Tonight marks the beginning of a month-long fast for Muslim
students at the University, as they seek to strengthen their
relationship with God during Ramadan, the Islamic month of

Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims worldwide, commemorates the
time when Muslims believe their holy book, the Quran, was revealed
to their prophet Mohammad.

During the month, Muslims around the world recite optional extra
prayers, and they fast from food and water and abstain from sex
from sun up to sun down, to increase their devotion to God. In
addition, Muslims try to let go of anger, jealousy and other
character vices.

LSA junior Lubna Grewal said there are many challenges
pertaining to the month of Ramadan, the most difficult for her
being managing her time.

“You always want to increase yourself, but coursework is
just as heavy as it was freshman and sophomore year. But still I
want to do more spiritually (every year). All three of these things
combine to make the month pretty rigorous,” Grewal said.

She added that it is not uncommon for Muslim students to get
really sick because of the fasting or fall behind in school. To
decrease the pressure that fasting places on her body, Grewal said
she performs short fasts throughout the year so Ramadan won’t
be such a shock to her body.

“It’s easier, but (the fast) is still something you
have to deal with. It’s a sacrifice I make for being
Muslim,” Grewal said.

Still, Law student Maleeha Haq said such sacrifices pay off in
the end because they make her a more devout Muslim.

“It makes you a better person in some regard. I focused
more on the Quran. You read it a lot more during Ramadan.
I’ve tried to keep reading it throughout the year,” Haq

Haq added that in general Ramadan makes her more conscious of
God. No matter what she’s doing, studying or taking an exam
or any other activity, she said she feels that she is more aware of
God’s presence in her life.

To kick of the holy month, LSA junior As’ad Tarsin spoke
at a meeting headed by the Muslim Students’ Association last
night in Hutchins Hall in the Law Quad. He talked about fasting and
gave tips that Muslim students can use to grow spiritually this
month while juggling exams, homework and jobs.

On Oct. 26 the Muslim Students’ Association will also
sponsor a Fast-A-Thon, inviting all University students to
participate in a day of fasting capped off by a large dinner at the
Michigan Union after sundown.

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