Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a blessed month for more than 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide. During this month, Muslims fast from eating, drinking and marital relations from dawn to sunset, thereby practicing self-restraint, discipline and patience. Although Muslims regularly try to resist anger, backbiting, lying, swearing and lustful thoughts, they practice extra self-discipline during this month to strengthen and renew their faith. Ramadan is also a time of increased self-reflection, prayer and worship, which allows Muslims to spiritually “recharge” for the rest of the year.

Fasting also allows Muslims to feel the hardships and empathize with the poor and needy, thus encouraging selflessness and generosity. It is in this spirit that the Cal Poly Muslim Student Association has organized its third annual Fast-a-Thon to raise funds for the impoverished and needy of Darfur. On Monday, Oct. 8, students will fast from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset, and local sponsors from the community will donate money per person that fasts.

All donations will be sent to Islamic Relief (irw.org), a nonprofit relief organization that has permanent relief projects in 25 countries (including Sudan). The fast will be followed by a Mediterranean breakfast dinner on campus for all the participants. If you are interested in sharing this experience and helping raise funds for Darfur, please e-mail calpolymsa@gmail.com.

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