“Jumu’ah Khutba – June 12, 2020

As we reopen our places of worship partially and start going back hopefully gradually to normal or close to that, we start appreciating everything we lost or were deprived from including coming to the masjid.”

Friday June 12 2020

2:15 p.m. – 2:35 p.m EDT

Sayeda Khadija Centre in Mississauga, Ontario

Re-opened to the public for Salat al Jumah, The Friday Congregational Prayer, at 30% capacity.

They achieved this by scheduling four sequential Friday Sermons plus Prayers:

Friday 1:30 p.m – 1:50 p.m EDT

Friday 2:15 p.m. – 2:35 p.m EDT

Friday 3:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. EDT

Friday 3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT

You had to reserve an online ticket via Sayeda Khadija Centre‘s Eventbrite page.

My brother and I reserved two spot for the  2:15 p.m.  time slot.

The last public Jumah, before the Pandemic Lockdown, was three months ago on Friday March 12 2020.

 

We decided against even attempting the primary parking lot and chose to park in the overflow parking lot accessible from Hurontario Street.

Two parking lot assistants in visible vests used hand signals to guide us.

We parked where they pointed.

It was unclear at first if we were to stay inside the car or go outside towards the Masjid.

 

We did exit our car and approached the main parking lot, it was full.

We returned to our car and waited until we saw people walking back to their cars having completed their prayer.

That would confirm the first of four scheduled Jumah Prayers were done.

 

The main parking lot was rapidly emptying, and it was now our turn.

It wasn’t immediately clear how everything was operating or where we were to go at first.

As we got closer, it became obvious.

People were lined up, two metres apart, around the Masjid building’s side leading to the entrance.

 

So that’s what we did too.

 

The yellow painted parking spot markings became de facto physical distancing markers and we all used them like that without a word being said.

Common sense.

The line advanced pretty fast. Hardly a few minutes.

Once around the corner and within visual sight of the entrance, a volunteer in full personal protective equipment advised everyone in a loud voice what to expect once inside.

The volunteer brother requested everyone to have their QR Code from their Eventbrite Online Booking Registration ready on their mobile devices.

I don’t have a mobile device, beyond my Nikon Coolpix camera, but I did pre-register.

My name is listed on the double booking e-mail confirmation on my brother’s device.

Closer to the entrance, orange pylons and orange/red duct tape are spaced two metres apart informing us where to stand in line using physical distancing.

Once inside, a minor delay for my brother and I.

My brother’s email confirmation only has one QR Code though it listed both our names.

Eventbrite sends an e-mail confirmation with an attached PDF for every ticket.

For whatever reason, we had only a single QR Code in the PDF.

To keep the line from backing up, the volunteer brother who first spoke to me, asked us to stand aside until they figured it out.

The senior decision maker at the entrance area said they had already checked in 300 worshippers and this was the first time this had happened.

Well, Alhumdulillah, if this was to happen, at least it happened to me, the masjid blogger, and I could document it, for people reading this blog post afterwards.

Perhaps my writing about it here can help prevent any future check-in delays.

The first volunteer opted to manually look up my name and for some reason, it showed I had already checked-in four hours ago.

?

Well, whatever.

As I was standing in front of him now, he manually re-checked me in on his mobile device and my brother and I proceeded.

What I think happened was the complexity of the Eventbrite booking messed things up.

First, you could request one or two tickets per registration,

Having filled first name, last name, and email address for the first ticket,

The next step asks you if you wanted to copy all the previous information from the first ticket for the second ticket.

I remember doing this, but nothing obvious happened.

It immediately made no sense to me.

This  copy  option is useful on Eventbrite if two or more tickets have multiple fields which are repetitive like two people at the same home address and city and postal code.

Yet, all three fields for today’s Jumah tickets were unique, First Name, Last Name, E-Mail Address.

And then you had to choose from one of four time slots for Jumah,

One more variable in the complexity of the process.

Did that add to my ticket mix-up ?

So, my experience suggests that you request ONE ticket, NOT two tickets, at a time, when using Eventbrite.

Ensure you get one QR Code via PDF in your email for EACH ticket.

That way the line will advance smoothly without surprise nor delay.

Our delay was two minutes, at most, and it was likely one minute, but it did STOP the line.

A temperature check on the forehead with this device, took a second to confirm.

Another brother then placed a round green sticker on my shirt to signal I had passed this point.

