Group hosts dinner in Ramadan
It is currently the Islamic month of Ramadan, and Muslims around the world are fasting everyday this month from sunrise to sunset.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It consists of refraining from food, drink, and sexual relations from dawn until nightfall. Muslims aim to learn self-control and patience by abstaining from some of their basic needs.
“While fasting, we make ourselves abstain from things that are so natural,” Biology senior Mariam Sattar said. “If we can do this, then we can easily give up on things that we do that earn the displeasure of our Creator.”
Participating in Ramadan this year is a bit more challenging for students on campus, due to it falling in August this year when Texas’ heat is at its highest.
“It is a challenge, but it helps you to be more in tune with things other than food and desires,” Engineering senior Mohammed Alam said.
Furthermore, fasting students are juggling their school responsibilities with their religious practices. The UH Muslim Students’ Association offers free dinners at sunset from Monday through Thursday every week during Ramadan.
“We try to accommodate the needs of Muslims (on campus),” MSA Education Coordinator Safwan Moton said. “It is also a good way to educate non-Muslims. We have more than a few come every day.”
Finance Junior Roag Yu was invited to the MSA dinners by two of his Muslim friends.
“Fasting is good,” Yu said. “I understand that by fasting Muslims are obeying God, seeking forgiveness from God, and sacrificing for God.”
Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan with a day called Eid al-Fitr. On this occasion Muslims gather in congregation to pray together, exchange gifts and visit friends and family. MSA also plans to share the Eid celebration with their fellow UH students.
“This Eid we will be having a booth offering free henna tattoos, popcorn, cotton candy and handbills to students passing by,” UH MSA vice president Majeedah Pacha said.
Until then, the MSA invites the UH community to join them for free dinners at 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays in the A.D. Bruce Religion Center.
“It doesn’t matter who you are,” Moton said. “Everyone is welcome to attend.”