The Muslim Students Association is an organization committed to making Muslim students on the University campus feel comfortable by providing prayer locations and organizing events and religious celebrations, such as Ramadan Iftars, Eidrageous, the Interfaith panel and Islam Awareness Week, as well as others.
The MSA hopes that Muslims and non-Muslims can better understand each other and that Muslim students can have the resources necessary to their success in college easily accessible to them.
Our goal is to reach out to the community on and off campus by creating and maintaining healthy dialogue. We make a full effort to enrich the community and we hope that even through the regular labeling and stereotyping of Muslims in the media, the activities we organize can help others understand what Islam truly is and what it means to be a Muslim.
The MSA is primarily a Muslim student group but it is open to people of all cultures and backgrounds. Islam is a “color-blind” religion that has 1.5 billion followers worldwide all of different ethnicities and cultures, and so in that sense, the MSA is by default both a religious and cultural group. Our events also show that we are both religious and cultural.
The origins of the University of Minnesota Muslim Students Association lie with a small group of Muslim students attending the University of Minnesota in the 1950s. At this time, the Muslim community in Minnesota was composed mainly of the students at the university, and no Friday prayers or Eid celebrations existed. A few students, however, decided to form a group called the Islamic Cultural Society, which began hosting weekly Friday prayers. These prayers took place in the apartment of one of the founding members, and attendances were in the range of eight to ten persons. These same students also organized a Ramadan dinner, a tradition that was kept during the years in which Ramadan occurred in the course of the semester.
With the passing years, the Muslim Students Association at the University of Minnesota has attempted to expand its offerings to both the Muslim and non-Muslim community of the University of Minnesota by providing informational lectures, dawah opportunities, and social events as well as maintaining the Friday prayer for University students. We of the Muslim Students Association hope that you too will be a part of the history of the Muslim Students Association at the University of Minnesota in the years to come.