Muslim Life Fund

Thanks to Chaplain Taymullah for His Service!

From Fall 2015 to Spring 2017, HUMA employed Taymullah Abdur-Rahman as Harvard's first paid Muslim chaplain. Imam Taymullah's years tending the needs of the community laid the foundation for the future of the Islamic chaplaincy program at Harvard, which is now managed by the University itself, hiring Khalil Abdul-Rashid starting in Fall 2017. HUMA is proud to have worked with Imam Taymullah along with community members, on-campus groups, and the chaplaincy committee to respond to the needs of the community and to develop and expand support for Muslims at Harvard. We are grateful for Imam Taymullah's time serving the community and are excited about the prospects for new phases of the Muslim Life Fund to continue providing for the Harvard Muslim community.

Summary of Activity

The Harvard Muslim Life Fund was founded in 2015 in collaboration with the Harvard Islamic Society. We are thrilled to report a number of accomplishments in the first few years of the fund:

We hired Harvard’s first paid Muslim chaplain. Taymullah Abdur-Rahman began his duties at Harvard in Fall 2015, bringing a wealth of experiences and education to contribute to the community. (see our full interview with him here).

We launched the Harvard Muslim Scholarship. An annual scholarship providing small awards for books and other educationally enriching activities; empowering current students to engage outside the classroom. Humza Tahir, one scholarship recipient, described his use of the scholarship:

"My roommates and I decided to use scholarship for social purposes. Using the some of the scholarship money, we purchased a small charcoal grill a couple weeks ago and since then we've done two cook-outs in the Quad lawn. Using the power of halal hot dogs and burgers, we were able to bring in Muslim undergrads and grad students from all over campus to come together to cook and share some quality meat. Even some alums showed up. Halal food has this very strong power to bring the community together and we look forward to having more barbecues in the semesters to come, inshaAllah!"

Due to HUMA’s continued success over the past few years, we were selected by the Harvard Alumni Association to receive the HAA Clubs & SIGs Recognition Award in 2016. This award is given to organizations with “outstanding and innovative work in areas such as membership, technology, community service, succession planning, programming, schools and scholarship, and outreach.”

The campus community is larger and more active than ever. As described by Harvard College Student Farhan Javed, FAS 2018:

“HIS has had a profound impact on my college life, as it has provided a platform for me to harness and improve upon my spiritually while also allowing me to engage with Muslim peers as friends and collaborators. My favorite part of HIS has been the amazing opportunities I have had to study various aspects of Islam under brilliant HIS-affiliated graduate students, and I am particularly excited to have our chaplain now to aid in that exploration. Since day one, Taymullah has radiated a sense of positivity, inspiration, and openness. Especially profound have been his Khutbas at Jummah prayers in Lowell Lecture Hall; I honestly have never personally met a more inspiring and eloquent individual than he.”

The success of the Muslim Life Fund is entirely due to the generosity of the HUMA members who have donated in support of the Muslim community on campus. We reached a significant amount of our fundraising target of $35,000 in 2015, and so we are grateful for the generosity of our donors, and we are blessed to see the impact of the Fund on the Harvard Muslim community. We start 2016 with a renewed vigor to support Muslim life at Harvard and, as always, rely on your ideas, time, and resources to keep moving forward. Send your thoughts to contact@harvardmuslimalumni.org and please donate to support us.


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