Ramadan season leads some to meditation room

The Ramadan season, an Islamic religious holiday observed every 9th month of the Islamic calendar, started July 9. Thanks to student Sebghattullah Noori, 21, Muslim students will be able to come together and celebrate —and meditate.

Noori is founder and president of the Muslim Student Association at OCCC, which he started in 2012. He said he began the club with just a few students and, over the past year, the club’s membership has grown to 65.

Noori spoke about Ramadan and his religious traditions.

“This year, Ramadan will be from July 9 to about Aug. 10, depending on the moon cycle,” he said.

Noori said Ramadan serves as the season of fasting, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The other Pillars include belief, worship, charity, and a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, when one can afford it, he said.

“During Ramadan, there is no eating or drinking from sunrise to sundown,” Noori said.

Once the sun goes down, however, a big meal is served. Noori said dates are important fruits in the Middle East, and play a big role in the evening feast.

While fasting is vital to this season, Ramadan also is a time for worship and respect.

“The focus is on purity,” Noori said. “During Ramadan, we have to watch our words.”

With an increased focus on prayer during this time, he said, a unique room at OCCC will become busier during the next month.

Located in the library, the Meditation Room is specifically designed for meditation and prayer.

The room was originally proposed by Noori, shortly after forming the MSA.

“We needed a place for Muslims to worship,” he said.

The room features large rugs, a large window with blinds and a circle of chairs for group discussion.

The Meditation Room provides a tranquil and calm environment, the ideal place for individual or group worship. Noori said.

The engineering transfer student from the University of Oklahoma, uses the room and encourages Muslim students to use it to its full capacity during this religious season.

The room is available to any student, and has the same hours as the library:

• 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday

• 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday

• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

• Closed on Sunday

For more information about the room, visit www.occc.edu/library. For more information about joining the Muslim Student Association, email msa@my.occc.edu.

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