Ramadan: from fast to feast

Courtney Cook

Rayya Habeeb, left, with her 4-year-old son Hamza, enjoy a Muslim community dinner last night with Ola Hassanein, right, at the Kent Mosque after daily fasting for Ramadan. GAVIN JACKSON | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Remove all shoes. Recite a prayer. Eat a date. And finally, get ready to feast.

The Muslim Student Association of Kent State held a Fast-A-Thon at 7 last night at the Kent Mosque to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan.

Farooq Khan, MSA member and senior political science major, said there were about 100 guests. Khan said the event raised more than $450 for local charity and the Kent Mosque.

MSA president Yacine Djemil began the celebration with a welcome and explanation of Ramadan. Dates were distributed to everyone.

At exactly 7:05, Muslims who were present ate dates and recited “Mughriab,” the dusk prayer to break fast during Ramadan. Men stood at the front of the room and women in the back.

“In the Quran, it says we must have a date to break fast because it puts something sweet in our mouths,” said Nida Khan, junior communications studies major.

After fast was broken, the feast began.

Women first, guests lined up in the basement to enjoy their first meal since “sohor,” which Khan explained was the meal before sunrise yesterday morning.

The potluck meal consisted of tabouli, hummus, rice and chicken dishes, eggplant, pita bread and plenty of soda and lemonade.

Each MSA member brought a food platter and drink.

Muslim men and women eat separately during group religious celebrations, Khan said. The women went upstairs for their meal and the men ate in the basement.

Freshman biology major Marwa Ghumrawi said having more Muslims around her makes fasting easier.

“In high school not a lot of people are fasting, but here at Kent State there are many people for me to hang out with who know what I’m going through with the hunger and the thirst.”

Mudi Manjouna, junior nursing and psychology major, said hunger usually hits her around 1:00 p.m.

“I’ll be sitting in class and suddenly my stomach will start growling at me,” Manjouna said. “It’s really funny. I get really hungry and I have to chew on something when I study.”

Manjouna said it’s easy to get used to the hunger, but it’s the constant tired feeling that is a challenge.

Sarah Najjar, junior communications studies major, said that the Fast-A-Thon had a great turnout.

“This time is a lot better because so many more people showed up,” Najjar said. “Everyone brings someone. Many people judge Islam without knowing much about it. It’s an easy way to show what Islam is to those who don’t understand.”

Contact religion reporter Courtney Cook at [email protected]