The Muslim Students Association is an organization that serves the needs of Muslim students and their community. In addition to this, the MSA also helps educate Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam. Muslims come from a variety of backgrounds and belief systems and so many different groups are represented under the MSA without fragmentation, as it is said in the Qur’an: “And hold fast all together, by the rope which God stretches out for you, and be not divided amongst yourselves.”
As an organization, the MSA takes that verse to heart in that it acts as a base for students to come together to form a community and to grow as individuals. We are not just another club on campus- we are a support system. We foster leadership and motivation among our members and we stand behind the issues that face students on campus. The MSA does not act as a biased and secluded organization, but rather seeks to benefit all students on campus by helping to build a more tolerant and educated society. So whether you come to every meeting or just a few, or whether you attend every event or just read about them in the newspaper, we would love to have you with us.
The MSA hosts a number of campus-wide events throughout the year. One of the most notable of these is the annual Fast-A-Thon, where Muslims ask non-Muslims in the community to abstain from food and drink for one day, and local businesses pledge to donate money per non-Muslim faster to a specific charity. The MSA also hosts events that include panel discussions about current events with local scholars, guest lecturers covering various topics and jeopardy game nights that both quizzes and entertains students, as well as annual opening and closing picnics. Throughout the week the MSA also provides study circles covering topics in Islam.
The MSA has been a part of the Stony Brook community for a number of years. Our chaplain, Sister Sanaa Nadim, has helped us in our pursuit to include Islam in our daily lives. Things like praying five times a day or eating only Halaal food (Islamically permissible food) have become much easier for the entire community. In the Student Union building, we have a prayer room (Room 248), in which we congregate to pray, read Qur’an and meditate. In the bathrooms on the same floor of the Union, we have ablution stations, where we can cleanse ourselves before prayer. We also have Halaal food on campus served in the Union Commons, and during Ramadan (the holy month in which we fast), we serve iftar (food with which to break the fast).
In addition to the periodic events held by the MSA there are also weekly general body meetings that address all the happenings of the Muslim community on campus every week during campus lifetime (Wednesdays from 12:50 – 2:10). Sister Sanaa also regularly gives talks on the happenings of the Muslim world outside of campus, as well as motivational advice. Meetings are usually held in Room 249, which is next door to the MSA room. Come visit when you find the chance! Our doors are open to anyone and everyone.