FHSU Muslim students host Ramadan feast to celebrate and educate

BY RAEGAN NEUFELD
PHOTOS BY KADRIAN AYARZA

Wednesday’s Ramadan feast was not only a way for Muslim students and community members to celebrate the holy month together, but also a way for others to learn about the period of fasting and what it means for those who participate.

Isatou Suso introduces the guests with a presentation to the Ramadan Feast.

Ramadan is a period of fasting observed by Muslims, in which they do not eat or drink starting when the sun rises and ending when the sun sets. They also focus on worship, charity and spending time with family and friends.

Hosted by the Fort Hays State University campus Muslim Student Association, the feast began with opening remarks and a recitation of several passages from the Quran, which explain the concept of Ramadan, the benefits of fasting and who is allowed to abstain from fasting. 

“I hope you will find this event informative, inspiring and engaging,” said MSA member Isatou Suso during the opening remarks. “Let us take this opportunity to build new relationships, make many new connections and have an enjoyable time together.”

Before sundown –when the food was served and those fasting were able to eat– MSA President, Abubakar Sani, gave an informational presentation about Ramadan.

“We decided to organize this program as a form of awareness,” Sani told Tiger Media Network. “This month is all about fasting. Most students don’t know what fasting is so we took it upon ourselves to educate people on what fasting means and how we can accommodate students and employees during that period.” 

Sani’s presentation included information on the basics of Ramadan, such as what it is, when it is, why it is celebrated, the importance of fasting and what non-Muslims should take into consideration during the month. 

“It is a period of slowing down, reflecting on one’s life and trying to better ourselves spiritually,” Sani told attendees.   

This year, the fasting takes place from March 23 to April 20. The dates change each year because the Islamic calendar is lunar. Ramadan is celebrated during the time that Muslims believe the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Mohammed. They fast in order to become closer to Allah and the Quran, cultivate good character and increase willpower and generosity. 

Sani also discussed how others can accommodate fasting employees and students. Much of it was just awareness, such as considering adjustments to schedules for prayer and worship. It was also suggested to consider joining friends for a fast-breaking dinner, if they extend an invitation. 

The fast-breaking dinner was another important part of Wednesday’s event.

“It is advised in Islam to break the fast with friends and everyone, so that was why we decided to organize this big event,” Sani said.

MSA President Abubakar Sani introduces the crowd to the basics of Ramadan; how and when it is celebrated.

Similar events will hopefully happen in the future. MSA supervisor Bader Abukhodair spoke about the importance of diverse events on campus.

“A lot of cultures are different,” he said. “I’m having some food (here) for the first time, I haven’t had it before. It is really important to share different cultures to open up to other diversified students on campus. We try, through MSA as well as the International Student Services, to get funds to do more activities for the next year.”

While Sani and Suso both recommended talking to Muslims to learn more about Ramadan, Suso specifically mentioned Imams, what she called the equivalent to a pastor.

“Any Muslim could be doing Ramadan but not understand in detail why we do it,” she said. “So I would try to find someone with knowledge, like an Imam, that will give you a better perspective of what Ramadan is.”

More information about MSA can be found on their TigerLink page, and more details on Ramadan can be found here


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