As part of a new series, Scouting Wire is taking a look at how members of our Scouting family across the country observe a variety of religious holidays of their own faith and support fellow unit members in theirs.
This month, join us as we hear from the leader of a Cub Scout den from the Circle Ten Council who tells us in his own words how the den recognizes Ramadan. Read on to hear den leader Hussain Jinnah offer his unique perspective on this holiday, its traditions, and how his very own Cub Scout community – including his Tiger Scout son Cyrus – honors this special time.
Please share your perspective on Ramadan and what you feel it means to those who observe it.
Hussain: Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The month begins and ends with the appearance of the new moon. This year, it is observed from May 5th – June 4th.
For thirty days, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Fasting is the practice of abstaining from food and beverages. It is a way to feel solidarity with millions of poor and hungry people around the world who fast day and night without choice. Of course, exceptions are made for people with health concerns, pregnant women, nursing mothers, postpartum women, children, and seniors.
Ramadan is more than just fasting. Muslims put extra emphasis on introspection, self-restraint, self-reflection, prayers, charity, and selflessness to improve one’s character and benefit society. This, in turn, is a way to cleanse the soul and have empathy for the less fortunate.
The conclusion of Ramadan is marked with a major celebration known as Eid al-Fitr (or Eid ul-Fitr), the Feast of Fast-Breaking. Families often receive clothes, money and gifts during that time.
Scouts who observe this holiday can show consideration by doing service projects to help the less fortunate, feeding the hungry, collecting donations for food banks, doing additional charity work, and educating other non-Muslims about what Ramadan represents.
As one way to support those who celebrate Ramadan, a nice gestures is to accommodate Muslims by helping them avoid food during this time.
How does your Cub Scout den like to celebrate Ramadan?
Hussain: By observing the protocol, giving back to the less fortunate and celebrating with fellow Scouts over food (when appropriate).
How did your family get involved in Scouting?
Hussain: Scouting resonates with our core values as a Muslim community and what we fundamentally believe in as a family. We couldn’t find a better program to instill character, citizenship and ethics in our kids.
Special thanks to Scouter, Scout father, and handball coach extraordinaire Hussain Jinnah of the Circle Ten Council for sharing his story on Scouting Wire.