Nisa Muhammad is the Assistant Dean for Religious Life at Howard University. She is responsible for religious programming that serves the various needs of the campus, advocates for the religious needs of Muslim students on campus, teaches non academic personal enrichment classes on Islamic tradition and works closely as part of the staff in the Office of the Dean of the Chapel to foster inter religious dialogue and cooperation. Her other responsibilities include organizing Muslim worship and devotion, counseling and advising students, faculty, staff, and answering a myriad of questions and challenges from race to religion to relationships. She is also the advisor to the Muslim Students Association. She works closely with young Muslims by helping them strengthen and affirm their faith in the midst of challenging circumstances like being Black and Muslim. Mrs. Muhammad is a graduate of Hartford Seminary, Class of 2017. She received a Master’s Degree in Islamic Studies and a graduate certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy. She is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Howard University’s School of Divinity.
Ailya Vajid serves the University of Virginia community as Muslim Chaplain. In this role, she supports the religious, spiritual, and and broader meaning making journeys of Muslim students, staff, and faculty, as well as others in the UVA community, through weekly study circles, pastoral care, worship services, educational offerings, multifaith dialogue, and advocacy. Previously she served as Associate Chaplain for Muslim and Interfaith Life at Carleton and Macalester Colleges, Multifaith Advisor at Gustavus Adolphus College, and Muslim Student Advisor at Swarthmore College. Ailya is committed to connecting to the depths of our human selves and to seeing that humanity in each person as we engage across difference and through the challenges we face in our world. In her work, Ailya seeks to promote open, honest dialogue and interaction in both intra-faith and interfaith contexts. She is also committed to issues of mental health and counseling. In her spare time, Ailya enjoys spending time in nature, reading sacred and reflective texts, learning about traditional forms of healing, and listening to people’s life stories. Ailya holds a BA in Religion and Islamic Studies from Swarthmore College and an MA in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School.
Dr. Quaiser Abdullah, a police chaplain and Temple University MSA advisor, also teaches courses on adult learning, leadership, communication, conflict resolution, organizational development, research methods and technology in educational settings in the Department of Policy, Organizational and Leadership Studies at Temple University. Dr. Abdullah’s research interests center around leadership, organizational development, and identity and conflict. He has a number of published interviews on the topic of religion and identity in public spaces in various news media. He plans to continue his research in the area of leadership development and how it impacts identity formation in minority communities. He is currently seeking funding for a research project on conflict resolution training in Muslim private schools and parochial schools in the United States. He is also a frequent guest presenter to local and national audiences on topics relating to Islam, identity, and conflict. Quaiser is a certified conflict resolution in education trainer, professional coach, positive discipline educator and a trained mediator and conflict coach. He is also a Conwell Fellow and was recently awarded a Temple-funded grant to develop a course on social entrepreneurship and help coordinate workshops centering on social entrepreneurship as it relates to workforce development.
He additionally serves on the Boards of Directors with The Interfaith Council of Greater Philadelphia and the Good Shepard Mediator Program.
Joshua Salaam has strong roots in the American Muslim community. He started attending national Muslim youth camps at the age of 12 and continued as a participant, counselor and speaker for over 30 years. Joshua entered the U.S. Air Force in 1995 and served as a Police officer for four years. He was a key contributor in establishing Friday prayer services on base for Muslim military members and went on to serve as an Imam in Goldsboro, NC for several years. After the military, Joshua immersed himself in community activism. He managed the Civil Rights department for the Council on American-Islamic Relations from 2000-2004 and helped oversee a Baltimore Muslim community and neighborhood development project from 2004-2007. Before starting at Duke in July 2018, Joshua worked with youth and families for 11 years at one of the largest Muslim communities in America. His diverse background gives him a unique perspective on many issues and helps him connect with students. He holds a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies with a focus in Christian/Muslim relations from Hartford Seminary. He is currently working on his Doctorate of Ministry.
Sondos Kholaki currently serves as a hospital staff chaplain and a community chaplain in Southern California. She obtained a Master of Divinity degree in Islamic Chaplaincy from the Claremont School of Theology/Bayan Claremont and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from UCLA. Sondos completed her Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency in December 2017 where she served all faiths but focused on Muslim spiritual care. She feels blessed to have served alongside and learned invaluable lessons from beloved mentors and peers on various non-profit boards since she was in high school. Sondos is the author of “Musings of a Muslim Chaplain”, published in January 2020.
Taha El-Nil is the incumbent for VP of Military Affairs for the Association of Muslim Chaplains from 2017-2019. Taha is currently a US Air Force Reservist where he serves as a chaplain attached to Joint-Base San Antonio Lackland in San Antonio, TX. Taha commissioned as a Chaplain Candidate in 2014 and served three Active Duty Tours, across the United States. Taha plans to apply for Active Duty as one of the eight Muslim chaplains currently serving within the next year. Taha is a graduate of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary and other chaplaincy experience includes 5 and a half units of CPE which includes a residency at the Dallas VA Medical Center and currently a Chaplain Fellow at the VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics where he works in an addiction recovery setting. Taha still has an interest in strengthening his understanding of the Islamic Sciences and currently seeking programs to fulfill this passion.
