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Ramadan on Campus
Every year, the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world look forward to the holy month of Ramadan. During this month, which falls from May 7 to June 5, various campus clubs like the University of Waterloo Muslim Students’ Association (UWMSA) and the UW Pakistani Students Association (UWPSA) ramp up their events and community gatherings for Muslim students on campus.
Leyla Fayaz, Vice President of Events for the UWMSA, has been a part of the student club since her 1A term. She has taken on the responsibility for logistics planning and external organization collaboration for the spring 2019 term, which includes the busiest month for the club.
“Muslims fast and look forward all year for this blessed and refreshing month of Ramadan to try and attain heightened God consciousness through fasting and increased acts of worship, refill their spiritual battery, and enjoy the brotherhood and sisterhood of the community,” Fayaz said.
The month itself is a full moon-cycle, during the time of year that it is believed the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet.
Fayaz explained that being able to give up something that is normally permissible, like eating, gives Muslims the encouragement for self-improvement.
From sunrise to sundown, Muslims refrain from eating and drinking, and eventually break their fast with iftar.
The UWMSA is hosting two iftar dinners every week of Ramadan.
“These iftars have been catered specifically for students who are living away from home, since it not only provides them with a free meal, but also a community of UW brothers and sisters to bond and break their fast with,” said Fayaz.
Falah Shazib, 3B Computer Science student and UWPSA Exec, encourages students to join their friends for iftar, since it is meant to be shared with family and close ones.
The month of Ramadan is concluded with a large celebration called Eid al-Fitr. Fayez and the UWMSA are planning a shuttle that will bring students from campus to RIM Park on June 5, where the City of Waterloo is holding a congregational Eid Prayer.
“Since the Eid celebration this year is going to be during a weekday, many won’t be able to spend it with their families. To preserve the celebration and the sense of community during Eid on campus, we are currently planning an on-campus Eid party," Fayaz said, adding that details will be announced soon.
Fayaz says that as always, students who have Muslim friends are encouraged to ask questions that they have about Ramadan to better understand and appreciate each other.
Throughout the rest of the term, the UWMSA will be holding events that are open to everyone and anyone. These include Islamic lectures, ‘chai-and-chill’ events, and an end of term dinner.