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IOK Chaplaincy Update for UCLA

UCLA Year-End Update 2019

The UCLA Muslim Student Community is, indeed, a special “place.”  There is so much love, connection and activism that takes place in that space.  And I feel blessed to be a part of that.   

     This year, my work was primarily focused on meeting with students on an individual basis.  Students came to discuss and get counsel related to the many different challenges and struggles they face.  Difficulties with parents and friends, sexual identity struggles, trying to get married, not knowing what field of study or profession to pursue, confusion relating to religious concepts, struggling with pornography and substance abuse – just to name a few. In addition, MSA leadership frequently came to me seeking advice related to their projects and activism, to mediate between personalities and to understand the Islamic perspective of certain concepts that intersected with the community engagement they were involved in.   

     One big development this year was the fact that IOK’s UCLA Chaplaincy program was fully funded by the University Religious Conference – the oldest interfaith organization in Los Angeles.  As a contributing member of the Council of Chaplains for the last few years, we were eligible for this funding opportunity and we are very grateful for their contribution. They truly understand the value of chaplaincy and the importance of providing spiritual care and guidance to students. 

     Some special educational events that I conducted this year included a Sunni-Shia dialogue between myself and a Shia scholar, a presentation on mental health, and monthly Friday sermons.  This was in addition to our standard weekly study circles, which were well attended on a regular basis. Some other activities that I participated in this year included the End of the Year Banquet, an Iftar (fast-breaking) dinner hosted at my home and an off-campus hike attended by UCLA students and alumni.     

     After serving the UCLA Muslim student community for two years, I truly feel that the IOK Chaplaincy is an indispensable part of the UCLA Muslim experience. 

Peace & Blessings,

Sh. Suhail Mulla