Ramadan Information Sheet 2024

February 19, 2024


Ramadan is a spiritual month for Muslims that is marked by special observations such as fasting  and nightly prayer.

This year in the New York area, many Muslims will begin observing Ramadan from sunset on Sunday, March 10th and end observing the month at sunset on Tuesday, April 9th. The 30 day lunar month is normally commemorated with an Eid holiday celebration, falling for many on Wednesday, April 10th. Observation of the start and end dates may vary by one day depending on different locations and on different schools of thought within the Islamic tradition.

Ramadan moves up about 11 days annually. The first week of Ramadan this year coincides with Columbia’s Spring Recess. 

Many practicing Muslims observe fasting and additional nightly prayers during Ramadan. Many Muslims also commemorate certain special nights in this month. Fasting is often observed by abstaining from food and water, from dawn to sunset throughout the month. Additional nightly prayers last for about an hour every night during Ramadan.

For Administration and Faculty

  • As noted, Ramadan is calculated to begin on Sunday night, March 10th and end on Tuesday, April 9th.

  • Students observing the fast may ask for a 15 minute break during class to pray and eat a snack if their class coincides with sunset. This year, for most Sunni Muslims, sunset during Ramadan will range from 6:59 PM at the beginning of month, to 7:30 PM at the end of month. Shia Muslims tend to observe their break of the fast about 15 minutes after the given sunset times.

  • Due to fasting practices, some Muslim students may request religious accommodations  for alternative exam times.

  • Imam Ebad Rahman ([email protected]), Columbia’s Imam, is available to assist faculty who receive requests for accommodations. The Office of Religious Life can also be reached at any time for support: [email protected]

  • Students on campus can dine in or take campus meals to-go to break their fast, and can be  encouraged to take additional food for the pre-dawn meal. The time for beginning one’s fast (dawn) in New York at the start of the month of Ramadan will be at 5:58 AM and will be a minute or two earlier every day thereafter. Dawn at the end of the month will be at 5:07 AM. There may be slight variations in method to calculate the dawn time from which the fast begins.

For Students

Students seeking religious accommodations for their observation of Ramadan should  contact their professors as soon as possible. For questions about Ramadan or religious accommodations, please contact Columbia’s Muslim Imam Dr. Ebad Rahman at [email protected].


Muslim Life at Columbia is offering a number of iftar dinners in the Earl Hall Auditorium (117th Street and Broadway).  Students are also welcome to join the nightly taraweeh prayers in the same location. There will be an Eid al-Fitr prayer and celebration on campus on the morning of Wednesday, April 10th.


Students who are on the Columbia meal plan can pick up to-go meals for suhoor (predawn meal) from John Jay, Hewitt Hall in Barnard, and Diana’s Café. Iftar meals can be eaten at the dining halls or taken to-go. Students without a meal plan can pay for a meal through dining dollars or by credit cards.

View a PDF of the information sheet here.