by SHEIKHA EL-KATHIRI
Editor, The Muslim Voice (2007-2008)
While most of us are scrambling to complete our last assignments and evaluations, studying for exams and wrapping up our first semester courses, I am pleased to present the first issue of the Muslim Voice with the theme: A Fresh Start. In a time that seems more like a harrowing end rather than any sort of new beginning, you may be perplexed as to the appropriateness of this choice. However, I would say that this is the best time for a fresh start.
This school year opened in a very unique way: for the fi rst time in a while, we were not only beginning a new academic term in the fall – we were, more importantly, beginning the most important and sacred month of all, Ramadan. We eagerly embraced the opportunity to strengthen our ties with Allah, strive towards goodness, and rejuvenate ourselves spiritually. However, when this beloved month passed, many took it as the end of a blessed time, rather than the beginning of a more blessed life where the fruits of Ramadan continue on. Our special feature “Ramadan Is/Ramadan Was” explores the personal significance of Ramadan and the ways we can carry its lessons forward. In this issue, you will also come across many interpretations of what a fresh start can be. From the beginning experiences of a frosh student, to the start of a healthy lifestyle, we hope these articles inspire you to reevaluate yourself as you close one term and begin another.
Last year right at the end of the winter semester, when my friends were sympathetically sharing their woeful pre-final exam predicaments, I was instead unusually excited. Rather than joining in the communal lamentations, I would blurt out as soon as I came across anyone I hadn’t met in a while, “Have you seen the new Multifath Centre? It has a wudhu (ablution) area!” Despite the stress of studying for what would end up being the last marks for my degree, I was so overjoyed at having something I felt finally really represented me on campus. I though I was disappointed that this remarkable prayer space was being opened just as I myself was graduating, I soon recognized what it was: a fresh start, for all the new students next year and the years to come. Hopefully, we can all try to recognize our chances for a fresh start, and make use of them by renewing our intentions. In this way, we can recharge ourselves to do as much good as we can.