Pastor Rashad Mujahid from the Masjid Al – Nahl Mosque spoke to a crowd of students Oct. 24 in the B.L. Perry building. His topic, “Debunking Islamic Myths,” which was hosted by the FAMU Muslim Student Association, gave guests the opportunity to learn and ask questions about the Islamic faith.
The pastor covered topics such as: the basics of the Islamic religion; the importance of the text in the Quran; the Ramadan holiday and the morals and values of Islam. Mujahid also told his story on his acceptance of the Islam faith when he was student at Florida State University.
Initially Christian, Mujahid chose to convert to Islam after learning about the religion with a friend. Rashad uses both his knowledge of the bible and Quran to help explain his faith to anyone who may have questions.
The religious leader explained that the goal of this event was to show the connections between different religions.
“I wanted to give thought-provoking information: To give them some clarity about Islam, the religion of Islam and about Muslims,” Mujahid said. “All religion is connected and life is connected… So if we can dispel the disconnects, then we can see the quality in humanity and we can see the opportunities to work together, to better life for ourselves and for others.”
After Mujahid answered attendees’ questions, the event ended with guests being served pizza, chips and drinks. Guests were also encouraged to speak directly with the religious leader.
Ivan Cowans, a freshman student, shared his experience about what he gained from the event.
“[I gained] information. I feel enlightened,” Cowans said.
The FAMU Muslim Student Association was founded by sophomore Muslim students Tarik Siddeeq and Abdul R. Brimah, who met while on a bus trip visiting FAMU. Siddeeq, who serves as president of the club, was raised in a Muslim household and went to a Muslim middle school and high school in Atlanta. When coming to Tallahassee to attend FAMU, he experienced a culture shock that inspired him and Brimah to start the Muslim Student Association.
Siddeeq explained what he wants his fellow Rattlers to know about the Muslim Association.
“One thing we really want to tell people about is our viewpoint on God and Jesus, because that’s where most people fall short on how they understand Muslims. We want to say that we are not born entities, we are just regular people in your communities and we try to embody our religion in our daily actions the best we can,” Siddeeq said. “I want the students here to understand, because this a primarily Christian society, what a Muslim is, what we do, how we live our life and how we practice our religion. I want them to see the beauty that we see in Islam, the beauty that makes us such dynamic people and I want them to understand what they don’t understand.”
Officially registered this year, the club is now building a presence in both the Rattler and local community, from passing out Qurans on The Set to helping serve food at the Kearney Center. The club also plans on hosting more events that will offer a safe space for both Muslim and Non-Muslim students to fellowship.