The central New Jersey community lost a friend, a brother, and a guide on April 16th, 2021. Imam Sohaib Sultan stands as a model leader for the Muslim community and chaplains of all faiths across the country. His ability to build sincere relationships with hundreds of community members and address the needs of so many through creative and thoughtful programming, as well as individual counseling, was unparalleled.
Imam Sohaib Nazeer Sultan, a Hamilton resident who served as the first full-time Muslim Life Coordinator and Chaplain at Princeton University, died (date) after a year-long battle with a rare and aggressive form of bile duct cancer. He was 40.
A beloved and well-known figure on campus and in the greater Mercer County community for more than a dozen years, was passionate about interfaith dialogue and was known as a bridge-builder who worked to foster strong relationships between the Muslim community and other faith communities.
Imam Sohaib was born in North Carolina and raised in Indiana. He became interested in studying Islamic traditions from a young age because of his father’s work as a scholar in Islamic education. When he was 11, he and his family moved to Saudi Arabia, where he learned Quranic recitation. He returned to the United States at the age of 16 and finished high school in Charlottesville, Virginia. He then earned a degree in journalism and political science from Indiana University, where he was a President and Senior Adviser of the Muslim Students Association and was honored by the University for his cultural diversity efforts. After graduation, he worked as a freelance journalist in Chicago and was an Islamic affairs analyst for BBC Radio, where he worked on a series of dialogues on Muslim-Christian relations in the United States.
A graduate of Hartford Theological Seminary, Sultan was the first Muslim chaplain at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He was one of eight people profiled in the PBS documentary series “The Calling,” about the spiritual journey of eight people from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths who chose a life in the clergy. He was a public lecturer and writer on Islam, Muslim culture and Muslim-Western relations, and wrote “The Koran for Dummies”, which was published in 2004, and “The Qur’an and Sayings of Prophet Muhammad: Selection Annotated and Explained,” which was published in 2007.
He was hired to be the first Muslim Life Coordinator at Princeton University in August of 2008. The program was among the first Muslim college chaplaincies in the country.
Imam Sohaib has not only started up many positions crucial for Islam to progress in the West by his endeavors, but he has also left an imprint for such work to continue as he demonstrated through his life that spreading Islam in non-Islamic institutions and society in general, is possible and necessary.
Join us as we gather to honor and celebrate his legacy and what he meant to us through memorial.
MC: Sarah Mokh
Professor David Coolidge
Sheikh Faiyaz Jaffer
Imam Dean Shareef
Chaplain Kaiser Aslam
Zakira Shyrose Dhalla
Mohammad Ali Naquvi
Sayed Zafar Abbas Naquvi
Sister Arshe Ahmed