Abdulmalik Negedu (Membership Chair & Founding member)
Abdus-Salaam Musa (VP of Healthcare Chaplains)
Aisha McCord (Secretary)
Heba Yussef (VP of Healthcare Chaplains)
Ibrahim Long (VP of Healthcare Chaplains & Website Manager)
Kamal Abu-Shamsieh (VP of Healthcare Chaplains)
Kaiser Aslam (Secretary)
Khadijah Matin (VP of Healthcare Chaplains)
Matiniah Yahya (VP of Community Chaplains & Education Chair)
Mumina Kowalski (Secretary & Founding member)
Mustafa Boz (VP of Corrections Chaplains & Membership Chair)
Nisa Muhammad (Secretary & VP of Education Chaplains*)
Omer Bajwa (VP of Education Chaplains)
Patricia Anton (Secretary)
Rabia Terri Harris (President & Founding member)
Rabia Muhammad (VP of Community Chaplains)
Rafael Lantigua (VP of Military Chaplains)
Raqeeb Abduljabbar (VP of Corrections Chaplains)
Salahuddin M. Muhammad (President & VP for Corrections Chaplains)
Samsiah Abdul-Majid (Secretary)
Seher Siddiqee (Treasurer)
Shareda Hosein (Treasurer & Founding member)
Sharif Rosen (VP of Education Chaplains & VP of Healthcare Chaplains)
Sohaib Sultan (President)
* Currently serving in a different capacity
Chaplain Mouhamadou Diagne immigrated to Chicago with his family at the age of twelve from Dakar, Senegal. Despite not initially speaking a word of English, he became fluent after only two mouths distinguishing himself as a high-high-achiving, engaged student. He would win the prestigious Posse Foundation Full-Tuition Leadership scholarship to study psychology and educational studies at Carleton College. While there, he started working with the Chaplain’s Office and immediately fell in love with all aspects of college chaplaincy, a passion that led him to pursue a Master’s of Divinity at Harvard, concentrating in Islam and African Religions.
He began his career at Columbia University, first as a contracted religious-life fellow before being promoted to a permanent Assistant University Chaplain six months later. In these roles, he helped oversee interfaith programing, supported student led religious organizations with the creation, promotion, execution, and evaluation of their various programs. Following his time at Columbia, Mouhamadou went on to become Bucknell University’s Inaugural Chaplain for the Muslim Community, where he helped initiate a structure for providing support and guidance for Muslim Students, faculty, and staff.
After a total of four years in higher education chaplaincy, Mouhamadou is now transitioning into hospital chaplaincy, following his vocational call in that direction. He is currently a volunteer Chaplain at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg, PA.
Jaye Starr is an aspiring Muslim hospital chaplain, community organizer, artist, and activist in Michigan. Currently at home with her two young children, Jaye serves as a community liaison on a hospital ethics committee, in various capacities as time allows with her local masjid, and organizing community resiliency workshops. Jaye is interested in supporting the development of the field of Islamic chaplaincy and she is particularly interested in Islamic bioethics, pre/post-natal care, and improving the dying experience.
She is a graduate of Hartford Seminary’s Islamic Chaplaincy Program and has also studied with Al-Amana Centre in Oman, the Indonesian Consortium of Religious Studies at Universitas Gadjah Mada, the Centre for Islam & Medicine, and the Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.
Imam Dr. Salahuddin M. Muhammad is a retired Chaplain having served at Fishkill Correctional Facility (Beacon, NY) for 28 years, as Senior Imam of Masjid Al Ikhlas, (Newburgh, NY) for 26 years and as a Contract-Chaplain at Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY) for 17 years. Presently he serves as President of the Alumni Council and an Executive Board member of Hartford Seminary, President of the Association of Muslim Chaplains, and an Associate Imam of As Salaam Islamic Center in Raleigh, NC. Additionally he is an Adjunct Professor at Wake Tech Community College, Raleigh, NC, where he is also the Adjunct Advisor for The Muslim Student Union (MSU). Imam Muhammad is member of Muslims for Social Justice (MSJ), and also a member of the Muslim American Public Affairs Council (MAPAC). His areas of expertise include: Islam, general Islamic studies, Islamic theology, Motivational Speaker, Christian/Muslim relations, criminal justice issues, and inmate advocacy. In addition to his work, he is a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather and brings this sensitivity to his work. He received his Masters of Professional Studies degree in Theology and Counseling from New York Theological Seminary and BA in the Social Sciences from SUNY at New Paltz. Imam Muhammad holds a D.Min. in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations from Hartford Seminary as well as a Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy.