The Muslims Students' Association (MSA) of the United States and Canada has a unique place in the minds of many Muslims on this continent and elsewhere. It had a modest start.
On January 1st 1963, about seventy Muslim students, representing nearly ten campus organizations, congregated at the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois to consider the possibility of establishing the MSA. There was no money, no plan, no agenda and no future direction. What these students did not lack, however, was the commitment to sacrifice time, money and even their educational plans, if called for, to further the cause of Islam by promoting unity among Muslim students of varied backgrounds and nationalities.
By the time MSA held its first convention in the summer of 1963 and adopted a constitution, the number of affiliated chapters had already more than doubled. By the time MSA initiated and transferred its major functions to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in 1983, the MSA could boast almost 300 student chapters and just about the same number of non-student Muslim communities affiliated with it.