Important exams are rarely if ever scheduled around Christian or Jewish holidays here in the U.S. and for the Jews and Seven Day Adventists that observe the sabbath, make-up exams are almost always offered just as a matter of course but not so for Muslim holidays, which may be a benefit of ISNA’s proposed 5-year calendar in that if Muslims want days off, we need to be able to inform school districts and places of employment beforehand so those days can be incorporated into their pre-published yearly calendars.
A few years ago, Eid al-Fitr fell on the same day as my Cultural Anthropology midterm exam. I didn’t tell my professor beforehand because it was up in the air depending on the moonsighting which day Eid would fall on so there was a 50/50 chance Eid would be a day before my exam or the day of the exam.
For me it was a no-brainer, eid salaah or the exam, I choose the salaah. Some other Muslims I know also had midterms that day and choose to go to class.
When I returned to class that week, I went to my professor and was about to tell her why I missed the exam when she said, “Don’t worry about it, I know ‘Tina‘ also missed the exam for the same reason”. And I thought, Tina? Why did she miss the exam? And then our professor said, “I know it was Eid for you guys so don’t worry, I’ll offer you a make-up along with the final exam”.
Ok, I thought excellent choice to go to the salaah. But Tina being a Muslim was news to me because while she had sat behind me for half a semester and we had worked together in small group projects, she never mentioned that she was Muslim but alhamdulillah at least she choose the Eid prayer over the exam. There was also some Muslim guy in the class but he came and took the exam.
Tina and I actively participated in that class, did our assignments, aced the exams so our professor never made us make up that midterm, and we both received A’s in that class.
Eid Under the Radar – Kwanzaa