By Hussein A. Hamdani
Often people ask me about issues surrounding Ramadan. The questions are usually about the reasoning behind why it is done, but people often want to hear about the pain and suffering of fasting. For instance, I was once being interviewed by the CBC and the interviewer expected me to articulate the hardships of fasting. However, when I stressed the fact Muslims were yearning for Ramadan, he was taken aback. He even went so far as to extoll some kind of confession from me. But to his dismay, I had to tell him that the majority of Muslims sincerely desire the dawn of Ramadan and look back on it and other Ramadans with a little sadness when it is over.
Non-Muslims need to understand that Ramadan offers Muslims a time to "purify" their bodies as well as their souls, by developing a greater sense of humility, spirituality and community.
Traditionally, breaking the fast is a ritual practiced by having your family and friends eat together. Other Muslim students like myself live away from home and there is a possibility that I might have to break my fast alone. Therefore, the Muslim Students' Association provides a small Islamic community which takes responsibility for those away from home. They do this by providing free dinners and a familial environment. Most days at sunset, which tends to be close to 5:30 p.m., Muslims gather at the Mosque to pray and eat in a Ramadanic atmosphere of faith and peace. If anyone is interested in Ramadan or Islam, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or come to our weekly Friday Sabbath prayers in the Law Building at 1:15 p.m. and also visit the Daily Prayer Room in UC 215.