ISUM goes hungry to help the hungry during Ramadan

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset every day, abstaining from food, drinks, water, cigarettes and even from getting angry and cursing.
“Interest has been wonderful,” said Minal Ahson, president of ISUM. “We are extremely excited that so many students, faculty and staff are willing to go hungry for one day so others will not have to.”
On Nov. 20, the Islamic Society of UM [ISUM] sponsored a fast-a-thon for over 217 participants that served as a charity for the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Six sponsors, mostly local families, donated one dollar per participant. This allowed the event to raise approximately $1000.
According to Ahson, for each dollar donated, six meals will be fed to Miami’s hungry. This means that enough money was donated for over 6000 meals.
“Through this event, ISUM hopes to increase the awareness of the significance of fasting and Ramadan, and also the awareness of those who are not as fortunate as we are to have food,” Ahson said.
During Ramadan, Muslims wake up early in the morning to have a pre-dawn breakfast meal, known as Suhoor.
At the end of the day, they take the Iftar meal, which usually includes dates, fresh fruits, appetizers, beverages and dinner, completing the fast.
Later in the evening, Muslims attend special nightly Tarawih prayers at their local Masjid.
Each night during Ramadan, approximately one-thirtieth of the Quran is recited in the Tarawih prayers, so that the entire scripture is recited in the course of the 29 or 30 days of the month.
While Muslims fast for the entire month of Ramadan, participants fasted for only one day. For some, though, even that was difficult.
Participants utilized the event as an enjoyable learning experience.
“I knew that it fed a lot of children,” senior Sheila Quigley said. “It seemed like a small price to pay for a lot of people.”
“It gives people an opportunity to feel how Muslims feel during Ramadan,” said recent UM grad, Sana Khan. “Hopefully some will feel enlightened by the fasting as well.”
“Fasting allows us to feel how others feel,” Khan said.
“It’s not just about feeling like Muslims feel during Ramadan,” junior Sarah Syed said. “It’s about helping others as well.”
“Somebody called me at 4:30 and was like, Can I please eat, I’m starving’,” Syed said. “I told her she could do it.”
“I’m a pretty plump guy so I can afford not to eat, but so many others can’t,” senior Ryan Kidder said.
Faculty was also supportive of the event.
“Whenever I teach about Islam and Ramadan, I always tell my [Religion] 101 classes that if you have never fasted they should try it,” said Professor of religious studies, Dr. Steven Sapp. “It’s a new experience.”

Leigha Taber can be reached at