Muslim life at Carleton is vibrant and diverse, with students, faculty, and staff from across the U.S. and the globe. 

MSA 2023

The Muslim Student Association (MSA), Muslim Chaplain, and the Office of the Chaplain offer a wide range of programs to support the needs of Muslim students and to create an inclusive space of connection, learning, worship, spiritual nourishment, support, and celebration of students of all backgrounds, sects, experiences, interest, and engagement with Islam. Our offerings include:

  • Muslim Prayer Room: A musallah (prayer space) downstairs in the Chapel for prayer anytime in the day and evening. There are also cushions and a couch for rest and homework on those busy days between classes and in the evening. 
  • Wudu’ Station: Located next to the prayer room, there is a restroom with an area to more easily facilitate wudu’ (ablutions). 
  • Muslim Interest House (Page West): Muslim House is a dedicated space for Muslim students on campus. It is a single-gender residential space, most often for Muslim women, and the downstairs living area also serves as a hub for the Muslim community. Students cook together during Ramadan and other times of the term, gather for game and movie nights, brunches, and MSA meetings and halaqahs (learning circles). 

Worship and Learning

  • Jummah (Friday Prayers): Friday afternoons (times alternate according to seasonal prayer times)
  • Muslim Dialogues: Tuesday afternoons at 5:30 pm: This is an open and inviting space to learn together, discussing Qur’an (the sacred text of Islam), hadith (the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him), reflective texts and stories, and other topics such as Divine Mercy, social justice in Islam, and current events in the world. 
  • Ramadan & Eid:
    • During Ramadan, many students gather each night for Maghrib prayer, iftar (breaking fast), and even taraweeh  (Ramadan night prayer) at a local mosque. Some students also gather to recite Qur’an, eat suhoor (pre-dawn meal), and pray together on campus.  
    • During Ramadan, there are also various community catered iftars, a campus-wide iftar, and halaqahs for learning and spiritual growth. 
    • On Eid, students attend Eid prayer at a local mosque and then celebrate together as a community on and off campus. 
  • Halaqahs & Religious Learning: Friday afternoons
    • Halaqahs (learning circles) on the Qur’an, hadith, and other spiritual texts and topics are gatherings for spiritual learning, nourishment, and growth. All are discussion based and open to everyone. 
    • Tajwīd lessons (the science of the recitation of the Qur’an) are offered by students in Muslim Interest House.

Social Gatherings & Resources

MSA provides many opportunities for social events, cultivating friendships, and community building throughout each term, including:

  • Movie nights and game nights at Muslim House
  • Trips into the Cities for zabiha halal meat and other necessities (and fun!)
  • Sisters Brunches
  • Brothers FIFA Nights
  • Dinners, hot chocolate nights, and other fun gatherings
  • Catered meals and cooking at Muslim House

Academic Opportunities

Carleton has a rich offering of courses, many of which relate to Islam, Muslim countries, and Muslim cultures, including: 

  • Arabic language and literature classes
  • Religious Studies courses on Islam, the Medieval Middle East, Modern Islamic Thought, and others
  • Francophone literature of Africa and the Caribbean
  • Learning to play oud in the Music Department
  • The History Department offers an Afro-Arab Off-Campus Study (OCS) in which students travel to Zanzibar, Bahrain, and Oman and, in engaging the non-Western world, interrogate the lens through which they experience the world and one another. During this OCS, students have the opportunity to learn about varied and contested notions of African and Arab identity, as well as the cultural and commercial gateway linking Africa and Arabia to the broader Indian Ocean and Western world. (More information here). 

Pastoral Care and Counseling & Religious Knowledge

Our Muslim Chaplain, Ailya Vajid, is available for pastoral care and counseling, offering a space where students can bring their entire selves, including religion and/or culture, to talk through life challenges and difficulties, spiritual questions and hardships, academic pursuits, life goals, joys and accomplishments, and anything else on their mind. This is an open, non-judgmental space to support anything you are experiencing and welcomes all, Muslim or anyone else. 

Our Muslim chaplain is also available for religious learning and spiritual nourishment, both in group settings during halaqahs and individually.