Welcome Back, Welcome Anew, or Welcome For the First Time!
It’s a new academic year! This means a lot of “welcoming” is in order. Of course we welcome back all the great students, faculty, and staff that were a wonderful part of the SU family broadly, and the Muslim community specifically. The new year is a beginning and a new start. Life, as we also know from our faith, rarely offers opportunities to hit a proverbial “restart” button. However, for those who wish to derive lessons and intuition from the seemingly mundane, a new academic year can serve as a “restart” button that we would not otherwise have. After all, it was the nature of the last and final Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam), to always extract knowledge and intuition from everything around him. So, “Welcome back, old friends.” Let’s make use of this “new beginning” to continue developing our strengths, work on our weaknesses, and meet new people and learn new things.
Some of our members might find themselves “still” at SU but in a different capacity. Perhaps that means that you are in a different role in your student organizations; maybe you have a changed academic role like from being an undergrad to a grad student, or from a student to a faculty member (you never know). In that case, “Welcome anew, new old friends!”
Best of them all, a lot of you are probably just joining, what we hope you will find to be, one of the most vibrant University Muslim communities. Come join our events; don’t be shy. No one is judging you (and if someone is, it’s their loss not yours). Come chat with the Chaplain and ask him questions you may have been confused about or felt too afraid or embarrassed to ask anyone before. Remember, we will not judge you. We also have an Assistant Chaplain dedicated to answering questions for sisters who have questions they would not be comfortable asking anyone else. Alternatively, you can just come and chat with us about life just because you want to have someone to talk to you and help you through college. Let us know what we can do to make your stay at SU exciting, enriching, and enlivening. Come to MSA events and meet new friends and learn exciting things about the diverse and expansive world that Allah has created. So, to the “newbies” we say, “Welcome for the first time! We are so excited and happy that you are here and we know that you will help make our community even better!”
Ahmed Malik, MD