Chaplains and Religious Life

Muslim Life at Brown

Muslim Life at Brown seeks to uphold and nourish the core religious needs of its diverse Muslim community, consisting of Muslim students in all divisions, Muslim faculty and staff, and Muslim friends who live near the university. The particular needs vary from person to person. In general, though, they center around four general areas: worship (ʿibāda), counsel (naṣīḥa) learning (taʿlīm), and companionship (ṣuḥba).

All Muslims affiliated with Brown are welcome to join in Muslim Life activities, whether organized by the Chaplaincy or the Muslim student organizations. Muslims who live near the university are generally welcome too, especially for public events like prayer services. If you are not Muslim but interested to learn more about Islam or get to know Muslims, feel free to reach out to Imam Amir or to the student group that best suits you.

Please direct any general questions about Muslim Life at Brown to


Muslim Life is directed by Imam Amir Toft, the Associate Chaplain of the University for the Muslim Community. Imam Amir fulfills a wide range of duties. He works with his colleagues in the Chaplains Office to provide support to and foster appreciation for Brown’s multi-faith community. For the Muslims in particular, Imam Amir administers major religious observances on campus (e.g., Jumuah prayer, Ramadan iftar and prayer), provides confidential pastoral care, offers administrative support, and teaches regular classes. Each year he also organizes a wide variety of regular and occasional programming. Indispensable to this programming is the frequent assistance of student volunteers and the collaboration of the Muslim student organizations.

Student Organizations

Several student organizations give Muslim Life at Brown much of its great variety and vitality. These organizations are advised by the Muslim Chaplain, alongside their respective student organization offices, but each is independently governed by a board chosen by and from its members. The Brown Muslim Students Association (BMSA), founded in 1989, is Brown’s most venerable Muslim student group. In response to the ongoing growth of Muslim students in the University’s different divisions, a new chapter of the American Muslim Medical Students Association (AMMSA) was formed in 2023 at the Alpert Medical School, and the Brown Graduate Muslim Students Association (BGMSA) was established in fall 2023. Each year these organizations put together a wealth of events in order to meet various student needs and interests and to complement Chaplaincy programming.

Please see below to read more about the Muslim student organizations at Brown.


Islam’s fundamental values of excellence, service, and intellectual curiosity have motivated thousands of American Muslims to pursue careers as physicians. The American Muslim Medical Students Association (AMMSA, pronounced “am-suh”) is a student-led organization welcoming Muslim students, physicians, and leaders to explore the inherent intersection between Islam and medicine. AMMSA’s goal is to empower American Muslim medical students by providing opportunities for excellence in spiritual growth, professional development, and community building. To learn more about AMMSA, visit their website here.

The Brown Graduate Muslim Students Association (BGSMA) seeks to foster a community for graduate students, in both master’s and doctoral programs, across all disciplines at Brown. The BGMSA serves this community through all facets of graduate life for the duration of their program, by offering various forms of community, professional, logistic, and emotional support. The organization’s goal is to provide community and friendship, professional development, and peer and family support for Muslim graduate students.

The Brown Muslim Students Association (BMSA) seeks to foster a unified community — built upon the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ — that is open to all those who are Muslim, regardless of degree of practice, or are interested in Islam. The BMSA strives to follow the Prophetic example of standing for justice among communities locally and globally; to foster greater Islamic literacy, in collaboration with the University’s Muslim Chaplain, among its members and the broader campus community; and to create strong bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood — appreciative of and enriched by differences — between members. Through these goals, the BMSA aims to enable members to build a deeper connection to Islam in every aspect of daily life.