CSU community observes Ramadan with nightly events


Collegian | Michael Marquardt

The Islamic Center of Fort Collins is located on Lake Street in Fort Collins, Aug. 30, 2021.

Kota Babcock, Arts and Culture Director

Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, began April 2 and is a period of deep prayer, social activity and fasting for observant Muslims.

As Muslim students and faculty continue to observe the holiday, the Islamic Center of Fort Collins offers prayer services and meals for the Colorado State University and Fort Collins communities.


During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, beverages and sex from dawn to sunset as they offer their fast and prayers to Allah in hopes of inspiring spiritual and personal growth. Like other religions, pregnant women, sick people and the elderly are excluded from the food and water fast, according to IslamFaith.

“We have the five daily prayers every day,” Islamic Center of Fort Collins President Shakir Muhammad said. “We also have the break-fast — or breaking fast — meal, which takes place at sunset, just before the sunset prayer.”

Unlike many other events, the break-fast meal and some daily prayers aren’t scheduled based on time but rather the sun’s or moon’s location in the sky. This means rather than showing up at 7 p.m., Muslim community members can filter in based on whether the sun is about to set.

“We fulfill (Muslim CSU community members’) dietary needs, their dietary requirements for a breaking fast meal and also their social connection,” Muhammad said.

Muhammad said about 60% of their community exists because of CSU students, faculty and staff. He added that many Muslim international students arrived in Colorado during COVID-19, meaning they have not had the chance to interact socially with the Muslim community, as masks made it difficult to recognize new friends.

In addition to offering daily prayers and nightly break-fast meals, the Islamic Center of Fort Collins is partnering with the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center, the Black/African American Cultural Center and the Muslim Student Association at CSU to provide a Ramadan iftar — another term for the break-fast meal — on April 8. Students and other CSU community members can arrive at room 222 in Johnson Hall around 7:30 p.m.

“Most Muslims, especially from Muslim-populated countries, are very used to being with friends and with family and not having to worry about preparing meals, as most of them are, you know, undergraduate age,” Muhammad said. “At our center, we offer meals for people to break their fast every night in Ramadan. … Sometimes it’s nice just to have a well-prepared meal.”

People who plan to attend the April 8 iftar are asked to RSVP and can find more information on APACC’s website by navigating to events & information from the homepage. The event is open to CSU students, staff and faculty.

The Islamic Center of Fort Collins is located at 925 W. Lake St., and those with questions on Ramadan participation can contact the center at 970-221-2425.


Reach Kota Babcock at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @KotaBabcock