Muslim Student Association hosts annual fasting event
The UH Muslim Student Association held its eighth annual Fast-A-Thon, which gave students the opportunity to fast for one day and make a difference in the Houston community at the same time.
Businesses such as Shasta’s Ice Cream, the UC Game Room, Half-Price Bookstore and Coca Cola Co., donated a certain amount of money to a local charity for each student that pledged to fast on the Nov. 1 event.
“The idea is to gain empathy for the less fortunate in our community by experiencing a bit of the hunger that many around us face every day,” history senior Suraya Khan said. “Our goal was to raise a good amount of money to donate to one of the premier organizations that fight hunger, the Houston Food Bank.”
The day culminated with dinner at sunset where participants broke their fasts accordingly to the Islamic method of fasting.
Through the event, MSA hoped to help eradicate hunger in the community while demonstrating the positive impact Islam encourages Muslims to make.
“We calculated how far the different hunger organizations in Houston could stretch a dollar, and we discovered that for every dollar donated to the Houston Food Bank, they could give out enough food for four meals,” Khan said. “That means that the total amount we raised, $2,646, will provide 10,584 meals for hungry people in our city. The amount is staggering.”
During the event, a representative from HFB was handed a check for the full amount raised by MSA.
“The amount we were aiming to raise was $2,000,” Khan said. “We are fortunate to have risen much more than that.”
About 350 students showed up to the Fast-A-Thon, many of them non-Muslims, fasting for their first time. Participants were welcomed on stage to share their experiences of fasting.
“I think through fasting we are reminded of how lucky we are,” history junior Raisa Chauca said. “How other people don’t have the things we take for granted.”
According to MSA, 53,000 Texans go hungry every day with 47 percent of them children. HFB feeds about 137,000 people weekly.
“I felt like I could have lied and not done it. But because I committed to something — especially something as great as this — I wanted to do it,” construction management senior Chris Khan said.
“I’m glad I did.”