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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Muslim Prayer Group

Members of the Muslim Prayer group meet at the CRSSJ under Prayer leader Kamal Hammouda every Friday to offer prayer in congregation. Prayer begins with a small sermon in which Hammouda incorporates Islamic teachings while making them relevant to a young college audience. After the sermon, he leads the Arabic prayer which takes around ten minutes to complete.

The opportunity to pray in congregation offers students a chance to get to meet others who share the same religious beliefs as them and fosters a sense of community amongst them.

“Praying in congregation offers a sense of community and belonging … Friday prayer makes me feel more connected to Islam,” said Lana Mahgoub ’14.

Hammouda also feels that being able to conduct the prayer on campus offers a convenient opportunity for those who are interested in saying the Friday prayer in congregation.

“It gives me a great deal of comfort to be able to perform it and share it with the few students that come,” Hammouda said. “It also saves more than two hours for not having to travel to Iowa City or Des Moines to do it.”

In addition to this weekly prayer, there are occasional mosque trips to Iowa City. Mahgoub, who organised the last trip, felt that despite the inviting atmosphere of the CRSSJ, it was important for students to have the option to pray in a more religious setting and with a greater number of people.

“I organized a mosque trip to Iowa City because I felt it was necessary for Muslim students to have the option of practicing in a religious mosque rather than just at the CRSSJ,” Mahgoub said. “The CRSSJ offers great services, but the ambiance in a mosque is certainly very different.”

Prayer in the CRSSJ is typically attended by a handful of students and Hammouda. The students that attend wish to see attendance grow and invite members of the campus community to attend Friday prayer.

“If any one would like to come and observe, they are most welcome,” Hammouda said. “They also can ask questions after the prayer is over.”

Students interested in attending Friday prayer should contact Kamal Hammouda beforehand as prayer times change every few weeks.

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