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International Student Association

Lois Said:

How can a new international student studying in the U.S. acquire multiple Bible translations at no cost?

We Answered:

I have some extra copies of various Bibles, 1 Roman Catholic, several Protestant ones and the NWT of Jehovah's Witnesses. I don't have study notes you can have, but know a lot of the differences and whys about them.

You can email me at to talk about religion, holy books, etc.


Edith Said:

I need help starting a Muslim Student Association (msa)?

We Answered:

Wa aleykum us salaam wa rahmattullahi wa barakatuh.

What a great idea! Ma sha Allah!

The first step might be to check with other MSA's in your area, and get informaton and advice.

If you plan to meet at school, you should check with the school authorities to make sure they allow student groups where membership is based on religion.

Before anything else, you have to select a leader. Every Muslim group has to have a leader (khalifa.) Pick someone who is a practicing Muslim, is good at dealing with people, and has free time to work on establishing the organization. Next, you could elect several other people to do several jobs, for example, a recording secretary, a media specialist, someone to contact and coordinate wiht other MSA's, a treasurer, etc.

I think you should invite all the Muslims at your school, male and female. Plan the seating: maybe boys could sit on one side of the room, girls on the other.

You'll need objectives: who is the group for? (Can non-Muslims join?) What do you expect it to accomplish?

One of your first priorities would be to give the school authorities information about the needs of Muslim students: a place to pray, for example, time to pray Asr at school in the the winter, when, the days are short, halal food choices in the cafeteria, modest PE clothing for both boys and girls. I know that required swimming lessons are a problem for girls at a lot of schools; if that's the case with yours, dealing with it could be a priority.

You could donate Islamic books to the library. If you are studying anything related to Islam, for example, history or geography, offer to provide programs or speakers.

Try to set up service projects, such as monitoring the halls, helping at school crossings, coaching younger or weaker students. If the school allows it, you could organize a food drive for the poor in your community, and encourage members to do other types of volunteer work, such as helping out in hospitals.

You could put out a monthly newsletter about what you are accomplishing. This can be a wonderful dawah tool.

Be model students and community members: dress neatly, be polite, and strive for academic excellence.

I hope this helps, somehow.

May Allah bless, forgive, and guide us all.

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