff member’s respective Board of Trustees' Policies, Staff Handbook, or Collective Bargaining Agreement. Vacation days requested for the express purpose of religious observance will not be unreasonably denied by the staff member’s supervisor if the staff member has accrued vacation leave or is eligible for personal leave and the granting of leave or vacation time will not result in undue hardship for GVSU.

Faculty: The use of vacation and personal leave is governed by the Faculty Handbook. Requests by a faculty member for leave for religious accommodation, however, shall be considered under this Policy if the faculty member has made arrangements for any missed classes and the granting of the leave will not result in undue hardship for GVSU. Faculty that miss class time due to a religious observance must make alternate arrangements for that time with his or her Unit Head. If the Unit Head denies the request, the faculty member may appeal to the Dean, who will have final decision authority over the request.

Weave graphic

Page last modified January 4, 2024