MISSION, VISION & CORE VALUES

MISSION
The Association of Muslim Chaplains (AMC) supports the professional development of Muslims who provide spiritual care as chaplains in communities and in public/private institutions in the United States, while promoting the advancement of the field of Islamic Chaplaincy.

VISION

The Association of Muslim Chaplains seeks to be a professional organization in the service of Allah (God), guided by the Qur’an and Sunnah, through:

1. Offering regular trainings that promote the ongoing skill development of Muslim Chaplains.

2. Creating professional networks and connections between Muslim Chaplains that offer collegial nurturing and support.

3. Serving as an institution for Muslim Chaplains seeking certification and/or professional endorsement.

4. Supporting the development of cohesion and greater collaboration between Muslim Chaplains and Muslim communities.

CORE VALUES

Our core values — drawn from the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) — are as follows:

1. Ikhlas (Sincerity) – Our intention is to act with sincere concern for others and fi sabil Allah (for the sake of God).

2. Nasiha (Good Counsel) – Our care for others is predicated upon our religious responsibility to provide nasiha (good counsel).

3. Rahma (Mercy) – We strive in our conduct to reflect the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was sent as rahma lil-`alamin — a mercy to all the worlds.

4. Haya’ (Dignity) – We strive in our deportment to demonstrate modesty, respect, honor, good morals and humility before Allah and those we serve.

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AMC STORY

Between the spring and summer of 2011 (1432 AH), a group of experienced and aspiring chaplains, united by a common desire to strengthen the field of Islamic chaplaincy, held a series of discussions. Participants recognized the pressing need for an organization that could provide Muslim chaplains with the opportunity to come to know each other and to mutually support, nurture, and encourage each other’s professional growth in accordance with Qur’anic ideals and by agreed upon practices in the field of chaplaincy in the United States. These individuals further recognized that such an association must be sincere in manifesting the Prophetic traditions of inclusivity, consultation, and consensus, and that the diversity within the Muslim community and within the profession of chaplaincy must be fully represented. The Association of Muslim Chaplains is the product of those discussions.

Executive Board & Core Volunteers

Meet the Team
Imam Dr. Salahuddin M. Muhammad (D.Min.)
President

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.

Chaplain Kaiser Aslam
Secretary

Chaplain Kaiser Aslam serves as the first full-time Muslim Chaplain at Rutgers University through the Center for Islamic Life at Rutgers University (CILRU), he serves as the only full-time Muslim Chaplain at any public university in the United States. Kaiser has studied various classical Islamic sciences in his studies within the United States and abroad and holds a Masters degree in Islamic Studies & Muslim-Christian Relations from Hartford Seminary. In addition to his work at universities, Kaiser has served as the first Muslim Chaplain at Hartford Hospital, as the Muslim Chaplain of Wesleyan University and as a youth director and resident scholar at various Islamic centers, most recently at the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center. Kaiser has worked with and in over a dozen educational and service-based organizations in the American Muslim Community over the last decade. Most notably, he served as the National Coordinator of Young Muslims, the largest Muslim youth group in North America. Kaiser is a public lecturer on Islam, Muslim youth, Interfaith work, Muslim culture, and various other topics. He travels regularly to different communities across the United States to speak and organize events.

Dr. Quaiser Abdullah
Treasurer

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.

Chaplain Asma Hanif
Vice President for Community Chaplains
Chaplain Muhammad Ali
Vice President for Corrections Chaplains
Chaplain Nisa Muhammad
VP for Education Chaplains

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 and also serves as president of the Association of Campus Muslim Chaplains.

Chaplain Sharif A Rosen
Vice President for Healthcare Chaplains

Sharif Rosen is the Muslim Chaplain and Assistant Director for the Center for Learning in Action at Williams College and currently in his second unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Dartmouth University Hospital. Previously, he served as the Muslim and Multi-Faith Advisor at Dartmouth College. Sharif studied classical Arabic and traditional Islam in Amman, Jordan for five years. In Amman, he completed the Qasid Arabic Institute’s language program, several foundational works in Hanafi and Shafi’i fiqh, Aqida, and an ijaza in tajwid. With the encouragement of his teachers, he is translating Arabic works for English readership, and composing original treatises, including “A Muslim Student’s Companion Book of Prayers.” Before going overseas, he led community relations for the UMMA Community Clinic in Los Angeles, CA. There, he worked with affordable healthcare advocates, the Muslim American community, local officials and the media to draw attention to the dire healthcare needs of the area, and develop strategies towards increasing healthcare access. Most recently, Sharif has volunteered as a Muslim Chaplain in the Vermont Department of Corrections, offering pastoral care and religious education to the incarcerated. Sharif is currently a graduate student at Hartford Seminary with a focus in Islamic Studies.

