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Our History

Our History

Learn about the decades long history of Muslim Life at Duke

Over the past 13 years, the Center for Muslim Life has served as the hub for Muslim Life at Duke, a home away from home for students, families, staff, faculty, and community members. The story of the Center for Muslim Life begins in 1998, when Imam Abdul Hafeez Waheed volunteered as the first Muslim Chaplain at Duke. As chaplain, Imam Waheed helped to organize and conduct Islamic religious services on campus and advocate for the needs of Muslim students at Duke, particularly a call for a space to pray and call home.   

On April 4, 2001, the Duke Student Government Legislature voted to support university efforts to find a long-term campus space for religious groups, particularly addressing the needs of Muslim students. These calls were answered with a prayer space in the basement of the Bryan Center.  

Muslim Life at Duke continued to grow and as a result of the hard work and advocacy of students and volunteers like Imam Waheed, Duke named Imam Abdullah Antepli as its first full-time Muslim Chaplain in 2008. At the time, Duke was one of only four American universities to have a full-time Muslim chaplain. One year later, the Duke Center for Muslim Life opened its doors at its facilities on Swift Ave for the first time. The center boasted offices, a prayer space, kitchen, and more.  

Now, 13 years later, with the help of Chaplain Joshua Salaam and Imam Waheed, the Center for Muslim Life has moved to a newer, larger, and more conveniently located facility in Few Quadrangle, near the heart of student life on West Campus. The Center for Muslim Life will continue to be home to vibrant religious services, social gatherings, study halls, celebrations, and learning, and our vision of providing the best Muslim Life experience in higher education is becoming a reality.  

Timeline Project

The CML Timeline Project is an ongoing initiative led by Imam Waheed to document, record, and exalt the history of Muslim life at Duke. Scroll through to explore our history and check back for updates!

The Timeline Project is still a work in progress. If you have a contribution that you believe is missing from the timeline or information you'd like to correct, please email Imam Waheed at