Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On behalf of my co-board members Taher Dadabhoy and Imtiaz Mohammady, I hope this email finds you and your family in the best of health and Imaan inshaAllah.
In the fall of 2013, the Institute of Knowledge (IOK) Board and Strategic Planning Committee members sat down in a series of meetings among themselves and with select community members to discuss how IOK, a unique educational-services provider, can further its efforts in the SoCal region. These meetings were focused on outreach initiatives to identify areas and people most in need. Among the most pressing needs was to establish an outreach program geared specifically towards Muslim campus life. So we envisioned a Chaplaincy initiative that will enrich the lives of Muslim students and foster their Muslim identity through meaningful educational and spiritual support services on campus.
With this in mind and as we begin this new year of 2015, we are pleased to share with you two special announcements:
1. IOK will embark on the development of a new project, a regional Chaplaincy initiative to serve Muslim students on campus.
2. This new project will be steered by the newest members of the IOK family, Shaykh Jamaal Diwan and his wife Shaykha Muslema Purmul, two exceptional individuals who are known for their passion, dedication and desire to serve the community at-large.
We understand that this area of service is fairly new to the Muslim community in general and devising a sustainable plan will come with many challenges. Thus, our undertaking for the first year will be on a pilot-program basis so we can learn and improve. For the coming weeks, Shaykh Jamaal and Shaykha Muslema will begin conducting a feasibility and needs assessment to develop a tentative implementation plan for the short-term, which through research and development, will lead to establishing best practices. Furthermore, the plan of action will be on a smaller scale focusing on one campus initially, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). This will guide us on how to operate on a larger scale in the future by including more campuses and adding additional personnel for the long-term inshaAllah.
Alhamdulillah over the past year, weve had the pleasure to seek advice and gain more perspective in this area of service from experienced college chaplains such as Khalid Latif, Omer Bajwa, AbdelRahman Murphy and Ali Haider Mir. We are thankful to all of them for sharing their experiences with us and look forward to their continued support and guidance.
With the launch of this new Chaplaincy initiative, the entire IOK organization is extremely excited to serve the Muslim students on campus. We strongly believe that this important engagement will help nurture healthy spiritual development and a strong Muslim identity.
Last but not least, kindly join us in welcoming Shaykh Jamaal Diwan and Shaykha Muslema Purmul to the IOK family and please pray for our collective success. May Allah swt grant us sincerity and steadfastness in serving Him and seeking His pleasure. Ameen
More details and updates on this new initiative will be forthcoming.