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How Muslims celebrate Ramadan at Drexel University | The Triangle
Opinion

How Muslims celebrate Ramadan at Drexel University

Photo by Samuel Gregg | The Triangle

This Monday marked the first day of Ramadan, the holiest month of the year for Muslims. Muslims observe fasting from sunrise to sunset throughout the month, abstaining from any food or drink. The fast is broken each day with a meal, or iftar, often with dates and water.

Students who have Drexel’s dining hall plan are able to grab a to-go meal for Suhoor (also known as Sehri), as well as pick up dates and water at various campus locations such as the lobbies of Creese Student Center, Rush Building, dining halls on campus and residence halls.

Asma Rasouly, the Public Relations Chair on the Drexel Muslim Student Association (DMSA) board, shares the club’s upcoming plans for Ramadan.

“Most students live on campus or have classes near Iftar time. To make it easier, the MSA wanted to host iftars for everyone fasting, so that we can spend time together during this blessed month so that nobody feels alone, as Ramadan is usually spent with families. We’ve continued this tradition for many years with our MSA,” states Rasouly.

The DMSA will hold Iftars on campus Monday through Thursday, with locations varying between Behrakis Hall and Lebow 220. You can check out their Ramadan calendar on their Instagram! With donations from community members, they are able to provide iftar for 200 students daily.

“The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is reported to have said, “Whoever feeds a fasting person will earn the same reward as him without diminishing in any way the reward of the fasting person,” shares Rasouly regarding her efforts on board. 

After breaking the fast and praying Maghrib prayer together, Muslims pray Isha and Taraweeh, a voluntary prayer performed every night of Ramadan. Many gather to pray Taraweeh together at the JEMIC, the James E. Marks Intercultural Center, on campus, commonly known as the ICC among Muslim students.

Rasouly highlights the rewarding nature of being a part of this process: “Ramadan is definitely the busiest month for everyone in Drexel MSA. It requires all hands on deck from not only the board but members who volunteer as well. Although it requires lots of work and effort in the end it’s so beneficial and heartwarming seeing our community come together for this month as we all try and get closer to our faith.”

The month comes to an end with the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr, one of the two major holidays celebrated in Islam, commemorating the holy month.

Make sure to wish your Muslim friends, co-workers and peers a Ramadan Mubarak! Here are some tips you can take to be supportive of them this month:

Learn about Ramadan: Take the time to educate yourself about the significance of Ramadan and the customs and practices involved!

Respect their prayer schedule: Muslims engage in increased prayers during Ramadan, which may mean stepping out and taking breaks for prayers. 

Be mindful of their fasting: Recognize that your friends are abstaining from food and drink during the daytime which can result in low levels of energy.