Students and faculty from all faiths will join together for ASU’s Muslim Students’ Association’s Fast-a-Thon on Thursday.
Participants will abstain from any food or water from dawn until dusk.
Businesses will donate funds to The Cultural Cup Food Bank for every person who has signed up to fast.
“It really creates a great feeling of unity and satisfaction knowing that your hunger for that day will help feed someone who is hungry every day,” psychology sophomore and MSA social director Ahmed Khalil said.
Family and human development sophomore and MSA treasurer Hasana Abdul-Quadir said those fasting will also refrain from profanity, intimate relations and committing any bad actions.
Abdul-Quadir said fasting happens during the Muslim month of Ramadan.
Ramadan, which is part of a lunar calendar, was during the summer this year.
Because the school year had not begun, the Fast-a-Thon is on a regular school day, Abdul-Quadir said.
“Anyone is welcomed to participate and encouraged to try it just to try something new to feel how the less fortunate feel in their normal lives when they actually don’t have food to eat,” Abdul-Quadir said.
The Fast-a-Thon is a national event that started at the University of Tennessee, Khalil said.
Tarek El-Messidi founded it in 2001 to stand against misconceptions about Muslims that followed after the 9/11 attacks, he said.
Khalil said the Fast-a-Thon serves many purposes, but it raises funds for those in need and for local communities.
MSA will host a fast-breaking program Thursday in the Islamic Community Center of Tempe mosque. El-Messidi will be the evening’s guest speaker.
Psychology junior and MSA president Samer Naseredden said El-Messidi will speak on fasting, what it is for Muslims and will answer questions about Islam.
Naseredden said the program will also include prayers, dinner and a tour of the mosque.
“You’re being a benefit to other people so that’s something that’s personally very rewarding,” Naseredden said.
Abdul-Quadir said Muslims begin to break their fasts with their fourth prayer of the day, known as Maghrib. Following the prayer, food consumption begins slowly with dates and water or milk, she said.
The program will include Middle Eastern food, the sharing of fasting experiences and the observation of prayers. There will also be trivia questions and the opportunity to win prizes.
Those interested in participating in the event can register online at the MSA ASU Facebook event page at any time. Participants will meet at the ICC at 5 p.m. to begin the program and end the fast.
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