You can see one of those green stickers on the volunteer’s photo above.

 

All the volunteers at this point and beyond were donning full Personal Protective Equipment, the PPE we hear mentioned all the time.

We were instructed, or requested, to use hand sanitizer at the tables.

We were given small plastic bags, to carry our pair of shoes into the main prayer hall.

This has an Eid like feeling, carrying the shoes with us.

Another volunteer sat at the entrance to the front half of the building.

I think he was there to confirm our shoes were in our plastic bags and to visually spot the green dots we should be wearing to gain entry at this point.

Inside the main prayer hall, a zig zag placing of mixed markers on the carpet, and green masking tape on the benches identified the prayer spots on a first come first served basis.

Some of the markers on the carpet were numbered, other markers were small orange pylons, yet other markers were unfolded Qur’an wooden book rests.

Somehow, the volunteer brother in the main prayer hall directed my brother and I to pick two prayer spots in about the same area where we both normally pray.

SubhanAllah.

My view looking down at my feet, with my shoes inside the plastic bag.

For this first Friday Prayer in Congregation in three months, I chose to bring a personally important prayer mat.

This simple thin red prayer mat has been with me for about twenty years.

I took it with me to Madinah and Makkah in 2011 and prayed on it there.

It came with me as I did my 30 Masjids in 30 Days of Ramadan Canada  in 2016.

The zig zag placing of physical distanced pre-marked prayer spots reminded me of Islamic Geometry.

Spots ahead and behind and left and right beside me remained empty.

Yet spots diagonally distant from me found worshippers sitting in place.

Normally the Imam instructs worshippers to stand shoulder to shoulder during prayer, and often times he requests worshippers to make space for late comers to the Sermon mid-way through delivering it.

Not today.

 

Before the Pandemic, we might be sitting thirty or even fifty worshippers per line.

Today’s physical distancing meant only eight  worshippers per line with two metres between each of them.

I counted about 100 worshippers in total were present inside the main prayer hall.

Pre-Pandemic, the Friday Lecture would be 30 to 40 minutes in length.

The Qhutbah, The Sermon, Dr. Imam Slimi delivered today was under ten minutes.

After three months, it was good to be able to donate cash in person towards upkeep of the masjid.

Volunteers walked through the aisle with the collection bag for contactless donations.

Imam Dr. Slimi delivered the Qhutbah, The Friday Sermon, as well as Adhan al Jumah, Call to The Friday Prayer.

One of the younger members of the Sayeda Khadija Centre community was the Imam today and he lead us in the Jumah Prayer.

That was it.

The Optional Sunnah Prayers were not to be done here, but at home instead.

Time to exit.

There were still two more Jumah Prayers scheduled after us.

The exit line was backing up into the main prayer hall, so my brother and I did not rush to leave.

 

Everyone observed Physical Distancing as best they could.

Sayeda Khadija Centre has announced they would now remain open to the public for ALL Five Daily Prayers, keeping all these safety protocols in place.

A look at the empty  prayer hall with prayer spots identified and ready for the next scheduled Jumah Prayer.

After all the Sisters had left,

The volunteer sister who was minding the secondary exit from the main prayer, invited my brother and I and the other brothers remaining to leave through that doorway instead.

That saved us a lot of time, as other brothers had to wait due to physical distancing in the main exit line.

The large multi-use hall on the west side of the building might normally be bustling with voices and sounds of socializing amid smells of samosa and tea.

This afternoon found a rushed silence to exit the mostly empty building.

We exit Sayeda Khadija Centre and walk through the parking lot to the overflow area.

 

A look back to see people lining up to attend the Third of today’s Four  Friday Prayers and Sermon.

Turn around time for all that was about 40 minutes.

Half the total time a pre-Pandemic  Jumah might take.

Our masjid is re-opening with a limit of 100 people per prayer.

It is important to keep the following points in mind

1. Salah/Jumuah Registration is required
2. Bring your own mask and wear it at all times
3. Wudu must be completed at home as washrooms will be closed
4. Children and high risk groups must pray at home
5. Prayers and khutbahs will be kept to a maximum of 15 minutes
6. 2 metre physical distancing must be maintained at all times
7. You must show proof of registration
8. Prayers will be held outdoors
9. Bring your own chairs if required
10. No socializing, handshaking, or hugging
11. Bring your own prayer mat to use
12. No Sunnah or Nafl prayers at the masjid
13. Safety check station will be at the entrace

Disclaimed: While the safety of the community if of utmost priority, there is still some risk present with visiting the masjid.

