Ramadan brings summertime fast for U.P. Muslims

It is the most sacred time of the year for Muslims and a chance for reflection and purification. Ramadan has arrived in the U.P., and one of its main goals is to allow Muslims to sympathize with those who struggle with hunger every day.

During this month, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from sunrise to sunset. But this year, Ramadan has landed at a very peculiar time.

Mansour Al-Shammari, a former president of the Muslim Students Association at Michigan Tech, says his issues have been more with the shorter nights, but members of the community are being challenged with the longer days.

“I know some of my friends who have been really struggling with that,” Al-Shammari said. “And it’s a long day and the weather is a little hot. That takes a lot of energy of the Muslims that are fasting.”

Every Saturday night during Ramadan, the MSA holds a pot luck where members bring special dishes to share. This creates a diverse menu with entrees originating from places like India, Egypt and Turkey. The MSA does have an outreach program as well, holding small lectures for Muslims and non-Muslims on the Michigan Tech campus.

“It’s not that much, but we try to do a few, giving a speech about what is Islam and some other questions,” Al-Shammari said. “For example, they have so many questions, like about the hijab and about the praying five times a day.”

Al-Shammari added that whether they are fasting for eight or 18 hours, their faith gives them the strength to reap the benefits of this holy month.