Students feast at Fastathon

Samantha Laros

Muslim Student Association holds annual Ramadan event

Ambereen Minhas a Kent State graduate, Noor Ghouse a student at Stow High School, and graduate student of Kent Sadie Shaukat kick back and relax before eating at the Fastathon last night. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

People prepare to eat food at the Fastathon last night at the Kent Mosque. Those participating in the event fasted during daylight hours for an entire month. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The concept seemed American enough: a potluck buffet paired with friendly conversation and soda pop. But for those students who attended the Muslim Student Association’s annual Fastathon at the Kent Mosque, it was an informative, mutilcultural experience.

Lively chatter and heavy aromas filled the air as students filtered through the rooms. Those who had not had food or drink since sun-up came eager to break their fast, while others came devoted to learn about Islam.

The latter was the case for Ruby Badyal, junior integrated life sciences major. While she is not Muslim, she has met a lot of friends through her major who are.

To appreciate their perspective, she said she would attempt to fast for the day. After waking up at 5 a.m. and sharing a meal of pancakes and tater tots with friends, she went back to sleep, waking up at 1:45 p.m. She was able to last until sundown without eating, though she admitted it was challenging, and breaking the fast was rewarding.

The crowd seemed to agree, and as the students filtered through the line, the talking was replaced with eating.

“Whatever this is, it’s really good,” Badyal said, pointing to the corner of her plate.

Alia Awadallah, sophomore pre-med major and council member of the Muslim Student Association, said sections of the group all over the country are bound together by their participation in the Fastathon. Because of this, it’s very important to the Kent chapter.

The second floor of the mosque held the “masjid” – the room devoted to prayer, which was lined with about 20 free-standing posters from the series “Discover Islam.” The posters answered frequently asked questions about Islam, ranging from topics of motherhood, the Quran and Jesus.

Awadallah said that according to Islam, the act of educating is one of the highest deeds in the eyes of God.

Throughout the event, males and females were separated. Awadallah said the separation was in respect to the religious practices in resisting temptation, which are especially relevant during Ramadan, a month of self-sacrifice and reflection.

“It’s like preventative medicine,” she said.

Contact religion reporter Samantha Laros at [email protected].