Muslim Students Association hosts events during Islam Awareness week


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By Nazeefa Ahmed, March 18 2024—

From Mar. 18 to 22 the Muslim Students Association (MSA) is hosting Islam Awareness week at MacEwan Hall. 

The event consisted of multiple booths catered to passersbyers who would like to learn more about the religion. In an interview with the Gauntlet Vice President Communications Khadija Rana described how the members of the MSA welcome questions from the campus community about the religion. 

“It’s a chance for anyone who is interested in Islam to learn more about the religion. Maybe clear up some misconceptions they may have or ask more about particular aspects of the religion such as the hijab,” said Rana.

Booths included information on the Golden Age of Islam, an opportunity to try on a hijab — a religious headscarf worn by Muslim women — and free copies of a translated Quran, the central religious text of Islam. 

Photo by Daman Singh

“I hope that they feel welcomed to ask us anything, to clear up any misconception or any doubts about the religion or learn more about the religion if they are interested,” Rana continued.

Of all the booths, Rana highlighted the infographics about the Islamic Golden Age, as many inventions came from the eighth century to the 13th century that the modern world uses daily. 

“What catches my eye is the Islamic Golden Age. There are so many inventions that we as Muslims have made but they are not talked about such as coffee, math, things that we can not live without in this day and age but we made these at our peak,” said Rana. 

In the advocacy booth, Rana highlights how Islamic History shows how Muslims support one another in the face of oppression. 

“[In history], we highlighted Bosnia in particular. I think Bosnia serves as a key example of Muslim advocacy, seeing the atrocities that happened there in the 90s and how the Muslim world came out of that to fight against the injustices that happened there.”

Since Mar. 11, Muslims around the world have been observing Ramadan, a spiritual month where individuals fast from food and water from sunrise to sunset. The Faith and Spirituality Centre at the University of Calgary provides resources for students to learn more about the month.  

As thousands of Muslims on campus are observing Ramadan this month, Rana encourages students to ask questions about fasting — the rules, benefits and purpose. 

“Since we are all observing Ramadan, it will be very easy to ask us about it if you have any questions.”

Rana notes the often negative perception of the religion spread by the media and encourages people with false ideas about the religion to speak to someone at the booths for greater empathy and understanding. 

“It seeks to provide an opportunity to ask Muslims in person about the religion rather than seeking that information through misleading websites or misleading social media posts. People share certain sentiments about the religion that are harmful and don’t come from Muslims themselves.”

More information about the MSA and Islam Awareness Week can be found on the MSA Instagram. 

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