A newly-formed Muslim Students Association in Trine University, Indiana, has marked the start of Ramadan by hosting an iftar dinner for students and faculty members.
“Ramadan is the month of spiritual reflection, it’s where 1.6 billion Muslims do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset,” Hamza Tariq, a junior bioengineering major and president of the Trine Muslim Association, said, addressing the small crowd from a podium, The Herald Republican.
A festive banner reading “Ramadan Mubarak,” hung behind him, the phrase which translates to “have a blessed Ramadan.”
“During this month we abstain not only from eating but gossiping or lying, we also try to abstain from doing bad habits and we try to increase our spirituality,” Tariq continued.
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“It’s a month of self-reflection, and it’s a great time to get close with yourself and your family and to try to make yourself a better person.”
Dozens of students and faculty members attended the meal, held at Club Z in the basement of the MTI Center. The event was limited to 50 participants due to COVID-19 health safety protocols.
Members of the students association provided the guests with a brief history of Ramadan and overview of the holy month’s importance to Muslims.
“Everyone has their own idea of what Ramadan is,” said Abdulrahman Ajabnoor, a senior computer science major who goes by the name Adam. “The fasting makes you feel for the poor and people who can’t feed themselves.”
“It gives you a sense of humbleness, of charity and forgiveness … It also gives you a clear mind and removes distractions.”
After the introduction, Tariq recited a surah from the Qur’an followed by the Maghrib prayer and iftar.
“We want to reach Trine students and teach them the truth about real Islam and to make Muslim students on campus feel more at home and get them involved in the community,” he said.
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History of Student Work
Historically, MSAs have spawned their fair share of movements and campaigns.
The year 1982 saw the founding of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization that leads interfaith dialogues, coordinates with mosques across the USA, and hosts a yearly convention for American Muslims.
ISNA has since branched off into several subsidiary organizations, each with clearly defined goals to promote activism and community growth.
The MSAs across America strive to make a place for American Muslims to face increasing tension and polarizing ideas. Such effective student groups find and develop the identities of its members within an ever-growing and diverse community.