How do Muslim Students Feel? An Off Day for Eid after many years


Nasriina Abdo

Taken on Iftar Night 2023, hosted by South High’s MSA, with stacked English translations of the Qur’an, alongside a sign greeting attendees ‘Ramadan Mubarak’.

Muniratu Shaibu, Staff Writer

For as long as I’ve been a student, I’ve been within the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) District, before 2020, one of the two Eids had landed on a school day. Although, I was much younger with a lot less of a workload to worry about, what of the high school and college students at a higher risk if they were to miss a day or two of school? Before getting into how celebrating students dealt with that, considering that many may be unfamiliar with details surrounding Eid, let’s have a quick background story for understanding.  

First of all, many may wonder, why does the date of Eid change every year? For those who are unaware, in Islam, Muslims are to follow the lunar calendar, called the Hijiri calendar, which doesn’t quite line up with Gregorian or American calendars. The Hijiri calendar consists of only 354 days, about 11 days less than the solar year. Because of this though, the date of Eid and the start of Ramadan ‘scoots up’ about nine or ten days each year. Throughout the year, there are actually 2 Eids, the first being a celebration of  ‘breaking the fast’, which is to celebrate the ending of the beloved month Ramadan. Which is also the Eid that landed on Friday, April 21st, this year, 2023. The second one, Eid al Adha, meaning ‘Feast of Sacrifice’, usually falls later on in the summer, in  July or August. 

Having no school on many other holidays has never been a question. Whether it was Easter, or Christmas, all students and staff in our districts knew it was the norm to have a day off for those holidays. No discussions or meetings over it, it was done already. Unfortunately, it’s been different for Muslim students who celebrate Eid (Al-Fitr) at the end of Ramadan. Considering the large population of Muslims we have here in MN, it’s a bit shocking Eid wasn’t recognized as a holiday for all students to take the day off. As one could imagine, many Muslim students have felt quite unheard and unhappy with this. “We weren’t as seen as other religions and just ignored because we weren’t fully understood” Nabiila Farah, a Muslim student at South High expresses her feelings. 

 Making the most of the precious month of Ramadan whilst staying on top of school work and social life is truly not for the weak. After a month of fasting, trying to prioritize religion, relationship with God, and bettering oneself, we are to be rewarded with the day of Eid. Being a Muslim student, despite Ramadan being some of the most stressful and overwhelming times of the year, it is also the month many long and await for, including Eid day. 

Many Muslims take Eid very seriously as it is one of the 2 holidays we have in Islam.  Making the most of the precious month of Ramadan while staying on top of school work and friends is not for the weak. After a month of fasting, trying to prioritize religion, relationship with God, and bettering oneself, we are to be rewarded with the day of Eid. With that, comes hours and much effort to actually finish Ramadan off strong and prepare for Eid. Preparing for and celebrating Eid can mean numerous things for students and Muslims all over. This includes “…making sure I had enough time to finish my assignments in the evenings and to ensure I had the time to prep for suhoor the next morning” Nabiila Farah mentions. Alongside that, putting efforts into preserving energy for the day and making it to classes on time.

 When it comes to celebrating Eid, many love to feast and spend time with families, but with school students aren’t ever able to fully celebrate.“I’d have to get ready in the morning for school and wait all day before getting to celebrate with family” Nabiila Farah states. This would mean missing the Eid prayer, which is prayed in the morning, at a time when most classes begin. “Eid is supposed to be a time of mere worship, celebration, and gratitude, but that was hard to indulge in knowing there was school”, says Mubashir Mohammud, another Muslim student at South. It’s quite unfair that many Muslim students typically feel “rushed to celebrate” on a day that is supposed to be celebrated comfortably. 

However, as of 2023, the school board had decided almost last minute, with less than a 2-week notice, there’d be no school, Friday, April 21st. Why was the decision so last minute though? According to, Sahan Journal, “Sharon El-Amin, the Minneapolis school-board chair, noted that the board had voted last year to give students a day off for Eid, starting in the 2022–2023 school year”. Despite this, the calendar was created with the assumption of Eid falling on Saturday, April 22nd. As mentioned before, concluding the date or Eid or Ramadan is difficult, considering the fact that Muslims follow the lunar calendar. Fortunately, other districts outside of Minneapolis, like Hopkins and Mankato, now have Eid as a recognized school holiday. This helps eradicate the feeling of “not being seen or respected” amongst Muslim students, more than others would think. “I woke up knowing there was only a day of celebration ahead after a day of fasting,” Nabiila says recalling how her Eid was spent. “Not having to worry about anything else except true enjoyment with family” Mubashir also mentions. I can also agree that without school clashing with Eid, I, alongside many other Muslims are thankful to have celebrated Eid comfortably.