Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Photo by Juliette Patel

Muslim Student Association hosts Islamic Awareness Week

The Muslim Student Association, a religious and cultural organization at Seton Hall dedicated to bringing Muslim students together, hosted their Islamic Awareness Week from April 15 to 19.  

Rifah Islam, a sophomore criminal justice major and co-event coordinator of MSA, said Islamic Awareness Week tries “to teach people that Islam isn’t about what people see in the news all the time.” 

“Our goal in MSA is to fill the values and purpose of Islam – bringing people together, regardless of our differences,” said Sumaiya Rehman, a sophomore business law major and president of MSA. 

“We unite people, obviously people have different religious beliefs, and there’s different ways to practice the same religion, so our goal is to make it a welcoming environment,” Rehman said.  

MSA hosted seven events during the week, including Meet a Muslim, Hijabathon, Trivia Night, 5 Pillars in Islam, Sisters Halaqa and Bubble Tea, Brothers Halaqa and Outing and Jummah.  

Meet a Muslim 

The first activity of the week was Meet a Muslim, a tabling event held in the University Center and designed to educate students about Islam.  

“Anyone could come up and ask a question,” Rehman said. “We try to answer it the best way we can.”  


The second event was the Hijabathon tabling on the Green, which allowed Muslims and non-Muslims to try on hijabs.  

“Girls who don’t wear hijabs get to try on a hijab,” said Rehman. 

Samia Raza, a junior communications major, said the activity is “a little try-on” for non-Muslim girls.  

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Setonian delivered to your inbox

Rehman said those who wore hijabs could write on a canvas about what wearing a hijab means to them. 

Trivia Night 

During Trivia Night, students participated in a Jeopardy-style game that students were welcomed to join.  

The categories included Islamic trivia, geography, miscellaneous, 99 names of Allah and Islamic history.  

“Our goal as an MSA is to allow us to connect on campus,” Rehman said. “Our events are inclusive so non-Muslim students can feel comfortable as well.” 

5 Pillars in Islam 

During 5 Pillars in Islam, guest speaker Brother Mohamed El Filali discussed how the five pillars of Islam, which include profession of faith, prayer, alms, fasting and pilgrimage, are “implemented in daily life.” 

Brother Mohamed is “a chaplain of multiple schools,” Rehman said.  

Sisters Halaqa & Bubble Tea and Brothers Halaqa & Outing 

During this event, Rehman said the women go out for bubble tea together while the men have dinner with one another.  

"We are a relatively small community of Muslim students, compared to Rutgers or NJIT,” Rehman said. “[There is a] purpose of connecting us so that we can feel that sense of community.” 

Raza said when she first enrolled in Seton Hall, she often felt out of place.  

“Being a part of MSA, I was able to make friends and have a community,” Raza said. 


Jummah, the final activity of the week, is a time dedicated to prayer. 

“We go to the mosque together,” said Nadine Sharabi, a freshman biology major.. “It is the physical act of going to pray that brings us together.”  

Sharabi said they believe in treating everyone equally with an emphasis on Allah.  

“If we surround ourselves with good Muslims and good people, then we’re going to stay on our faith,” Raza said.  

Dominique Mercadante writes for the Campus Life section. She can be reached at


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Setonian