Students fast in observance of Ramadan
September 7, 2010 3:53 PM
The Muslim Student Association held their annual fast-a-thon for the 2010 observance of Ramadan in Jack Adams Hall. The event attracted hundreds of students and supporters, many of whom abstained from eating and drinking for one full day in observance of the holiday.
"It's not easy, but it's fun," said Samy Kamal, a grad student at SF State studying physics who fasted for 23 days. "You wouldn't think you would be able to do it...but once you do it, it's like, I can do all those things that I never thought I can."
Thursday evening began with warm welcomes and recitation of the Quran, which was followed by a call to prayer and breaking of the fast.
Ramadan is the time of month when a Muslim observer takes time off of worldly affairs to focus on spiritual cleansing and reformation. Muslims believe this enables a stronger link between the observer and God through prayer, charity, good deeds and general kindness.
Others look at fasting from a medical perspective.
"Muslims abstain from food drink and other physical needs during the daylight hours, from sunrise to sunset," said Mufti Abdullah Nana, a self-employed guest speaker at Thursday's event. "We are eating throughout the day, so our digestive system never gets a break. It's being overworked."
According to a 2006 study, fasting may not be right for everyone. SteadyHealth.com found that certain people, depending on their immune and digestive systems, will respond poorly to the effects of a fast. The study also found that extreme fasts can lead to irregular heart palpitations and even death in some cases.
After Thursday's fast fast was broken, attendees were served salad, various chicken dishes, hummus and other Mediterranean delicacies.
Members of the MSA were extremely pleased with the turnout of the fast-a-thon. They reported that at least 100 people that took part in the event.
"It's actually way better than we expected," said MSA Vice President and criminal justice major Sam Hadwan. "It seems like we have around 300 people. It's also the beginning of the school year, and with that turnout, we're really happy."
Many people experienced Ramadan for the first time at the event.
"Today I actually fasted for the first time in my life," said Brandon Buchanan, a junior studying recreation parks and tourism. "I withheld, and I finished, and I was able to feast with everyone."
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