Group celebrates Ramadan with charity, laughs

The UH Muslim Student Association will host its fifth annual Fast-a-thon starting at 6:30 p.m. today in the University Center Houston Room to help students gain a greater appreciation for the season of Ramadan

"Ramadan is a time where we put aside our bad habits and try to clean up our lives by cleaning up our thoughts, feelings and deeds," art sophomore Adilah Yelton said. "Fasting is not only a physical thing, but is also a mental thing because it cleanses your soul. It is a time to praise."

The annual charity event is hosted with more than 250 other MSA chapters nationwide to help Muslims and non-Muslims experience fasting. The fast lasts for one day starting at dawn and ending at dusk, during which participants abstain from eating, drinking, chewing, smoking and sexual intercourse.

At dusk, Muslims are allowed to break their fast. This time is also used as an opportunity for Muslims to strengthen family and friendship ties.

"By people pledging to fast for that day, there are businesses who have sponsorships who will give a certain amount of donations per pledge to a charity organization," MSA president Mohammed Radwan said.

Last year’s Fast-a-thon raised $1,100 for the End Hunger Network. This year, the MSA hopes to achieve the same goal for charitable donations, which will be given to DePelchin Children’s Center.

"We feel that charity should start at home. Therefore, we want our city to benefit first and foremost," psychology senior Ayesha Ghori said.

During Ramadan any good deed a Muslim does will be rewarded more than a good deed done during the regular year, Ghori said.

The MSA wants to instill in students the true meaning of Islam.

"We hope to raise awareness about what Islam is about and correcting a lot of the misconceptions that are out there about our religion," Ghori said.

The dinner will also feature guest speaker Preacher Moff from MSA’s comedy tour Allah Made Me Funny, who will talk about Ramadan.

Non-fasters are also welcome to attend.

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