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Resources for Muslim Students


Living on Grounds

The University of Virginia is aware that some Muslim students may face unique challenges related to housing during their first year. These may include situations that could compromise their ability to adhere to religious norms, such as:

  • The presence of members of a different gender in the room with the student’s roommate;
  • Adherence to co-ed social expectations (for example, the need for some women to cover in front of men);
  • The presence of certain foods in students’ room;
  • Experiencing social isolation if a group of roommates / hall mates go to a social function that involves alcohol.

Incoming Muslim students may contact the Muslim Students Association (MSA) to seek assistance with requesting a Muslim roommate.  Please email, or refer any inquiring students or parents to email MSA at to seek assistance with the roommate matching process, or to ask any questions about Muslim student life, in general.  First-Year students are also encouraged to join the MSA at UVA Class of 2023 facebook group to get early advice from returning students, and to start making connections  with other new students.

Interfaith Student Center (IFSC)

The mission of the Interfaith Student Center is to create a welcoming, comfortable, and safe space where students of diverse backgrounds and beliefs can practice their own faith and mindfulness and learn about those of others. The Interfaith Student Center aims to foster interfaith dialogue, education, and relationships while recognizing the many vibrant religious communities on Grounds. See Community Resources as well for additional meditation spaces on Grounds.

Dietary Needs

Halal Meals: UVA Dining offers Halal options. All non-processed chicken in the dining halls (bone-in, breasts, thigh, wings) are Halal. Processed chicken like nuggets and patties are not Halal. For more information, please contact

Support During Ramadan

Academic Accommodations: Pursuant to University policy and protocol, reasonable religious accommodation requests must be granted. For more information, please visit the following link:  Frequently Asked Questions - Accommodations for Religious Observance.

Ramadan: Multicultural Student Services partners with EOCR, Provost's Office, Dining, and  Muslim student organizations to support students during Ramadan by ensuring timely communciation to faculty about academic accommodations and working with dining to provide adequate meal service/options.. For more information, please contact or contact for specific dining questions.

Iftar at the Mosque: Please see the section below on community resources. The local Mosque offers a hot meal every evening during Ramadan at sunset. Contact the Muslim Student Association (MSA) if you would like to carpool or walk with others.

Counseling & Personal Support

  • Students and parents should contact Karen Painter, Licensed Professional Counselor (CAPS) and CAPS Care Manager for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the Elson Student Health Center: or call (434) 924-5556
  • If necessary, students may be referred to Muslim Psychiatrist, Mudhasir Bashir, M.D., an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences:mb5qd@Virginia.EDU
  • Ailya Vajid, Muslim Chaplain, Hadi Initiative, 1700 University Ave,, or call 888-628-2652 

Muslim Student Organizations

  • Black Muslims at UVA
  • Muslim Law Student Association
  • Muslim Students Asssociation: The MSA Facebook Page lists upcoming events for Muslim students, prayer times in the local community, and more.   
  • Muslims United

Muslim Chaplaincy, Hadi Initiative: Ailya Vajid

The role of a Muslim chaplain is to support you during your college years. I am here for conversations and culturally-competent counseling around anything in your life, including relationships, academics and vocation, religious/spiritual questions and challenges, family issues, mental health, just to chat, and anything else. I  look forward to getting to know you and to walking alongside you and supporting your personal, spiritual, academic, and professional journeys.    

My office hours are Weds. and Thurs. from 1-6 pm and by appointment (

Office: 1700 University Ave.  (St. Paul's Memorial Church, enter Chancellor St. side and come upstairs)  

The Islamic Society of Central Virginia

  • The ISCV offers the Masjid (mosque) as a local prayer space and community center for Muslims in the Charlottesville area. On Friday evenings, there are often community events and refreshments along with a short religious teaching. There is quite a large community of UVa professors, graduate students, residents and undergraduate students who attend their programs.
  • This space is located at 708 Pine St., close to UVa and is approximately a 10-15 minute walk from Central Grounds.  It is close enough for students who want to travel to the Masjid for their daily prayers.
  • During Ramadan, members take turns preparing hot meals for the community. Often 50-60 people attend and they also offer boxes so that you can bring food home for your morning meal the next day.

Getting Involved:

  • The University Programs Council has a number of different programs throughout the year that are open to all students and serves as a great alternative especially for students who are looking for social outlets that do not involve alcohol. Please visit the UPC website for more information:
  • The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT) is trained to educate their peers to reduce the negative outcomes associated with alcohol or other drug use. As peer educators, the team promotes awareness, provides educational outreach, and serves as accessible resources for UVA students.  ADAPT distributes a weekly e-mail that highlights substance-free weekend activities.  To subscribe, send an e-mail to with the subject "subscribe wahooweekender"

  • The Student Council at U.Va. organizes a number of events for the entire student body throughout the year.
  • The Lorna Sundberg International Center at UVa also offers a variety of programs for students at the university ranging from speaker series to cooking classes and a number of other social activities. For more information on the center and their programs, please visit their website:
  • Visit the Student Activities Fair where you can find over 350 contracted independent organizations (CIO’s) that are present on Grounds. The Student Activities Fair is scheduled for Monday, August 26 from 11am-3pm on the South Lawn and Amphitheater.

Other Faculty / Staff Support

  • Dr. Emaad Abdel Rahman, Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia,
  • Dr. Aliaa Khidr, PhD & M.D: Faculty Member in the Communication Disorders Department at the Curry School of Education and the Medical school. (434) 924-7838,