A MESSAGE FROM SHAYKH NOMAAN BAIG
Since announcing IOK’s Chaplaincy Initiative in January 2015, we’ve made tremendous strides by God’s grace. The hard work of our chaplains, Shaykh Jamaal Diwan and Shaykha Muslema laid the foundation for the addition of a third chaplain in Shaykh Ahmad AlKurdy, and in 2017, the addition of five more chaplains, Shaykh Suhail Mulla, Shaykh Shahid Ali, Shaykh Jameel Besada, Hafidh Asim Billoo and Ustadha Yafa Aweinat.
The effort of all our esteemed chaplains helped increase the campuses served from one at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) to three more regional campuses; the University of Southern California (USC), the University of California Irvine (UCI), and the University of California Riverside (UCR), to a total of eight in 2017, with the addition of Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), Cal Poly Pomona (CPP), University of California San Diego (UCSD) and California State University, Northridge (CSUN).
The program has grown by leaps and bounds to offer a welcoming and spiritually-cultivating environment for students on and off campus. The team has reached hundreds of students through various modalities such as individual consultations, roundtable discussions, educational seminars, and outreach efforts. The chaplains have collaborated with other religious life departments on campus and have worked with different faith communities to raise awareness, build bridges, and forge an encouraging atmosphere for individual and collective devotional connections. This was done by appealing to each student seeking to strengthen their belief, understanding, and practice of their responsibilities toward the Divine and to each other.
For the past three years, we sustained this Chaplaincy Initiative internally with minimal community support. Moving forward in 2018, we require full community-wide support to make this Chaplaincy Initiative a permanent program. Thus we seek your generosity in meeting our 2018 Chaplaincy budget of $250,000 to serve the 8 campus communities of UCLA, USC, UCI, UCR, UCSD, CSUN, CSULB, and CPP.
We have a lot to commemorate and be thankful for; but know that this is just the beginning of many more fruitful outcomes, God willing. We’d like to thank each one of our chaplains for their dedication to their respective campus communities and their commitment to upholding the religious aspirations of those they serve. We ask the All Generous to bless them in every aspect of their lives and pray that He continues to favor us all with guidance, benevolence, and service to Him and His creation. On behalf of my co-board members, Taher Dadabhoy and Imtiaz Mohammady, I’d like to express our deepest gratitude to all the IOK Chaplains for all that they’ve done. We are excited to continue in this endeavor with them and beseech The Almighty for sincerity and success in all that we do.
Shaykh Nomaan Baig
Founder & Director, Institute of Knowledge