Benedictine’s MSA Celebrates

by Elizabeth Welz and Raneen Zubi



On Wednesday, September 23, Benedictine’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) kicked off the holiday, Eid al-Adha, with a celebration.

Eid al-Adha translates roughly to the “Feast of the Sacrifice.” It is the second of two religious holidays that are celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year. The holiday honors the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God’s command.

In the lunar-based Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha, falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic calendar, and lasts a total of four days. However, in the international, Gregorian calendar Eid al-Adha can vary from year to year.

The day started off with a henna fundraiser in Kindlon at 11:00 a.m. The event was designed to continue to raise money for MSA. Students, faculty and staff were able to take time out of their day to get henna done.

Traditionally, henna has been used as a means of celebration and is regarded as having Barakah or blessings. The paste is also applied for luck.

“The girls were really talented and did a great job. It came out so pretty,” said junior Aseel Husein.

Henna is a traditional dye that is used to color the hair and decorate the body. The henna is a mixture of the henna plant native to northern African, western and southern Asia, and northern Australia.

The henna paste is then applied to the skin by a pen-like instrument. Once the paste is applied, there is a waiting period while the henna dries. Once dried, the henna can be removed from the skin leaving the skin dyed orange to dark maroon.

Later that day, the MSA hosted their Iftar event. The event started at 6:30 p.m. in the Founder’s Clubhouse.

The 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah is the day of Yawm al-Arafah. It is the day of pilgrimage where many Muslims make their way to Mount Arafat to pray. On this day, Muslims all over the world who do not attend Hajj should spend the day in fasting in preparation for the four-day holiday, Eid al-Ahda.

To end fasting, the MSA threw a traditional big feast, called Iftar. An Iftar, traditionally, is a large feast that ends a fasting period. Typically, Iftar is after Maghrib, the formal daily prayer after sunset. A speech was also given by two council members on the importance of the day and on the life of Abraham.

“We look forward to hosting more events in the future, and to foster an environment in which all faiths and traditions can come together in a spirit of mutual respect and tolerance,” said MSA co-president Syed Omer Quadri. “We hope the Muslim Student Association can be a means of upholding Benedictine values that are shared with all students, and to grow in brotherhood/sisterhood as well as be a means to remove misconceptions anyone may have about the Islamic faith.”

Since many Muslims were fasting, Benedictine’s MSA hosted a special dinner where they could break fast together and educate those who may be unfamiliar with fasting or of the observances of the Muslim faith. A total of 80 people joined together to share their meals and discuss ideas in the spirit of brotherhood/sisterhood.