With a day of fasting and an evening gathering at Ticknor Lounge, Muslim students marked the first day of the holy month of Ramadan yesterday.
Ramadan is a month of religious observance that requires Muslims to worship and reflect, as well as to fast from sunrise to sunset each day.
"Ramadan is like Rosh Hashanah, Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving all rolled into one," said Loeb Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology David G. Mitten, who is a faculty adviser to the Harvard Islamic Society (HIS).
HIS's Ramadan program will provide food and prayer accommodations every night in Ticknor for 60 to 80 students and faculty members.
"We get a good mix of graduate and undergraduate students here each night," said Zayed M. Yasin '02, the president of HIS.
The nightly prayer and dinner gatherings are open to students of all faiths. Each Ramadan, HIS invites different groups of people on various nights.
"We have a night to invite faculty and an interfaith night to have people from different religions come and break bread with us," said Al-Husein N. Madhany, a graduate adviser to HIS.
The month poses certain logistical problems for observers. In the midst of observing the holy month, Madhany and Yasin said that after taking time out for prayer, they have just enough time for classes.
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