Fast-A-Thon 2014 (Syrian Sunrise Foundation)



University of Michigan

Muslim Students’ Association

Fast-A-Thon is an annual event organized by the Muslim Students’ Association at the University of Michigan whose goal is to attract students from different backgrounds to participate in a one day fast as well as encourage students to donate to a noble humanitarian cause that needs support. This event is in its 13th consecutive year at the University of Michigan. Every year, students pledge to fast from sunrise to sunset on the day of the event, and sponsors also donate money on behalf of each participant to a selected beneficiary. Fast-A-Thon concludes with a dinner in the evening, where participants have a chance to reflect on the day of fasting and the cause, as well as make new friends.


Fundraising for a humanitarian cause has always been a notable effort that Fast-A-Thon organizers rally the community to support. Instead of being a passive student body or being part of the silent majority, we hope to encourage students to be part of the solution. We want to show people that strength is in our numbers and unification, and that we can make an impact and be agents of change by donating our time and efforts to a cause. We are asking the wider community, comprised of a diverse group of businesses, community members, alumni, as well as students to donate. By raising funds for children being deprived of education, this event serves the local community and encourages social action. During the day of the event, participants learn about the tradition of fasting in a multicultural context, which adds to the educational component of the event. Additionally, because the beneficiary is one whose plight has been in the international news media, we believe that this fundraiser will garner support from a large concerned audience.


This year’s Fast-A-Thon will fundraise to send displaced Syrian refugee kids to school. The organization we have partnered with is the Syrian Sunrise Foundation (SSF) which is a non-profit 501(C)3 humanitarian organization. It has provided orphan support, medical aid, food aid, funded educational programs and schools, and much more to Syrian refugees. As concerned college students we feel it is imperative fundraise to support SSF’s educational programs and schools. According to UNHCR, WFP, WHO, and UNICEF more than 3000 schools have been destroyed since the start of the Syrian conflict, and about 90% of displaced children dropped out of school. In 2012 to 2013, SSF spent $285,698 dollars funding schools, teachers, textbooks, and more. It is a great opportunity to provide students and the general community a medium to contribute how ever much they can to improve Syrian kids’ access to an education.

Fast-A-Thon 1

Fast-A-Thon has grown popular at a national level in top U.S Universities. It has been an annual event that Muslim communities at different college campuses host to bring together both Muslim students and students of other beliefs to meet Muslims and learn something new about the Islamic faith. The one practical step this event encourages students to uphold is fasting from food and drinking from dawn to sunset. This is one of the tenets of Islam and on the day of the event students are encouraged to try this unique ritual. At the University of Michigan, the event has been successful for the past thirteen years, bringing together up to two hundred students from different backgrounds to break fast together at the time of sunset.


Students that have attended this event have expressed the spiritual upliftment they feel as a result of participating in Fast-A-Thon. Whether its the short inspiring sermon, making new friends during breakfast, or the long hours of fasting followed by a tasty dinner, all these are what make Fast-A-Thon a highly anticipated event by U of M students. For Muslim students, this event is especially unique as they get to teach a friend or classmate about their faith and why they fast.



Every year the organizers of Fast-A-Thon strive to make the event a unique experience for the attendees. That means serving a delicious meal as a reward for those who fasted the long hours in the day. That also means arranging for a great motivational speaker to engage the audience. These two expectations that Fast-A-Thon organizers have fulfilled in the past, require a great amount of money to provide. Organizers of Fast-A-Thon across the nation usually charge students to attend. However, at the University of Michigan, organizers have kept the attendance free of cost and we as well want to maintain that.Thus, we reach out to you to help us strengthen our budget for this highly appreciated event by many U of M students.  Funding is crucial as the success of this type of event has proven to be correlated with the amount of money the organizers are allowed.

Fast-A-Thon 2

To register for the event please visit:

To donate to the event please visit:

Halaqa 10/16/2014 A Few Notes…

Halaqa 10/16/2014

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali

Family Matters-

Islam has its own well established system, this system of life has no stone unturned. The system of Islam guides the servants first to Allah and then in their relationships.

The rights of parents on their children and the rights of children on the parents:

-If one fails to give one his or her rights, they will not be on good terms

-case studies

-Nuh and his son

-father is righteous and the son and mother are not

-Ibrahim, his father, and his sons

-Ibrahim’s father was not Muslim and tried to raise him as an idol worshiper.

-We do not choose our children or our parents, it is from Allah

-When Ibrahim got older, he dealt with his father in an excellent manner

-Addressed his father in one of the best terms and spoke kindly when he tried to guide him even when his father became harsh on him

-Father threatened to stone Ibrahim, and Ibrahim said peace be on you

-There are many people who are harsh on their parents. People should take examples from Islam to see how to deal with parents even if parents are wrong.

-The way Ibrahim treated his father, is the way Ismail treated his father

-They had good open communication

-Two daughters of Shooaib

-Open communication in this relationship

-Daughters tell Musa their father is old and that is why they go to the well

-Reminds us to help our parents

-The rights of the parents come first

-rights two-fold: before you have kids and after

-give them their rights before they enter the world

-Choose for your offspring (good spouse you can trust with your offspring)

-Men marry women for these reasons (last one should not be forgotten)

-beauty, wealth, family, and deen

-A slave woman is better than a woman of great beauty who is not Muslim

-If someone asks for your daughter, look to deen and character

-If you give your children their rights accordingly, Inshuallah they will give you your rights in old age (not 100% like stories in the Quran show)

-The rights children have on their parents

-Before trying for a child, there is a dua that should be made

-child comes into world man should be with wife and make Athan

-Give him or her a good name

-Give thanks to Allah by making a sacrifice

-Feed him halal

-Wives of prophet and sahaba would say we can stand hunger, but we cannot stand hell fire

-Teach tawheed from the beginning

-Put taqawa in their hearts (awareness of Allah, and that He sees all)

-Will help guide kids who have gone astray

-Teach children how to pray

-Be an advocate for good and condemn what is wrong

-Teach children not to be arrogant and to speak with a respectful voice

-Parents should be a good example for their children

-Rights of parents on children

-Islam is a deen of mercy and ethics

-Allah commands us to worship no one but him and treat our parents with full kindness especially the mother

-Don’t even say “ooff” to them

-The only place to say no to parents is when they tell you to commit sheirk, but you should still treat them with respect and kindness

-Boy or girl interested in a man or woman for marriage but parents do not agree, but Allah warns us about not disobeying our parents

-Then girl and guy get confused about what to do because they do not want to disobey their parents

-In this case, one needs to look at the girl and boy and see if there is compatibility based on deen

-If parents want a divorce for no good reason, should not be followed because injustice

-Forced marriages not allowed

Those who take care of orphans will be close to the prophet in Jannah

-As the boy or girl grow up it becomes different, but it is doable

-Adopted children cannot take the last name of those who take them in

Resistance Through the Arts Recap Rabab Jafri

Palestinian Awareness Week was hosted by Students Allied for Freedom and Equality. One of the events they had was Resistance Through the Arts, which featured Remi Kenazi and Tahani Salah. It also included student poets Tariq Luthun and Rabab Jafri.

Remi Kenazi is a Palestinian American spoken word artist and a son of Palestinian refugees. His work is political and is often inspired by real conversations. The topics of his poems included the importance of the BDS movement, the definition of political and even satirical commentary on “twitter activism.”

Tahani Salah is a spoken word artist and political activist. Her poems were inspired by her students, her parents, and mothers she met in Palestine.

Tariq Luthun is a poet and political activist as well as incumbent head coach of the University of Michigan poetry slam team. His poetry themes included being discriminated against and appearance.

Rabab Jafri is the author of the article you are reading and is a student at the University of Michigan. Her poetry was from the perspective of Palestinians subjected to oppression.

After the program I had the chance to talk to Remi and he mentioned how with every important activist movement there was an art movement to go with it. The goal of Resistance Through the Arts isn’t just about the performer or painter. It’s about inspiring people to realize that they have the power to promote change.

Links to more information:

Remi Kenazi: (also he has a book and it’s awesome)

Tahani Salah:

Article about the mock wall by the Michigan Daily:

Umma of Ann Arbor

When I first heard of the Umma of Ann Arbor idea, I was hoping that I could
be like the wonderful journalists for Humans of New York who could find the most
interesting people who lived, breathed, and walked the same streets they did. Today
I tried to set out to accomplish just that but after hours of just stopping random
people on the streets and being shut down, I started to lose hope. After going to
Jummah and interviewing a couple fellow MSA-ers I started my trek towards the
MLB to return the borrowed camera. I kept thinking to myself, “It’s fine, you can
always find someone next week InshAllah.” When I looked up I saw these two
women with scarves sitting and talking with two children playing a little to the
distance. Just as I was about to pass them completely, I was compelled to go up to
them and ask whether they’d be interested in participating. They said yes.
“Just so you know, we aren’t actually from Ann Arbor. We’re just
“Don’t worry about it! You’re in Ann Arbor now. What was your defining
moment in your life?”
Laughs “After this guy I have become very forgetful.”


Her Mom (who chose not to be pictured): “After high school I got married and
everything changed. I was planning on going to college and work, but I decided to
stay home after getting married.”
Little Girl: “I can show you how to draw a dove!”
Draws Dove on my Notebook
It just goes to show that when you keep trying, you’ll eventually succeed in
what you set out to do. Plus, you’ll learn how to draw some pretty awesome doves.20141014_212000-1

Umma of Ann Arbor

“Umma to me means family. Especially, after my family moved my freshman year. I constantly feel the support of the local community, not only in Ann Arbor but Troy, Farmington, and other places with masjids. It is irreplaceable, and it is a really great Privilege (with a capital P).”
Jummah: Friday October 3rd



Check out the new social site One-Africa at It is “a social media platform with over 80,000 pages of content designed to help Africans throughout the Diaspora worldwide to share information, forge relationships and develop businesses.” For more information or to learn more, attend the following events:

October 11th: 1pm-4pm at 7701 Harper Avenue Detroit, MI 48213

October 25th: 1pm-3pm at 12511 Woodward Highland Park, MI 48203

October 12th: 7pm at 3800 Puritan Detroit, MI 48238