Chaplain Taha El-Nil
Vice President for Military Chaplains

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.

Past Executive Members

Abdulmalik Negedu, Membership Chair, Founding member
Abdus-Salaam Musa, VP of Health Care Chaplains
Aisha McCord, Secretary
Heba Yussef, VP of Health Care Chaplains
Ibrahim Long, VP of Health Care Chaplains & Website Manager
Kamal Abu-Shamsieh, VP of Health Care Chaplains
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
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, VP for Corrections Chaplains*
Samsiah Abdul-Majid, Secretary
Seher Siddiqee
Shareda Hosein, Treasurer, Founding member

* Currently serving in a different capacity

Chaplain Yasin Ahmed
Social Media Volunteer
Chaplain Mohamadou Diagne
Communications Chair

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.

Nehal Shah
Webinar Coordinator

Mr. Nehal M. Shah concurrently volunteers his services at two Islamic organizations: First, the Alim Foundation Inc. of Hyattsville, Maryland, as the Chairman and the Executive Director. The Alim Foundation Inc. (www.alim.org) provides online Islamic educational resources and social network; and second, the Muslim Community Center (MCC) of Silver Spring as a member of Board of Trustees, assistant Imam and Chairman of Funeral Committee.

Mr. Shah has successfully served US Islamic Community for more than 45 years at: Boston, New York, Houston, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Silver Spring, Maryland. His Islamic work started as an Islamic education teacher. His hard work, high performance, and management of his responsibilities earned him higher responsibilities as member of Board of Directors, president and chairman in many places.

His service at MCC started in early 1990. Since then, he has won the hearts of his seniors, colleagues, and community members by efficiently accomplishing the responsibilities of President, Secretary, Member of BOD, and/or Chairman of Funeral, Inter-Center, Interfaith, Religious, and/or Adult Lecture & Open Forum Committees.

Mr. Shah held following higher positions before coming to MCC: President of Islamic Society of Greater Harrisburg, PA (1988-89); General Secretary of Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH, 1978-82) & President of ISGH, North Zone (1978-87); and President of ICNA Chapter, Houston (1978-81).

His major accomplishment includes: Starting and establishing ISGH, North-Zone in Houston, one of the seven major centers under ISGH at that time – now ISGH has 21 centers; establishing & managing: two-days weekend Islamic school at ISGH North-Zone, establishing & managing: one-day weekend Islamic school at ISGH, Harrisburg, PA; and establishing & managing children evening Quran Classes, and Arabic Language Program at MCC, and establishing and maintaining two Friday prayers.

Professionally Mr. Shah is a Mechanical/Systems Engineer. He retired after serving 21 years in US Navy in December 2007 from the position of Chief of Staff / Director of Systems Engineering (GS-15) for the System Engineering Chief Engineer of Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition). He carried then more than 40 years of professional engineering and management experience in defense, oil field, ship building, and machine tools industries.

Mr. Shah is a certified Imam and carries a MA degree in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations from the Hartford Seminary, Hartford, Connecticut; has an MS in Information and Telecommunications Systems from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Pakistan. Additionally, he has a certificate of Leadership for Democratic Society from Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Mr. Shah was born in India, migrated first to Pakistan in December 1961, and then to USA in July 1972. He has three children and seven grand-children. His whole family is involved in Islamic education, religious and interfaith activities.

Jaye Starr
Membership Chair

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.

Chaplain Zain Syed
Webmaster
Chaplain Nora Zaki
Webinar Coordinator

Nora Zaki joined Vassar College as Advisor for Muslim Student Life in January of 2019. She was a student chaplain at Dominican University and American Islamic College. Nora holds a Master of Divinity from the University of Chicago and was the first Muslim student to complete one unit of CPE at Tampa General Hospital in 2017-18.

She has extensive interfaith engagement in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois. She served as the female counselor of the American Learning Institute for Muslim’s three week, life changing Islamic Studies program in Chicago for Muslim youth. Nora is fluent in Arabic and has been blessed to travel to North Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. She is AMC’s webinar coordinator. Nora loves Zumba, travel, cooking foods from various cultures and watching the famous Turkish historical fictions series, “Ertuğrul.”