Nighttime is a time to build community
You might not assume the Muslim Student Association (MSA) would be a club that influences the night culture, but those who pass by the Interfaith Center (IFC) late at night know differently. Before the Center for Well-Being building, there was a cluster of temporary trailers that made up the IFC, Counseling Center, and other student services. The IFC trailer was always in use—students passing a soccer ball outside on the grass, people running up the ramp with large late-night food orders, and impromptu plans with friends being made outside. Inside, people would be talking, studying, cooking, and napping. “We never left the IFC when it was nothing but a trailer, I can’t imagine how they are going to make us leave now that they are upgrading it into a nice building,” muses Subrein Muktar ’21, biology.
MSA is a welcoming community where people of similar faith eat, learn, and pray together. Even those who don’t identify as Muslim are welcome to listen to the talks, participate in discussions, or just hang out at the IFC with club members. However, the focal point of the club is the community. “In my public school years, there weren’t many Muslims in my school so that was something that I sought out… I was very fortunate to have a welcoming executive board who wanted to build community and I want newcomers to have the same experience I had,” says Souad Soubain ’22, information systems.
MSA members get together for general body meetings but also have weekly jummah (prayer), potlucks, and community time that takes place at night. During Ramadan; a month-long sunup to sundown time of fasting, reflection, and prayer; members stay at the IFC late into the night, cook together, and have get-togethers at different peoples’ houses in the early morning hours to get ready for their fast.
MSA is not the only religious club that meets at night. All over campus, religious and spiritual organizations gather, taking advantage of the peaceful communal free time that nighttime provides.
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How to find MSA: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/umbcmsa/