Friday Prayer with Muslim Student Association


Photo by Muhammad Amaan on Unsplash

“He is Allah—One ˹and Indivisible˺; Allah—the Sustainer ˹needed by all˺. He has never had offspring, nor was He born.And there is none comparable to Him.”

Andrea Gill, Staff Writer

Walking into room 3300 at lunch on Friday is a peaceful experience. As soon as you step foot into the room you feel the calm presence that the members of the Paint Branch Muslim Student Association (MSA) exude to one another. 

On Friday, November 19th, the club, which has existed for at least 10 years, began their meeting with an adhan, which is in Arabic and is a call to prayer.  After their prayer, they begin a lesson where everyone sits on the floor and pays attention to an Imam, a religious scholar who shares a story. These stories are called Khutba, which are similar to sermons, as they connect to everyday life and how Muslims apply the Quran. Junior Ekram Axmed Mujaddidi is a student leader in the club who tries to “learn from other Khutbas from people who actually do research.” 

The Khutba that is told can be about many topics.  For example, it can be about “how and when to flee to God in the face of hardship,” says one member of the group who wished to remain anonymous. 

A fellow member of the club described Khutba as ranging from “different topics that Muslims deal with, verses from the Quran, things the prophet [Muhammad] did or said, and how can we apply it today.”  The Khutba lessons consist of reflecting on the Quran and how it applies to those in attendance, in this case, high schoolers. 

According to Mujaddidi, the group focuses on Muslim students having a safe space to pray while attending school. The MSA club helps students who want to practice their religion during school hours. She mentions that while most Muslims go to a mosque to conduct prayers, MSA helps Muslim students feel connected to their religion at school.  Mujaddidi explained that balancing school and religion is hard since many “can’t sacrifice their time in school” to complete work while building their relationship with God.

The MSA is a welcoming group that enjoys having visitors attend their meetings, including non-Muslims who want to observe. They don’t mind answering questions that people might have about the group or anything related to Islam. People who aren’t Muslim are welcomed in the prayer and activities as the MSA members recognize that no religion is invalid. 

The MSA meets each Friday in 3300 and the prayer begins about 11:45. They have had several meetings so far this year and welcome anyone who wishes to attend a meeting to join them whenever they can.