Archive for Friday, September 14, 2007

Lawrence residents join Muslims around globe in fast, celebration

September 14, 2007


Three questions with ... Najabat Abbasi, director of the Islamic Center of Lawrence

Thursday was the beginning of Ramadan for followers of Islam. Ramadan means a month of fasting during daylight hours, no eating, no drinking, no smoking, not even any water. Here is three questions with Najabat Abbasi, director of the Islamic Center of Lawrence.

On the street

Do you think you could fast during daylight hours for a month?

Actually, my father is Muslim, so I’ve done it before. It was challenging and very rewarding.

More responses

Muslims on Thursday began one of the holiest times of the year by denying themselves food throughout the day - and then, when the sun went down, gathering with family or friends for a celebratory meal.

In Lawrence, about 80 people came to the Islamic Center of Lawrence to break the fast and then for the iftar dinner and prayers. The dinner was mostly for students, but several community members also attended.

"There is a reference to this in the Quran," said Najabat Abbasi, director of the center. "Once you are 12 years old, it is compulsory that you fast."

Fasting during Ramadan is among the six pillars of Islam.

The weekday meals are intended for the student community, but on Saturday, Abbasi said, the dinner is open to the entire community.

The fasting and iftar dinners will go on every night for the next 29 to 30 days, until Ramadan concludes with Eid al-Fitr, which is based on sighting the new moon.

For many of the students, observing Ramadan can be a challenge. Often, Muslims choose to get up before sunrise in order to eat the first meal of the day. That can be difficult for students in Kansas University's residence halls.

Sheryl Kidwell, assistant director of dining services, said that the department has posted signs advising students to contact the dining hall manager to make special Ramadan arrangements.

"The manager talks with them about their schedule and when they eat and what they like to eat," Kidwell said. "Sometimes they can come to get a meal to go after they eat dinner. They can then eat that in the morning."

Faisal Mirza, a KU junior from Dhaka, Bangladesh, said he came to the iftar because it was a way to connect with people from around the world.

"You don't get to see a lot of these people, except during Ramadan," he said. "Each year, we can meet new people and see what they've been doing."

Faisal Almadani, a sophomore from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, said it can be rewarding to maintain the fast while in the United States, because there's no pressure to follow the rules of Islam.

"We're doing this for God," he explained. "We can eat at any time; there's no pressure because no one else is doing it, but God is watching us."


saraheckman 10 years ago

I thought there were five pillars of Islam

Tychoman 10 years ago

There are. LJWorld should correct this mistake.

Confrontation 10 years ago

I didn't get the joke. Maybe I just don't understand the definiton of "destoyed."

Jonathan Kealing 10 years ago

Hi Sarah and Tycho, On the subject of five pillars of six, I too, thought there were just five pillars of Islam. At least, that's what I've learned in many of the classes I took in high school and college. But in talking with Najabat last night, he said there were six. For most Sunnis, there are only five pillars. But other sects and branches of Islam believe there to be six, with the last being personal struggle. I went with six in the story because it's what my primary source said. I probably could have been a little more in-depth, but I was on an inch count last night and had to make cuts just to get there. Five pillars is deffinitely more mainstream, but six pillars is gaining acceptance. Thanks.

Jonathan Kealing Kansas University/Higher Education Reporter Lawrence Journal-World

Confrontation 10 years ago

I'm surprised you caught the joke, 75x55.

ihatelv 10 years ago

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ihatelv 10 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Confrontation 10 years ago

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ihatelv 10 years ago

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situveux1 10 years ago

I've never seen so many deleted posts in my life. I guess the Muslims are a little sensitive...or maybe it's just the LJW not wanting to tick them off and get blown up. Let's see how long this post stays...

erod0723 10 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

matahari 10 years ago

Curious, if the dinner is open to the public, and if there is a charge to attend? Curious about Muslim culinary styles.

situveux1 10 years ago

Where has any post critical of Christian's been removed on the JW website? I've never seen it, and definitely not 14 of them on one article. Does somebody have a link?

