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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Going for silver

Photo by Robert O’Brien
Silver Aggie Ring

This Thursday and Friday, April 7-8, 6,509 Aggies will receive their Aggie Rings, celebrating with friends and family, but not all will choose the traditional gold band to represent their Aggie pride.
For industrial engineering senior Abdurrahman Arastu and other men of the Muslim faith, their religion affects how they wear their ring, clad in silver rather than gold. In Islam, men cannot wear gold, as instructed by religious text, Arastu said.
“The primary reason that [Muslim] men don’t wear gold is because that is a commandment that was shared by the Prophet Muhammad,” Arastu said. “He basically said that it’s forbidden for men to wear gold or pure gold jewelry, or things of that nature. At the end of the day, we always say that God knows best what the wisdom is, and we adhere to it.”
Arastu said having the option to get his ring in silver allowed him to celebrate both his love of A&M and dedication to his faith.
“I’m really glad that A&M provides these silver alternatives,” Arastu said. “Not only is it adhering to the faith, but you also have the financial benefit, it’s more affordable. I don’t feel like any less of an Aggie in any sense. There’s nothing different, it’s just the Aggie Ring and it has significance, same as 
any other.”
Arastu said his faith and love of the maroon and white are connected, as his religious community was a motivating factor in his move to College Station.
“Coming from Oklahoma, I had many in-state schools to choose from, and I came to Texas A&M for two reasons; one, because of the opportunity that comes with the large network and such a large institution; secondly, because of the community, the faith community, I found here when I visited,” Arastu said. “[The Muslim Students’ Association] continues to play a large role in in my experience here. I hope that among the leadership of the organization now that I can help the organization to have that effect for students in years to come.”
Biomedical engineering senior Hasan Khan is set to receive his silver ring on Friday, April 8, and is looking forward to sharing in this Aggie tradition.
“To me, the ring is all about proving you’ve been there, it’s like when you wear your school colors on campus or wear your team’s colors when you go to a game,” Khan said. “You wear your Aggie Ring to show any Ags, these are my colors [and] I’m part of this group of awesome people.”
Khan said two key parts of his identity, his religious beliefs and being an Aggie, have much in common.
“[A&M and the Muslim faith] share a lot of the same values and same ideals,” Khan said. “You know, very strong positive values and ideals, so I see the Aggie family as just one more identity, something that I want to live. One more family that I join, one more ideal I want to live up to.”
Mechanical engineering junior Afnaan Ahmed is also looking forward to receiving his ring on Thursday, April 7, but has come, physically, a long way to pick up his piece of the Aggie legacy. Ahmed said his semester in College Station will allow him to bring the Aggie Spirit wherever he goes.
“I go full time to the Qatar campus and I’m just here for a semester experience,” Ahmed said. “When you come here, the campus is much larger, has more spirit and you hear about Silver Taps, you hear about the spirit at football games or at basketball games.”
Though Ahmed could have ordered his ring at the Qatar campus, he said being able to get his ring and participate in the “College Station tradition” is an exciting opportunity.
“This month we have Ramadan, where we’re fasting, so most Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset for 30 days,” Ahmed said. “Once I get my Aggie Ring, I’ll be celebrating while I’m breaking my fast with my Muslim brothers and sisters.”
Coming from a predominantly Muslim campus, Ahmed said the majority of his male peers have silver rings, but this is just a small example of how he’s experienced diversity across the two campuses.
“I come from the United Arab Emirates, so I grew up my entire life in a Muslim-majority country,” Ahmed said. “Even though I’ve interacted with people from different religions before, being in a country where the majority is different religions, by going to events and meeting different people, I’m getting my perspectives open, and I’m getting to learn a lot more about people.”
Though Khan is excited to receive his ring, he said what makes an Aggie is not the piece of jewelry, instead, it’s about character.
“Some people, maybe they can’t buy one or maybe they get a silver one when all the other guys get gold,” Khan said. “But it’s just a physical thing, like an almost inconsequential thing to represent something that’s a lot more about who you are than what you’ve got on your finger.”

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