Led by an Executive Board of seven undergraduates and advised by the University's Muslim Chaplain, the BMSA strives to serve the community's needs and create a welcoming environment for all.
Imam Amir Toft
Brown University Muslim Chaplain
Imam Amir Toft serves as the Associate Chaplain of the University for the Muslim Community. His primary roles are to provide pastoral care and administrative support to the Muslim community at Brown and, in frequent collaboration with the MSA, to promote religious literacy among Muslims and the broader campus community. This community includes not only undergraduates but also graduate and professional students, faculty and staff, and members of the medical campus.
Imam Amir grew up in the Chicago area. Before joining Brown last summer, he earned his PhD in Islamic history and thought at the University of Chicago, and before that he completed an ‘Alimiyya degree at the Institute of Islamic Education, a Chicagoland Muslim seminary, where he memorized the Qur’an and received advanced training in Arabic and core classical Islamic disciplines. Over the course of his seminary and graduate studies, he served in multiple communities as a teacher and imam. At Brown, Imam Amir hopes to draw on his education and experience, at both the seminary and the university, to further enrich Muslim Life at Brown with tailored opportunities for learning and spiritual development. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and information about his scholarly profile may be found here.
Previous Muslim Chaplains
Adnan Adrian Wood-Smith
Former Muslim Chaplin (2014-2019)
Adnan left Brown in 2019 to pursue a PhD in Islamic Studies as part of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University. Adnan's work is centered on the Arabic poetry of West Africa, focusing specifically on Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse's poetry in praise of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. While at Brown, Adnan taught many classes including weekly courses on the Essentials of Islamic practice and Qur'anic recitation (tajweed). Prior to his time at Brown, Adnan graduated as Valedictorian from Dartmouth College, after which he completed graduate work in Arabic in Syria, and then moved to the San Francisco Bay area, where he studied the Islamic tradition with traditionally trained scholars such as Zaid Shakir, Hamza Yusuf, Abdullah Ali, and Usama Canon. He memorized the Qur'an under the tutelage of Qari Amr Bellaha in California.
Adnan visits Mauritania on a regular basis to continue his studies of Islamic jurisprudence, spirituality, and Qur'an, and he currently resides in Providence with his wife Sara, son Layth, and daughter Marjan.