MSO helps Muslim students celebrate end of Ramadan
An MSO dinner marked the end of Ramadan events this week.
Sep. 02, 2011
The Muslim Student Organization celebrated the end of Ramadan this week with a group prayer and dinner.
Aug. 30 marked the end of fasting for Muslim students, a day known as Eid-ul-fitr.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Each year, the calendar shifts back 10 days, causing Ramadan to come earlier each year.
This year, Ramadan came earlier in the school year than it had in the past, so the Muslim Student Organization used the celebration as a way to welcome new members. This year MSO celebrated Eid with a dinner for Muslim students.
“We come eat and get to know each other," MSO president Taha Hameduddin said. "This time of the year we have a lot of freshmen, so it’s a chance to get to know them.”
When the school year started, Hameduddin said MSO spread the word about daily prayer.
“When it started off, we made it aware that the MSO was having prayer services,” he said.
Throughout Ramadan, MSO held daily prayer services at the Islamic Center, and on Eid, it held a prayer service in the morning at the Hearnes Center.
MSO spokesman Rafa Nizam said MSO spent Ramadan informing new members about the organization.
“We were keeping people in the loop about where the prayer was going to be, and we had the welcome dinner,” he said.
Celebrating Eid on campus was likely a new experience for many students. MSO Vice President Mahir Khan said celebrating away from home can be difficult.
“When you’re with your family, you go all out," Khan said. "For a lot of these kids, it might be the first time they’ve had Eid without their families."
Eid is the celebration of the end of a month of fasting. Muslims fast from sun-up to sun-down for 30 days during Ramadan.
Khan said Muslims fast for two reasons: to feel the pain and suffering that people all around the world are feeling and to become closer to the religion and to God.
“The first two days it’s really rough because it’s all you think about, but after that you tend to focus your mind and body and also your soul,” Khan said.
However, Khan said Eid is not a celebration of the end of fasting.
“The celebration itself is a celebration of community,” he said.
Khan said although MSO did not have many big events during Ramadan, he thinks the efforts made to help new Muslim students become comfortable on campus were effective.
“It’s kind of hard (to meet Muslim students)," he said. "Muslims don’t just stick out to each other. We try to reach out to people, and in doing that we really try to give them a sense of security. It’s those little things that give you the sense of 'Hey, we’re here for you.'"