As-Salamu Alaykum,

On behalf of the Columbia University Muslims Students Association, congratulations on your acceptance and welcome to campus! We hope you’ve moved in comfortably and are adapting well so far to life on Columbia’s campus and in NYC. Entering college can be a challenging process, for both your parents and yourself. As fellow Muslim students, we hope to help make this transition smooth and enjoyable.

For many, MSA has become a home away from home, a place to build bonds of friendship which will extend well past your college years. At Columbia MSA, we hope you will find a burgeoning community where you can feel comfortable with who you are, whether Sunni or Shi’i; black, white, Latino, desi, Arab, Iranian, Malay, Indonesian, Afghan; regardless of your nationality, ethnicity, or political affiliation; no matter how religious you are; whether you consider yourself culturally Muslim or “secular,” “religious” or “spiritual,” or any combination of these. As an organization dedicated to improving Muslim life on this campus for all of its constituents, we are here to embrace each and every facet of our community.

For people of faith, we hope to serve as a haven for spiritual guidance and support – which you will find in our regular halaqas, spiritual events and discussions, interfaith conversations, and Friday prayers. For those interested in academia – history, colonialism, philosophy, and law – we are fortunate to host several events drawing from the world-renowned expertise of Columbia and Barnard professors. For those in engineering and the sciences, be sure to check out “Islam Awareness Week” this October, which will focus on science and Islam. For those invested in politics and social change, we host “Know Your Rights” workshops, community service events, and programs on social justice and poverty. If you’re interested in the cultures of Islam, we collaborate with various cultural groups on campus, such as the Arab, Iranian, Pakistani, and Turkish clubs, among many others. For artists and writers, we run one of the Ivy League’s most successful annual MSA programs: “The Muslim Protagonist” symposium, bringing the most prominent Muslim writers together for a weekend focused on literature as an agent of social change.

At CU MSA, we have something for everyone. MSA is not simply a student group that hosts a series of conversations, programs, and events. It’s a community, one that we look forward to you becoming an integral part of, God willing.

To stay updated with events, join the listserv by emailing with your request. Like our Facebook page “Columbia MSA” and join the “Columbia MSA Class of 2017” group.

If you have not met the two board members who are currently OLs for NSOP, our first interaction with you will be at tomorrow’s Friday Prayer – which will take place at the Chapel at the Interchurch Center (475 Riverside Drive, between 119th and 120th). The khutbah (speech) will start at approximately 1:00 PM.

Welcome to Columbia and best of luck! We look forward to meeting you insha’Allah.


Haris A. Durrani
President, Columbia MSA
SEAS ’15

Noor Siyam
Vice President, Columbia MSA
Barnard College ’15

New to Columbia? Want to get the lowdown on resources for Muslim students? Read the new and improved NSOP guide below or through your browser’s PDF reader.