The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday June 2nd

Ramadan encourages UNC community unity

The traditional themes of charity and community will be on particular display throughout this year’s Ramadan celebration.

To celebrate this year’s Muslim holy month — which kicked off in North America on Aug. 12 — the Muslim Students Association is inviting non-Muslims to honor Ramadan’s pillars of community and charity.

Muslim Student’s Association Ramadan events:

-Iftars: post-sunset meal
Aug. 24 (Union 3209), Wed.
Aug. 25 (Union 3209), Thurs,
Aug. 26th (Union 2518-A-B), Mon
Aug. 30 (Union 3209), Wed.
Sept. 1 (Union 3209), Thurs.
Sept. 2nd (Union 3205).
-Suhur: pre-dawn prayer and breakfast Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, 4 a.m. (Hooker Fields)
-Fast-a-Thon: Wed. Sept. 8 (Great Hall)

During the next two weeks, the group will be hosting events ranging from potluck dinners to pre-dawn prayer sessions.

On Sept. 8, the community will be able to take part in charitable events, and students will raise money for flood relief in Pakistan through the Fast-a-Thon.

The event is a potluck dinner where participants will gather to break their fasts collectively at the Sept. 10 conclusion of the North American Ramadan

The group will also be serving six post-sunset meals called iftars in the Student Union and two pre-dawn prayer breakfasts called suhurs at Hooker Field.

“The biggest thing is to connect with the Quran and spiritually with God,” said Muslim Students Association President Sana Kahn.

The dinner acts as an opportunity for the group to raise money for charities. Last year, Fast-a-Thon raised $1,400 for the Islamic non-profit Project Downtown, Kahn said.

This year’s proceeds, raised from a mixture of friends, relatives and local businesses, will go towards Pakistani flood aid through the charity Islamic Relief.

Franklin Street restaurant Mediterranean Deli sponsored Fast-a-Thon last year. According to manager Jamil Bakoura, it will do so again, although Kahn said only friends and family of members have pledged support so far.

He said the restaurant’s Muslim ownership and its general interest in charity contributed to its sponsorship.

And just as he has done in previous years, Arabic professor Nasser Isleem said he will invite students from his classes at Duke University and Durham Technical Community College to experience the holy month in his home.

Isleem said Ramadan commemorates the occasion when the angel Gabriel presented the Quran to Muhammad.

During the 30 days of Ramadan, Muslims are supposed to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse from sunrise to sunset.

The holiday is broken down into three 10-day segments. The first of the 10 days is dedicated to mercy, the second to forgiveness and the third to release from hellfire. Isleem said these are rewards for those who properly observe the holiday.

Many Muslims use Ramadan to focus on and strengthen their relationships with God.

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