Meet the Team

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Leyla Fayaz


Community is often people’s safe haven. When a community revolves around religion, it manifests in beautiful ways, and impacts many through unexpected avenues. It serves as a reminder of our faith in this very distracting world, a place to meet like-minded people, and most importantly a way to grow closer to Allah ﷻ and our Beloved Messenger ﷺ.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the one (iron-smith) blowing bellows, and the owner of musk, if you don’t get anything you will smell of its pleasant odour, and so far as one who blows the bellows is concerned, he would either burn your clothes or you shall have to smell its repugnant smell.” [Sahih Muslim]

عن أبي موسى الأشعري رضي الله عنه أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏إنما مثل الجليس الصالح وجليس السوء، كحامل المسك، ونافخ الكير، فحامل المسك، إما أن يحذيك، وإما أن تبتاع منه، وإما أن تجد منه ريحًا طيبة، ونافخ الكير، إما أن يحرق ثيابك ، وإما أن تجد منه ريحًا منتنة‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏ ‏.‏

During these trying times, it will be our focus to maintain that sense of community, virtually, and inshAllah foster good company amongst our new first years.



Ashja Haider

VP Education

Assalamualaikum! Please pray for the success of our MSA and help us to foster a positive spiritual, compassionate, intellectual, and welcoming community. We pray we are able to follow the beloved sallallahu alyhi wasalam in all of our endeavours.


Umair Khan

VP Finance

Assalamualaikum! My name is Umair and in my final term of AFM. I’ve grown to become very fond of the MSA over my university experience and am excited for a unique term this fall. Feel free to reach out to me for anything I can do for you or the community! We pray that Allah swt will accept our efforts and grant us all Affiyah. Please keep us all in your duas as well!


Gabriella Zepeda-ayala

VP Internal

Assalamualaikum, my name is Gabriella and I am in my 3B term here at the University of Waterloo. During my time at UW i’ve had many different experiences, but none have shaped me so profoundly as attending my first MSA event in November of 2019. It was a bubble tea and paint night and I recall being immensely nervous to attend. I had just started seriously exploring Islam and I was worried that this event might not be a good experience for me. Alhumdulilah, I was made to feel welcome and included. A month later, I would accept Islam.


It is a great blessing to be a part of the MSA. The MSA was my first introduction to the Muslim community, and I imagine that I am not the only searching soul that will follow this route, Insha’Allah. As a member of the executive team, I hope to contribute positively so that the MSA can continue to serve our community with excellence.

Mobarak Mondal

VP Externals

Coming into university, I had no idea what MSA was until a very dear friend dragged me into the general body meeting. I was astonished by how well-knit and welcoming the community was, and in that moment, I knew this is where I belonged. I had the pleasure to meet and network with some of the kindest and most sincere people I’ve met during my first-year experience. The love, care, and support of this community is immeasurable, and truly I couldn’t have asked for a better place to learn and grow, all for the sake of Allah (SWT). I hope to keep exploring and fostering my Muslim identity through the MSA and inshallah to also help others do the same.


عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ الْمُؤْمِنُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ كَالْبُنْيَانِ يَشُدُّ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضًا ‏”‏‏.‏ وَشَبَّكَ بَيْنَ أَصَابِعِهِ‏.‏

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other.” The Prophet then clasped his hands with the fingers interlaced while saying that.” (Bukhari)

Moad Alsefaou

VP Events

As one transitions into a new phase of life as a university student, there is so much unknown to them. One must deal with new challenges and obstacles, with some students moving across Canada or the world alone to receive an education. The MSA is a place where young Muslims can find support in overcoming these obstacles and rekindling their sense of spirituality and community to find the strength and network with amazing people to help them deal with whatever comes their way.


I can personally relate to this. For my first few years, I regrettably ventured to only a few MSA events. In those few times, I met some of the kindest and extraordinary individuals, which moved me to become a better person and attend more events. As well, it’s during these busy years of our lives that we start to focus less on our din, as school can be overwhelming and occupies all our free time. However, being surrounded by other Muslims allows us to stay on the right path, and inshallah for us all to succeed in our endeavors. I hope that even through troubling times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be able to meet and grow as a community and that we all become better Muslims together.

Zara Khan

VP Operations

The MSA at UW has provided a community on campus that is graceful, kind, and welcoming. In my first year at UW, I felt at home even though I was so far from it. I hope to provide that type of community for our incoming MSA members as well as trying to keep faith as a priority in my own life. InshAllah I hope we go into this year (which is unlike any other) stronger and better than before. 


عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى صُوَرِكُمْ وَأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَلَكِنْ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى قُلُوبِكُمْ وَأَعْمَالِكُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and to your deeds. (Sahih Muslim)