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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Muslim students fast to feed Tucson’s hungry

    The UA Muslim Student Association presented a local food bank with a check for $2,000 last night as members and nonmembers broke their annual fast.

    The fourth annual Fast-a-Thon saw an increase in the number of participants and a rise in monetary donations, said Mohammad Abdelwahab, MSA president.

    Abdelwahab said that 180 people pledged to refrain from eating, drinking and sexual activity from sunrise to sunset for a day. Area businesses contributed $1 for each participant to the Tucson Community Food Bank.

    “”Charity is one of the five pillars of Islam,”” said Sarah Dehaybi, a physiology senior and former president of MSA.

    The presentation of the check took place shortly after participants began to enjoy rice, dates, meat and sweets to celebrate the culmination of their commitment.

    Having the event outside this year was a great idea, Abdelwahab said.

    “”Some people were just walking by, and we were able to convince them to stay,”” Abdelwahab said.

    Sandra Hinojos, a family advocate for the

    Not only does it teach non-Muslims about Islam and Muslims, it benefits Tucson

    – Jason Redmond,
    junior majoring in journalism and history

    food bank, said $20,000 worth of meals would be purchased with the donated money.

    Muslims routinely fast throughout the day during all 30 days of Ramadan, the most holy month of the religion, Abdelwahab said.

    “”Individual Muslims are obligated to give 2.5 percent of their wealth to the poor and needy at the end of Ramadan,”” he said.

    One of the reasons for Ramadan is to cultivate empathy for the poor and to feel what they feel every day, said Samuel Pegg, a convert to Islam and a regional development senior.

    Jason Redmond, a junior majoring in journalism and history, was one of the non-Muslim participants.

    “”I usually joke that I eat all the time,”” said Redmond.

    Redmond said although fasting was hard, he kept himself busy if he felt hungry and gained a greater understanding of Islam through the experience.

    “”During Ramadan, they fast for 30 days, and I had trouble with one,”” Redmond said.

    Regardless of difficulty, Redmond said he would do it again next year.

    “”Not only does it teach non-Muslims about Islam and Muslims, it benefits Tucson,”” he said.

    Between 33,000 and 40,000 meals per day are served through the food bank, Hinojos said.

    For the last four years, the club has donated $5,000 to the food bank, enabling it to purchase $50,000 worth of meals for Tucson’s needy, she added.

    “”This wouldn’t have happened without a collective group effort,”” Abdelwahab said.

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