Fast raises money for Darfur victims
MSA and MWSA celebrate 5th annual Fast-A-Thon
September 27, 2007 9:35 AM
Nearly 300 students broke their day-long fast and celebrated Ramadan at the fifth annual Fast-A-Thon Wednesday evening.
Over 200 non-Muslims pledged to fast for one day, said Zohra Saiyed, Muslim Student Association (MSA) Outreach Coordinator. Some sponsoring businesses made flat donations, and others donated money for each pledge.
The MSA and Muslim Women Student Association collected over $3,000 to provide emergency aid to victims in Darfur, Sudan, through Islamic Relief.
“We ask non-Muslims to fast so someone won’t go hungry,” said Majabeen Samadi, an MSA member. “Some businesses agreed to donate $1 for every non-Muslim who fasts. It’s just an experience to have no food and to be hungry, and that relates to the people in Sudan.”
The money was also gathered from miscellaneous donations, as well as candy and baklava sales, Saiyed said.
Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and celebrates the revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad. In North America, Ramadan began Sept. 13, and lasts for 30 days until Oct. 12, according to the Figh Council of North America. Muslims forgo food, water, and sexual activity from dawn to sunset during Ramadan.
“[The fast] hasn’t been hard - maybe going a full day would be harder,” said Paul Sherfey, who heard about the event in his Cultural Expressions of Islam class. “It’s something I would try again. I tried it a couple of days ago, and I found out how much I appreciate food. I actually felt bad for eating.”
At 7:06 p.m., Fast-A-Thon participants broke their fast with dates and water, which was followed by a call to prayer by MSA and MWSA members. The MSA and MWSA then served iftars, a meal to break the day’s fast.
“It was worth fasting for all that,” said Becky Blau, who participated in the Fast-A-Thon after hearing about it from a friend in MSA.
Former MSA president and SF State alumnus Abdul Rahman was the impromptu guest speaker. Imam Suhaib Webb, an American Muslim who was raised in a Christian family, was unable to speak at the event because his daughter fell ill, Rahman said.
“The main mission is to inform and educate people about Islam,” Rahmam said of the event. “We also want to participate in charitable causes.”
A representative from Islamic Relief also spoke briefly about Darfur.
MSA president Sam Hadwan was very pleased with the Fast-A-Thon.
“We worked really hard and the event was successful,” Hadwan said. “We’ve been doing this for five years, and every year we raise $3,000 to $6,000. Every dollar counts.”
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