Over 600 people turned out to the Muslim Student Association‘s 8th annual Fast for a Day Friday evening at the Davis Senior Center.
The event is one of the largest iftars – an evening meal after a day of fasting – in Northern California, according to MSA.
Among the attendees were Muslims and non-Muslims alike from both the campus and the Davis community. Upon arrival, guests broke their sunrise-to-sunset fast with dates.
The evening began with a welcome and recitation from the Quran followed by the call to prayer. Muslim guests then separated to pray Maghrib – the sunset prayer – while non-Muslims got in line for dinner. The traditional Mediterranean dinner of chicken and rice was sponsored by the Islamic Center of Davis.
MSA especially encouraged non-Muslims to attend in an effort to disprove commonly held misconceptions about fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. All attendees – Muslim or not – were asked to abstain from food or drink the day before in order to better understand the Ramadan experience.
“We were trying to dispel misconceptions about Ramadan by having [non-Muslims] go through what we do to show we can still go to school, go to work,“ said Haseeb Sadat, education coordinator for MSA. “A lot of people think it‘s physical, but really it is more spiritual. During Ramadan, you ask God for forgiveness and purify yourself spiritually.“
– Alysoun Bonde