Each individual bears the responsibility for their own actions and the masjid will not be held liable for any complications arising from your visit to the masjid.

By the grace of Allah we will be holding two outdoor Jumu’ah prayers in a limited and controlled manner on Friday, June 12.

As you aware aware, COVID-19 remains a serious health risk and we need to do our part to minimize the spread of the virus.”

“Check Islam.ca for all updates regarding this Friday’s khutbah and prayer!

– Join our Town Hall at 7:00 PM today
– Perform a Self Assessment for COVID-19
– Register for one of two Jumu’ah sessions at 8:00 PM
– Stay online for our Hadith Notes Session at 8:00 PM
– Take precautions and join us on Friday
– If you cannot attend, join us online for the Khutbah at 1:30 and 2:30 PM”

https://www.facebook.com/IslamicInstituteOfToronto/posts/1948945438573552

Important Update:

Due to a last-minute directive by the Provincial Authorities, we are not allowed to pray outdoors and therefore the prayers will now be held indoors. We are still trying to understand the rationale of this directive; however we will comply and require all worshippers to comply with all rules and restrictions.

Alhamdulillah we have the capacity to accommodate this change, so all plans and restrictions will remain the same.

– Only registered participants will be admitted
– Must wear masks at all times
– Must bring your own prayer rug
– Hand Sanitization station will be available
– keep a safe distance of at least 2 metres
– Cleaning will be done between the two prayers
– Doors will be kept open to minimize touching of surfaces
– All worshippers must leave the facilities immediately after the Fard prayer

Let us pray to Allah for patience and success.

*********

Limited Reopening for Friday Prayers June 12th

– Outdoor Jumu’ah: 1:30 & 2:30 pm
Livestream will continue for those who cannot attend)
– Join our Town Hall meeting this evening at 7:00 PM for additional details)

By the grace of Allah we will be holding two outdoor Jumu’ah prayers in a limited and controlled manner on Friday, June 12 following the Government of Ontario’s allowance for places of worship to have a maximum of 30% capacity.

As you aware aware, COVID-19 remains a serious health risk and we need to do our part to minimize the spread of the virus. As a result we are re-opening in a gradual manner with a lower than 30% capacity to minimize risk.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

In order to attend you must first complete Ontario’s COVID-19 self-assessment

(register for self assessment here – https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/ )

If your assessment is clear, you can then register for one of the two prayer sessions below.

Registration will commence at 8:00 PM today. Registration link:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/jumah-registration-108941852012

• First prayer: Khutbah at 1:30 pm; Khateeb Shaikh Musleh Khan
• Second prayer: Khutbah at 2:30 pm; Khateeb Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick

Each prayer is limited to 100 registered participants (50 brothers & 50 sisters).

Social distancing and other rules will be strictly observed as follows:

MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR ATTENDEES

1. Complete Ontario’s COVID-19 self-assessment
2. Register yourself and each additional individual separately
3. Print out or save a copy of your registration on your phone. You will NOT be allowed to enter the prayer area without proof of registration
4. Make wudhu at home as washroom facilities will NOT be available
5. Wear a mask at all times and bring a prayer rug for one (no sharing allowed); no tarps will be spread on the ground so you may want to bring plastic to spread under your prayer rug to avoid soiling it.
6. Enter the facilities from the South gate (main gate) and proceed to park as directed.
7. Maintain a safe social distance (2 metres) at all times; place your prayer rug only at a marked spot as directed. Please bring your own chair if you require one.
8. Follow the directions of our volunteers at all times
9. Give salaams and gestures from a safe distance; do not congregate to socialize with others.
10. Disperse right after the Fard prayer by exiting from the North Gate as directed. You can perform your sunnah prayers at home.

Please dress according to the weather, and bring an umbrella, sunglasses and reusable shoe-bags.

Young children, frail seniors and those with pre-existing medical conditions are advised not to attend.”

“Please read and follow guidelines in the image below.

We will need your Cooperation with Patience.

To attend Jumu’ah Salat, please register at http://skcentre.eventbrite.ca.

Registration will begin on Thursday June 11 at 12pm Noon.

SAYEDA KHADIJA CENTRE HAS THE RIGHT TO DENY ENTRY/SERVICE TO ANY CONGREGANT AT ANY TIME FOR PUBLIC SAFETY

Friday June 12 2020 – Jumu’ah Registration

Friday 1:30 p.m – 1:50 p.m EDT

Friday 2:15 p.m. – 2:35 p.m EDT

Friday 3:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. EDT

Friday 3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT

Sayeda Khadija Centre, Mississauga, Ontario

 

Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau Clarification Regarding Eid al-Fitr 2020 Announcement

Shawwal 10 1441/June 1st, 2020

All praise is for Allah Almighty.

May the peace and blessing be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, the faithful companions, and all those who follow them.

Dear Community Members.

Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

We are confident that this communiqué reaches you all in the finest of well-being and Iman insha-Allah.

The intent of this message is to clarify with the community the subject of Eid al-Fitr 2020/1441 and the decision of the Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau to announce the Eid al-Fitr celebrations for Saturday 23, May 2020.

BACKGROUND

To support the growing population of Muslims in the Ottawa/Gatineau region, a need was identified by the local Imams representing the major Masajid that they should come together to support the social and religious matters of the community.

With the continued growth of the diverse community base, the need to unify the community through a formal Imams Council became increasingly critical.

At first,

a more urgent task was to accommodate various schools of thought for the purpose of achieving higher objectives and gain mutual trust.

This unity could further prove beneficial to manage the declaration of the main Islamic dates such as the beginning and end of Ramadan, Dhul Hijjah, and the two Eids.

Therefore,

with the intention of maintaining harmony and unison within our community and prioritizing the consideration of higher objectives of the Shari’a the Imams Council of Ottawa adopted the Global moonsighting process for determining the dates for the Islamic months.

By adopting the Global moonsighting position,

it became easier to accept reports of the new crescent from anywhere across the world.

This position made it simpler to harmonize various viewpoints so as to easily allow the members of our community to observe major Islamic dates together on the same day.

The Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau recognizes that there are various views on determining the Islamic months which are all acceptable from the point of Islamic jurisprudence;

however,

the Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau felt that a perspective which unites all opinions was needed for the unity of our community, especially regarding the beginning of the months of Ramadan, Dhul Hijjah and the two Eids.

We strongly believe that this is easily achievable through the Global sighting viewpoint.

Hence the Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau, while utilizing science, astronomical data and moon visibility maps, but also prioritizing testimony (shahadah) over astronomy (hisab), accept the testimony and declarations from any reliable Muslim organization, moon sighting committee, or Islamic judiciary council of any Muslim country that has declared the sighting of the first moon (hilal).

CONTEXT OF HOW EID AL-FITR 2020 WAS DECIDED

Keeping the above in mind,

on the evening of Friday 22, May 2020 (29th Ramadan 1441) the Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau received credible reports from Mauritania which met the Global moonsighting criteria that the Imams Council of Ottawa/Gatineau follows for moonsighting.

As such,

the announcement for Eid al-Fitr was made.

The moon for Shawwal was sighted in 9 different regions throughout Mauritania by approximately 40 people.

One of the Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau members is from Mauritania and verified this information,

and therefore the Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau made a collective decision that Saturday 23, May 2020 was Eid al-Fitr.

It is also worthwhile to note in addition to the above there were moonsighting reports from several countries including Somalia, Senegal, Niger, Mali, Chad, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Ethiopia, Gambia, Tanzania, Hawaii, and even Arizona USA.

The possibility of the birth and sighting of the hilal after sunset on Friday 22, May 2020 in some of these regions, in particular, Honolulu Hawaii, and Phoenix Arizona USA was consistent to astronomical calculations and was also verified by the Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Based on these reports many institutions throughout Canada also celebrated Eid al-Fitr on Saturday 23, May 2020 such as:

1. Islamic Foundation of Toronto
2. Masjid Al-Farooq Islamic Center– Mississauga
3. Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre – Mississauga
4. Abu Huraira Center – Toronto
5. Thunder Bay Islamic Center – Thunder Bay
6. Khalid Bin Al-Walid Mosque – Toronto
7. Masjid Al-Salam – Brampton
8. Al-Abrar Centre – Aurora
9. All major Masajid and Islamic Centers in Nova Scotia

Having said that,

the Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau appeals to all community members to practice patience, forbearance, and tolerance, and to refrain from all avenues that lead to divisions, disunity, discord, and the fragmentation of the community.

We must respect, tolerate, and love each other.

In conclusion,

The Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau would like to reiterate that it is trying its utmost best to serve the community and its interests first and foremost.

Thus,

it is important to have faith in the decisions the Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau makes on behalf of the community.

Your kind dua’s are requested so that Allah may continue to allow us to serve the Muslim community.

May Allah accept our efforts and endeavors as moonsighting is also an act of worship (Ibadah).

We are extremely grateful for your understanding and continued support.

We also appreciate the input and encouragement we have received from the community, and ask Allah to guide us to that which is best.

Moving forward,

the Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau is considering further considerations and improvements to the moonsighting criteria while upholding unity on this important matter.

The Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau (CIOG)

Signed by the Council members (in alphabetical order):

Imam Ahmed Limame – The Outaouais Islamic Centre
Imam Anver Malam – Jami Omar
Imam Ismail Al-Batnuni – AMA (Masjid Al-Rahmah)
Imam Mohammad Badat – Masjid Bilal
Imam Muhammad Suliaman – OMA
Imam Mohsen El-Nadi – SNMC
Imam Owais Tilly – Jami Omar
Imam Samy Metwally – ISG
Imam Sikander Hashmi – KMA
Imam Zijad Delic – SNMC

This video was produced by Brother Abdullatif in Vancouver.

He recorded during Ramadan 2018.

He edited and released at the end of Ramadan 2020.

What took Br. Abdullatif so long?

Like many of us, if not all us everywhere, we have a backlog of good works we neglected and did not finish.

The pandemic lockdown has suddenly freed up vast amounts of time to complete those unfinished good works and release them now.

Alhumdulillah.

This is wonderful timelapse video which begins on a Skytrain Platform and continues inside Ajyal Islamic Centre in Downtown Vancouver.

  • Iftar, the breaking of the fast
  • Salat Al Maghrib, the Prayer after Sunset
  • Serving of Iftar Dinner

All are time lapsed while The Call to Prayer after Sunset is made by Kurdish Brother Muhammad.

MashAllah.

 

During Ramadan 2018 I blogged about Ajyal Islamic Centre twice . . .

 

 

Islamic Society of North America organized a Drive-Thru Eid in Mississauga

ਨੌਰਥ ਅਮਰੀਕਾ ਦੀ ਇਸਲਾਮਿਕ ਸੋਸਾਇਟੀ ਨੇ ਮਹਾਂਮਾਰੀ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਈਦ ਮਨਾਓਣ ਦਿਆਂ ਰਸਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਨਵਾਂ ਰੰਗ ਢੰਗ ਦੇ ਦਿੱਤਾ। ਓਨਾਂ ਮਿਸਿਸਾਗਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਡਰਾਇਵ ਥਰੂ ਜ਼ਰਿਏ ਮਨਾਈ ਈਦ।

“Eid Celebrations featured on Omni Television

🎉🙏Our community and service is being talked about in many languages and share by OMNI Television far and wide.

Join us in extending a HUGE thanks to our extended community in Canada for joining us on Eid day.

We look forward to welcoming you in all our future events 👏👏

Thank you OMNI Television for coming out and making our day even more special!

(OMNI Television is a Canadian television system and specialty channel owned by the Rogers Media subsidiary of Rogers Communications)”

 

Drive Thru Eid celebrations by ISNA

Islamic Society of North America organised a Drive-Thru Eid in Mississauga ਨੌਰਥ ਅਮਰੀਕਾ ਦੀ ਇਸਲਾਮਿਕ ਸੋਸਾਇਟੀ ਨੇ ਮਹਾਂਮਾਰੀ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਈਦ ਮਨਾਓਣ ਦਿਆਂ ਰਸਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਨਵਾਂ ਰੰਗ ਢੰਗ ਦੇ ਦਿੱਤਾ। ਓਨਾਂ ਮਿਸਿਸਾਗਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਡਰਾਇਵ ਥਰੂ ਜ਼ਰਿਏ ਮਨਾਈ ਈਦ।

Posted by Omni Focus Punjabi on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

 

“Mr. Speaker,

I rise in these extraordinary times to share with you the experience of Muslim Canadians this Eid.

Muslim Canadians just observed Ramadan – and what a Ramadan it was.

At a time where usually families and friends gather for food or prayer,

unprecedented adjustments had to be made.

What was heartwarming Mr. Speaker,

is even when many adopted new ways to uphold their religious and social customs,

people didn’t forget their obligations to each other.

Muslim organizations stepped up to help their fellow neighbour.

Mosques and groups like the

and countless others mobilized volunteers and donors to offer support to vulnerable Canadians.

Today,

Muslim Canadians are celebrating Eid with pride and optimism.

Whether we celebrated Easter, Passover, Vaisakhi, Eid or any other special occasion,

Canadians displayed a strong sense of unity.

Regardless of our background,

we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.

We will get through this pandemic together.”

— Omar Alghabra

Member of Parliament for Mississauga Centre

Members’ Statements
House of Commons
Parliament of Canada, Ottawa

Monday May 26 2020

COVID Eid

I rose in Parliament today to recognize the excellent work done by Muslim Canadian groups during Ramadan & Eid in the midst of a pandemic. Thank you for making our country better for all

Posted by Omar Alghabra on Monday, May 25, 2020

 

Significance of celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr

Multicultural ਧਰਤੀ ਤੇ ਆਪਾ ਸਾਰੇ ਮਿਲ ਜੁਲ ਕੇ ਈਦ ਦਾ ਤਿਉਹਾਰ ਮਨਾ ਰਹੇ ਹਾਂ। ਸਾਂਝੀਵਾਲਤਾ ਦੀ ਇਸ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਕੀ ਮਿਸਾਲ ਹੋਵੇਗੀ ਕਿ – ਅੱਜ ਇਸ ਮੁਸ਼ਕਿਲ ਦੀ ਘੜੀ ਵਿਚ ਸਭ ਇਕ ਦੂਸਰੇ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਖੜੇ ਨੇ – ਇਹ ਸਮਾਂ ਔਖਾ ਜਰੂਰ ਹੈ, ਪਰ ਆਪਾ ਸਭ ਈਦ ਦੀਆਂ ਖੁਸ਼ੀਆਂ ਹਮੇਸ਼ਾਂ ਦੀ ਤਰ੍ਹਾ ਹੀ ਵੰਡਾਗੇ

Kids celebrate Eid their own way amid covid19

ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਅੰਦਰ ਈਦ ਲਈ ਖ਼ਾਸ ਖਿੱਚ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ। ਈਦੀ ਦਾ ਬੇਸਬਰੀ ਨਾਲ ਇੰਤਜ਼ਾਰ ਕਰਨਾ, ਦੋਸਤਾਂ ਰਿਸ਼ਤੇਦਾਰਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਰੌਣਕਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਹੋਣਾ ਅਤੇ ਇਸ ਮੌਕੇ ਲਈ ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼ ਲਿਬਾਸ ਵਿਚ ਚਹਿਕਣਨੂੰ ਉਹ ਬੇਕਰਾਰ ਰਹਿਣਾ। ਇਸ ਵਾਰ ਦੀ ਈਦ ਆਮ ਵਰਗੀ ਨਹੀਂ – ਪਰ ਫਿਰ ਵੀ ਬੱਚੇ ਈਦ ਦੀਆਂ ਤਿਆਰੀਆਂ ਵਿਚ ਰੁੱਝੇ ਰਹੇ।


Church May Become City’s First Mosque

“A Toronto church may become the city’s first mosque.

Reginald Assim, president of The Muslim Society of Toronto, said yesterday the group has looked at several churches among other buildings, with a view to conversion.

In two months the society has pledged $10,000 toward the $100,000 estimated necessary to provide a mosque for the city’s 400 Moslems.

If a former church is used, the complete interior will have to be ripped out, as a mosque has no altar, pictures or statues, and Moslems worship on mats on the Floor.

Yesterday’s announcement was made as 200 Moslems met in a Dundas St. W. dance hall to celebrated the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan Canadian style — with coffee and cakes, sandwiches and tea.

Moslems from India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, United Arab Republic, Burma, Russia and Yugoslavia heard recitations from the Koran, watched a playlet performed by society members, and sang folk songs of 10 countries.

Only other concessions to Eastern tradition were a sprinkling of saris and two or three turbans.

Most of the men wore lounge suits and the women smart spring dresses.

Their numbers underlined the growth of the city’s Moslem community.

Before the war, estimated Albanian-born Mr. Assim, 72, a retired confectionery manufacturer who has lived here nearly 50 years, fewer than 40 Moslems lived in Toronto.

The society was formed mainly to foster the teaching of Islam among the community’s children.

Many members are political refugees.

The society helped 50 of them here by providing sponsorship, finding jobs and guaranteeing support.”

The Globe and Mail, April 4 1960

Toronto’s first mosque to open

By WILLIAM JOHNSON

“Toronto’s Moslems will open the city’s first mosque next week.

The beginning will be modest, in a former Presbyterian church being renovated as a house of Allah.

Wednesday evening, prayers will be said there for the first time, with the faithful facing southeast in the direction of Mecca.

A mosque, once established, must by Islamic law never be torn down or put to other use.

The new mosque is on Boustead Avenue in the Roncesvalles Avenue and Dundas Street area.

It is the responsibility of the Muslim Society of Toronto Inc., whose president is Mirza Qadder Baig, a Pakistani.

He is professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Toronto.

The society includes members from more than a dozen countries, including several Canadian converts.

Toronto’s Moslem population has always been small because Canada’s immigration laws, until recently, restricted the admission of non-Europeans.

Now, with the influx of immigrants from India, Pakistan, the West Indies and North Africa, the number is growing and might be close to 5,000.

Moslems, until recently, tended to keep themselves inconspicuous, sensing that Canadians knew litter about Islam and cared even less for it.

“Not one person in 10,000 knows anything about Islam,” says Rajab Assim, who migrated to Toronto from Albania in 1911.

He remembers the anti-Islam propaganda during the First World War when Turkey was fighting on the side of Germany.

Then Moslems were portrayed as “savages who would kill anybody,” he says.

The word Islam connotates vague images of harems, of eunuchs armed with scimitars and flying carpets.

In schools, histories presented the Crusades as holy wars to liverate the Holy Land from the “infidels.”

The first great Western epic, the Song of Raland, showed Charlemagne’s armies slaughtering Saracens by the thousands.

Yet Islam is one of the great world religions, with more than 479 million adherents, or more than twice the number of Protestants. Islam was the foundation of a cosmopolitan culture in North Africa and Spain a thousand years ago, at a time when Christendom was struggling through its Dark Ages.

In fact, it was Islamic scholarship that helped revive learning in the West.

Islam, like Judaism and Christianity, is monotheistic.

Moslems are permitted by Islamic law to marry outside their religion with Jews and Christians, both called the People of the Book.

Moslems accept the Torah and the Gospels as genuine revelations, and Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus as genuine prophets of Allah.

Mohammed, they believe, was the last prophet to speak to men, and the Koran the last prophetic book, the word of Allah brought by the Archangel Gabriel to Mohammed.

It is the Islamic rituals of worship, probably, that strike the non-Moslem as most distinctive.

The Moslem is enjoined by the Koran to pray to Allah five times a day: before the sun rises, when the sun is at the meridian, in the afternoon, just after sunset, and when going to bed.

In Moslem countries,

the call to prayer is sounded at the appointed time by a muezzin (crier) from the height of the mosque’s minaret.

Then people flock to the mosque, removing their shoes before entering, or they unroll their prayer rug where they are and prostrate themselves on it to pray.

In Toronto,

as is the case everywhere else, the Moslem is bound by the same daily obligation to pray, but most try to find a private spot to carry out their obligation so as not to provoke the stares or the jibes of Canadians not used to the sight of a Moslem at prayer.

The removal of shoes when entering a mosque and the use of a prayer rug are rooted in a concept of reverence which demands that a person addressing Allah should be clean.

Before praying,

the Moslem washes his face, his hands and arms to the elbow, and his feet.

He must pray in a clean place,

and so the mosque is kept scrupulous one of the reasons for the removal of shoes.

The prayer rug is simply a clean piece of cloth which the Moslem can have with him so that he can pray anywhere.

On Fridays, the holy day of the week, the Moslem attends noon prayers in the mosque, but first he must take a bath and put on his best clothes and some scent “to make the atmosphere of the mosque more pleasant,” Prof. Baig explained.

The Moslem’s life is interwoven with his religion.

When a child is born, parents whisper in its ear the Arabic words “Allah-U Akbar” (God is great) so the first word heard by the child will be the name of Allah.

When the child is about three and has memorized the first chapter of the Koran, the parents throw a party with relatives and friends coming to the feast and bringing presents to the child.

Every year, during the month of Ramadan, the Moslem must abstain from food, drink or intercourse between sunrise and sundown each day. at the end of the year, he must give 2½ per cent of all his savings in charity to the poor.