situveux1 10 years ago

There goes another one!!!!! Amazing. How many more posts are you gonna delete LJW? I'm waiting for Christian posts to be deleted....oh wait, that's right, they don't matter to you...right?

situveux1 10 years ago

Seriously max you're gonna tie Pat Robertson's 2007 statements to a murder in 2001 just after 9/11? Bright. I see the logic in that.

chungasrevenge 10 years ago

"Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will" (2:223).

situveux1 10 years ago

Well, they probably assume (correctly so) that if they delete a couple negative Christian posts on this article then everyone will stop commenting about their bias and move on. Unfortunately, that's probably what will happen.

erod0723 10 years ago

"Don't look at me. I was having too much fun pointing out your blatant hypocrisy to suggest removal.." It was meant to be tongue in cheek.

situveux1 10 years ago

You bet max, mentioning that the murder happened just after 9/11 means I condone attacking Muslims within a certain time period. You sound as loony as the murderer you mentioned.

situveux1 10 years ago

Oh wait, I'm sorry max, I didn't read your post thoroughly enough. I apologize. I see because the California paper tied Robertson's idiotic remarks in 2007 to a 2001 murder, that means it's okay for you to repeat that idiotic logic. Gotcha. You go max!

erod0723 10 years ago

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kneejerkreaction 10 years ago

This is hilarious. Is the LJW scared of Muslim reprisal?

situveux1 10 years ago

Local Christians? You're funny max. I'm sure it keeps Muslims up all night worrying if all 8 of us are going to gang up on them.

When you get tired of living in lala land you can come visit me in reality.

jasonc_22 10 years ago

i certainly have seen christians harass muslims in emporia, so i'd guess it does happen in lawrence, too

situveux1 10 years ago

Really Jason...interesting...of course, it would be very difficult to tell if they were Christian or not, I mean, we're like gay people right, you can't really tell if someone is Christian or not just by looking at them. Or do you have Christian-dar? So tell me, how do you know they were Christians...or are you just using that term as a blanket for anyone who spoke ill of a Muslim?

And of course, I can't wait for you're stern rebuke of the Muslim men in Emporia who cut in front of single women waiting in line to check out at local retail stores. I mean, that IS okay, right? to be treated as being worth less than a man?

situveux1 10 years ago

What's the matter max, did I blast you so much you felt the need to do a little research on my other posts? I always love it when folks do that...can't take the heat and need to call in a few reinforcements. So, I'm waiting on the connection between Robertson's 2007 comments and that 2001 murder. I know thoughts often get misplaced in lala land.

jasonc_22 10 years ago

fine, so no proof anyone in either group actually believe in the faith i've applied to them- the muslims lived in a center for muslims and the kids where people that i knew to be, at the time, members of a campus christian organization- but, no, i can't prove they were, in fact, christians.

and, no, i won't condone rudeness to anyone for any reason. i have the exact same distaste for radical muslims as i do radical evangelical christians.

situveux1 10 years ago

Oh, ok Jason, I guess you were just a little late in your criticism of Muslims. Understandable. I'm sure it wasn't because of a bias against Christians in general, I mean, it probably is too much to ask that you're just as critical in your comments against Muslims as you are against Christians. After all, I know how much a couple spoiled college kids smart remarks represent an entire community of people.

jasonc_22 10 years ago

harassment, like assault, can be anything that makes you feel unwelcome or at ill-ease. Saying American will never elect a black man because, we're assuming, the poster thinks blacks can't be president, is, indeed, harassing.

jasonc_22 10 years ago

"situveux1 (Anonymous) says: After all, I know how much a couple spoiled college kids smart remarks represent an entire community of people."

no, of course they don't, just like the acts of radical muslims don't reflect the realities of the religion, or the extremism from radical evangelicals reflect mainstream christianity.

I'll gladly condemn any religious group who treats another group inappropriately. Most religious people do not.

situveux1 10 years ago

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, thank you jason, I had no idea being 'at ill-ease' was harassment.

Do you know how many times I've been harassed in my life!!!

jasonc_22 10 years ago

you asked for a definition, i gave you one that was valid. I'm sorry you've been harassed.

situveux1 10 years ago

Well, if most religous people do not treat others inappropriately, then I guess that scare of a mass Christian uprising against Muslims the JW is trying to prevent was unfounded?

jasonc_22 10 years ago

certainly- though it's obvious some people did act inappropriately.

situveux1 10 years ago

Valid definition. Your a hoot Jason, I've had fun. Supper time for me.

geekin_topekan 10 years ago

Umm... Did somebody say free dinner on Saturday?

jasonc_22 10 years ago

posessionannex, you make a fine point. it's wrong to assume someone you don't know has any set of opinions. I've read a lot of r_t's posts, so I have an idea of the sort of persona they present on these message boards, but in reality the individual could be nothing like the person i've come to "know" online.

My assumption was based on the facts I had at hand...they could be mistaken. I apologize to r_t if I was.

christie 10 years ago

"There is a reference to this in the Quran," said Najabat Abbasi

Tell me Najabat - is there a reference requiring women to wear burkas? I think not.

I wish you people would all go away. You scare me. I don't trust you. Not ONE of you has come out against Osama. Not one.

geekin_topekan 10 years ago

Christy,why should they?They are not affiliated with Osama Bin Whatshisname. Is Christy Christian?I don't hear you speaking out against the KKK.A Christian extremist group.CHristy's ignorance and blind faith in TV and gulliblilty to believe everything she is told is whats scary.Sickening and scary.I wish Christy would "go away".

geekin_topekan 10 years ago

Assuming every Muslim is connected with BinLaden is like assuming every black plays basketball.Every Oriental knows KungFu.

jumpin_catfish 10 years ago

jumpin catfish says: "jumpin catfish"

denak 10 years ago

Not that I think this is really going to do any good because this thread has already spiral downward into the juvenile and hateful name-calling that most of the "Christian" threads routinely do but I thought "what the heck" I'll post anyway.

In Islam, there are two kinds of "jihad." Contrary to what most people think, jihad does not refer to a holy war. There is an entirely different word for "holy war" in Arabic. Jihad stands for struggle. There are two kinds of struggle in Islam - the greater and the lesser struggles- that all Muslim must struggle against.

The lesser struggle is the struggle against the infidels. The non-believers. If you look at the history of Islam (and indeed most religions including Christianity) you will see that Earkt Islam was not embraced by the dominant cultures. Early Muslim converts were persecuted and killed. So, for most Muslims of that time, the stuggle against the infidels was a very real one. And so naturally, the Quran speaks to it.

However, it should be noted that the struggle against the infidels is considered the lesser jihad.

The more important "jihad"- the Greater Jihad- is the personal struggle within oneself when it comes to issues of faith and morality.

Even Mother Theresa, who most people consider a saint, had her own jihad. She struggled with her faith.

Islam is based on submission to Allah and it is the struggle within oneself to submit to the Will of God that Muslim's consider to be more important.


idarastar 10 years ago

If you don't understand something, EDUCATE YOURSELF! Don't just have hate because if confuses you or it isn't what you grew up knowing.

Ignorance:the lack of knowledge or education

Thank you for the knowledge, Dena.

jumpin_catfish 10 years ago

ok seriously folks, isn't it time people stopped fighting over which religion is the right one in light of the fact none of their claims can be proven. live and let live!

camper 10 years ago

I am going to try and lighten things up here a little. Being around KU, and working on campus, I was I was taken by how friendly muslim, oriental, and hindu students were.....I also happen to like Mexicans, Christians, Jewish, Blacks, Christians, and people like myself (no paricular affiliation).

Love is the answer.

camper 10 years ago


No. I was trying throw in some kindness. This thread was getting a little dark.

b_asinbeer 10 years ago


Don't mind Marion, judging from his last answer, he hates everyone.

Flap Doodle 10 years ago

Nick, over on Larryville, people with malice a forethought are beating you like a cheap rug. You'd best scamper over there & wave a limp retort at them.

monkeyspunk 10 years ago

"bennyoates (Anonymous) says: might be a better idea to simply have no message boards for certain topics. In times past, one had to look under rocks to find vermin. Now it's as easy as logging onto one's computer."

Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total d*ckwad.

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