Students, faculty and community members gather for Iftar
Sohail Shakeel

March 29, 2023

First-ever Ramadan Iftar held at law school

Event brings together students, faculty and members of the Muslim community

When Saliha Haq started law school in 2020, she was the only student in her year who wore a hijab. Today, the third-year student is excited at how the Muslim community within Murray Fraser Hall has grown.  

That community was on full display on March 27 when the University of Calgary Faculty of Law hosted its first-ever Ramadan Iftar, the evening meal to break the fast during the 30 days of the holy month.  

With Mayor Jyoti Gondek on hand to bring greetings from the City, along with members of the Muslim Bar Association and the larger Muslim community, the event likely made a bit of history, as well.  

“As far as I know, this was the first legally themed Iftar in Western Canada, and perhaps the whole country,” says Dean Ian Holloway.  

Saliha Haq brings greetings at the Ramadan Iftar

Third-year student Saliha Haq brings greetings at the Faculty of Law's Ramadan Iftar on March 27.

Sohail Shakeel

Students, faculty and community break fast following Muslim tradition

As attendees watched the sun set, lanterns and candles on each table brought a warm glow to the room, a radiance and enthusiasm that could be felt throughout the evening. The fast was broken with the traditional call to prayer, the Athaan, recited by Amanallah Abbas, representing the Muslim Council of Calgary, and concluded with each guest eating dates and drinking water, as is tradition during Iftar.  

“The commands to act equitably, to be steadfast in upholding justice, and to treat others with compassion are common threads in both Islamic belief and Western legal systems,” says Haq, BSc'19. “And these fundamental values are exemplified in our Muslim law students at the faculty.  

“As Muslim law students, we wish to be dedicated and competent lawyers who can act as advocates and representatives. We also wish to contribute to the pursuit of diversity within our profession, and the benefits that come with that.”  

VIPs at the Ramadan Iftar on March 27

From left: Mayor Jyoti Gondek, Law Dean Ian Holloway, Imam AbdulRahman Khattab, and Rob Bassett of the Canadian Bar Association.

Sohail Shakeel

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