Finding Community as a Muslim

When I first arrived at USG as a student last August, I saw several Muslim students on campus on the first day of school and felt a sense of happiness seeing students like me at school. As the school year went on, I saw more students whom I would give salaams (Islamic greetings) and even have conversations with them. 

As we near the end of the semester, Muslims will also reach the end of the month-long period of fasting and spiritual growth. I’ll be honest and say that this Ramadan has been a bit of a challenge, yet despite this, I can definitely say this has been one of, if not the best Ramadan I had in years. 

This Ramadan has taught me a few things about myself that I hope to take away with me when the month is over. One of which is the importance of community. Last night, USG had a Ramadan Iftar Party where a few students organized the event. Shaykh Chad Earl from the Islamic Center of Maryland gave a talk to the students in attendance. 

A white dry-erase board with “Ramadan Iftar Party” in black marker (Source: Aisha Sowe)

Most of the students were Muslims, but there were non-Muslims as well which was good to educate about the holy month as well as Islam in general. After the talk, the students broke their fast and prayed Maghrib, which is the evening prayer. We then had iftar, which is basically the dinner we eat after fasting.

A table with four trays of food and yogurt and tamarind sauce. From right to left are trays of assorted fruits, samosas, chicken patties, and salad (Source Aisha Sowe).

The food was really good and most of all, I really loved how the turnout went! I got to know a few people within the USG Muslim community. One of my Ramadan goals was to try and be more involved with the Muslim community in the DMV and I can definitely say that because of this Ramadan, that goal is slowly coming to fruition.

I’m glad that I got to go to the Iftar Party so that I can be more involved with the Muslim community on campus. Going to these events helps me realize how grateful I am to have a welcoming community at school during Ramadan. I hope to continue finding my community as a student and as a Muslim!

With that being said, I hope these final days of Ramadan are rewarding, and Eid Mubarak in advance! 

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