Monday marks the beginning of the annual Islam Awareness Week celebration. IAW is a national event that Muslim Student Associations from colleges all around the U.S. celebrate. According to the MSA National website, IAW aims to “introduce Islam on a unified platform to all university and college campuses.”

Every year, the George Mason University MSA comes up with a program to enhance diversity and expand Islamic knowledge to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

Hamna Riaz, the outreach director for MSA and a senior biochemistry major, says, “Last year’s IAWwas a great success! We did our best to reach out to Mason students, faculty and departments to inform them about the event and our intentions to promote awareness of a growing faith group in the U.S. and world. We were even honored by our university with an award for being the student organization with “The Most Educational Program of the Year.” It was inspiring to see the support we received from our faculty and the interest displayed by the student population. This year, we hope to reach out to more people to promote understanding between different faith groups on our campus and also in our increasingly diverse community.”

IAW this year consists of a series of lectures that bring back the true essences of faith.

• Monday: The first lecture is called “Tawheed: Oneness of God in all the Abrahamic Faiths.”
• Tuesday: The topic will discuss the life of Prophet Muhammad and his journey of Islam.
• Wednesday: The topic will be focused on the essence of the Quran and its importance in the lives of practicing Muslims.
• Thursday: The topic will include the life of Abraham from a Muslim perspective with details of how the oneness of God spread.
• Friday: The week will end with a spiritual event called Night of Light, in which student will enjoy different recitations of the Quran while enjoying refreshments.

Throughout the week, MSA has scheduled an art gallery and will set up stations with more information about Islam. The five pillars of Islam will be promoted through visual aids in the Johnson Center, and kiosks have been reserved to answer any questions and to get more facts about Islam.

Jihan Al-Hilali, president of MSA says: “This year we’re trying to ‘bring it back to the basics.’ We want our attendees to leave every event having learned something new. Whether it be about our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or about the Quran, etc. We’re really excited about the line-up of events that we have planned for this year!”

For more information check out the MSA website

Al-Hajebi is a member of the Muslim Student Association