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Muslim students share opinions, hopes for Ramadan on campus

March 24, 2023
	<p>Chemical engineering graduate student Abu Hassan silently prays Monday afternoon at the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing. Monday marked the start of the Ramadan, a month long period of spirituality and fasting during daylight.</p>

Chemical engineering graduate student Abu Hassan silently prays Monday afternoon at the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing. Monday marked the start of the Ramadan, a month long period of spirituality and fasting during daylight.

The Islamic holiday Ramadan began on the evening of March 22, and will last either 29 or 30 days, depending on when the new crescent moon is or should be apparent. 

Ramadan is a period of fasting and spiritual connection and growth, where Muslims will refrain from eating or drinking anything — including water — and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset. Many will partake in additional prayers, especially at night, to feel more spiritually connected to God. The Brief Guide for Ramadan at MSU states it is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and is widely considered the month in which the Qur’an, the Islamic holy book, was first revealed. 

Human biology sophomore Adeeba Rahman said Ramadan is a time when she can have a closer relationship with God.

“It basically makes you grateful and you realize everything that you have around you because you can easily take things for granted,” Rahman said. “Because you see them every day, but when you actually have to fast and give up (things), ... you realize how grateful you are.

Physiology junior Sarah Kefri said she wakes up at 5 a.m. during Ramadan to eat a meal with her family.

“Since I’m away from home I FaceTime my parents from back home, and eat with them on FaceTime (in the morning),” Kefri said. “As soon as the first prayer of the day starts, I pray, sit after praying, and just self-reflect to stay in the remembrance of God.”

Comparative cultures and politics junior Belma Hodzic said Ramadan is a time for her to practice self-sacrifice and to get closer to her religion. 

“It is more of a sense of community for me and knowing what you're grateful for, by not overindulging, practicing modesty ... and principles for myself,” Hodzic said.

For students living on campus, MSU provides Ramadan dining hall options which will serve halal and vegan options during dinner time at four of the major dining halls.

The MSU Muslim Students Association provides specific dining halls and East Lansing restaurants that serve halal meals. For more information regarding the dining hall options, students can refer to the Eat at State website

For breakfast, the dining hall provides two pre-packaged breakfast options that will be available for pickup each day during dinner service at Brody Square, South Pointe at Case, The Vista at Shaw and The Edge at Akers. 

Hodzic said she shouldn’t have to feel grateful to the university for accommodating Ramadan, and said the university could have done more to support students on campus. 

“For Sparty's, it is very limited and I feel like they should provide more options because compared to Lent or other festivities," Hodzic said. "Ramadan is a month-long, so they should probably offer more resources.” 

The association also notes reflection rooms on campus for students which can be used for prayer. These rooms are located on the second floor of the Main Library, room B284 in Wells Hall, room 412A in the Law Library, room C200B in Butterfield Hall and more. 

The association will collaborate with other Muslim student organizations planning Iftars for students to enjoy meals after sunset during Ramadan. For future Iftars and more information, check out the MSU Muslim Students Association's Instagram page.

Ramadan Mubarak!

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