01/06/2012 10:46 am ET

New Chaplain First Muslim Leader To Serve University Of Michigan Students

When Mohammed Tayssir Safi was an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan from 2004 to 2006, there was not a Muslim figure he could go to for guidance.

"I was ... trying to understand how to grapple between that intellectual side and ... the spiritual side," Safi, 27, said. "There wasn't anybody to go to."

In a twist of fate he never imagined, Safi has become the first Muslim chaplain to serve the U-M community, the very role he felt was missing during his college years and a role that many Muslim university students say has become essential.