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Salam alaikum!

Tahir Hasanov '25

Apr 5, 2024

On March 29, a group of Mercersburg’s Muslim students traveled to the Islamic Society of Western Maryland. In the Islamic Faith, Friday is the day of the week when Muslims around the globe typically gather at their local mosque to worship together. Although it is hard for Muslim students to go to the mosque every Friday, they still find time to go occasionally. 

Organized by Reverend Whitmore, the students attended the afternoon sermon at the local mosque located near Hagerstown, Maryland. Taimur Rehman ‘25 said, “Typically on these trips, we all get in a van driven by Reverend Whitmore and head to the mosque. We get there early to attend the sermon, and then we participate in the prayers.” Bori Miryusopov ‘24 added, “Sometimes on the way back, we stop at a shawarma restaurant called Hummus for a quick and delicious snack. Then, we make our way right back to Mercersburg and go back to class.”  

For many Muslim students at boarding schools like Mercersburg, it is hard to practice their religion regularly. Fawad Jan ‘24, a student from Pakistan, noted, “I am from a very religious family, and since coming to Mercersburg, I haven’t been able to go to Jummah Prayers (Friday Prayers) very much. These trips have helped a lot by getting me closer to Islam and making me feel better as a person.” Rehman said, “In a boarding school environment, it's hard sometimes to connect back to your religious faith but I think these opportunities allow Muslim students to connect back to their culture and religion.” 

Overall, the trip has garnered very positive feedback from the students. “It is important for us to go to the mosque for Friday prayers. Just like how Christians go to church on Sundays, Muslims go to prayers on Fridays. I thought the school bringing us to the mosque was very considerate. Not every school does something like this. I hope it continues in the future so we can continue to connect to our religion,” stated Huszaifa Ibrahim ‘24. These trips to the mosque will, in fact, continue to be a regular occurrence, scheduled once or twice every month. 

Additionally, this month marks a very important time in the Muslim faith: Ramadan. During this period, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset every day. Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, characterized by a time of prayer, reflection, and community. For that reason, this particular mosque visit was an important time for students to connect directly with others of their faith.

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