At least once in a lifetime,

each Moslem physically and financially able to do so must make the Hajj—the pilgrimage to Mecca which expresses the spiritual unity of all Moslems throughout the world, regardless of race, language or nationality.

“It was a very moving experience,” Dr. Baig said of his pilgrimage to Mecca last year.

“You find yourself in a different world altogether. Thousands of people all reciting the Koran, day or night, and all looking happy. There was not a single miserable face.”

After death, Moslems bury the body as soon as possible, without embalming.

The Islamic Society of Toronto has purchased a 1,000 grave lot in a the Glendale Memorial Gardens as a Moslem cemetery.

One of the functions of the new mosque will be to provide a forum for classes on Islam so that Canadians might become familiar with the religion.”

The Globe and Mail, February 22 1969

During Ramadan 2016,

when I was doing 30 Masjids in 30 Days Canada, I wasn’t able to visit any of our three northern Territories.

Breaking a Ramadan Fast in Nunavut, The Yukon, and/or the Northwest Territories, then blogging about it, remains something outstanding in these 10 years of blogging Ramadan on 30Masjids.ca

InshAllah, I may yet do that.

On this Eid Al Fitr 2020,

Here are quotes and photos from others about Drive-Thru Eid Al Fitr Celebrations hosted by Islamic Centre of Yellowknife . . .

Boxes of chocolate and goodie bags for children were handed out to celebrate Eid in Yellowknife on Sunday. (Danielle d'Entremont/CBC)

Boxes of chocolate and goodie bags for children were handed out to celebrate Eid in Yellowknife on Sunday. (Danielle d’Entremont/CBC)

Monzur Choudhury hands out goodie bags to a local family on Sunday. Within the first hour of the Eid event, over 40 cars had driven by to pass along holiday greetings and collect the treats. (Danielle d'Entremont/CBC)

Monzur Choudhury hands out goodie bags to a local family on Sunday. Within the first hour of the Eid event, over 40 cars had driven by to pass along holiday greetings and collect the treats. (Danielle d’Entremont/CBC)

Zaka Ullah (right) says the drive-thru Eid celebrations allowed people to feel connected despite the territorial government's restrictions on gatherings. (Danielle d'Entremont/CBC)

Zaka Ullah (right) says the drive-thru Eid celebrations allowed people to feel connected despite the territorial government’s restrictions on gatherings. (Danielle d’Entremont/CBC)

“People have morning prayers where they meet each other, greet each other … and after, people normally have parties.

But this year with COVID[-19] going on we thought this was a nice way to get them out and get them connected,”

said Zaka Ullah, as he handed out chocolates.

Within the first hour of the event about 40 different cars had driven by.

Some were decorated with balloons; many cars were filled with smiling faces as passengers called out to organizers with the holiday greeting,

“Eid Mubarak!”

Eid is a day of happiness so we wanted to celebrate, we wanted to meet with people, and we wanted people to get out of their homes.

Awan said although it is difficult not being able to get together,

Sunday’s celebrations allow for people to focus their energy on supporting one another, rather than on material things, such as gifts.

“Islam is a very simple religion,” he said.

“Fasting is not just keeping hungry, it is all about having a better character, how beneficial you are to other people in the community, how caring you are — for your family and your friends and humanity.”

“We were just hoping to create some Eid festivities,”

said Nazim Awan, chair of the Islamic Centre of Yellowknife.

“We decided that we’ll offer something that at least people can feel it’s Eid.”

Awan said Eid celebrations are usually held at large public spaces involving a reception and meal.

There is usually a community barbecue and gift exchanges to follow.

Awan said it was disappointing for the community to be unable to gather, but he understood the situation and felt they made the best of it.

“We put some smiles on the children’s faces and family’s faces,” he said.

The event brought over 65 cars to the drive-thru, held off Franklin Ave, where the new mosque is being built;

although construction of the mosque has been delayed as a result of COVID-19, Awan said.”

“Mashallah!!

Our Islamic Centre of Yellowknife had a good showing for Eid day as well.

About 75 families came through.

They also held a special Dawah🙏program delivering Eid gifts 🎁🎁🎁to children of mixed religious upbringing who don’t normally come to the mosque.

Kudos to our Yellowknife team that is over 4,700 KM away from here !!”

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Aid mobarak said for all

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