Day 14 – QUBA Islamic Centre – Unit 8 – 789 Warden Avenue, Scarborough

This flyer was tacked onto the bulletin board in Jame Abu Bakr Siddique.

QUBA Islamic Centre at 789 Warden Avenue in Scarborough is a masjid I hadn’t heard of before.

A perfect candidate for a 30 Masjids visit.

And Day 14 was a perfect day for it…

I took the subway from Downtown Toronto budgeting in plenty of time for whatever transit related delays may pop up. My hope was to arrive on time to pray Asr, the late afternoon prayer.

Arriving at Warden Station, seeing the line ups for the Warden Bus, I decided to walk north from the station located at Warden and St. Clair toward Warden and Eglinton where this new masjid  is located.

The sprititual neighbours to QUBA Islamic Centre, Sri Krishna Vrundavana Temple. Throughout my travels I’ve noticed numerous industrial parks or strip mall set-ups where various religious institutions have replaced failing businesses.

Late Urbanist Jane Jacobs had said,

“Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.”

I wonder what she would say about Old Religions using old buildings ?

Opposite side of Warden Avenue to where QUBA Islamic Centre is located are a number of Big Box Stores. Including RONA and Lowe’s.

In December of 2011, Lowe’s pulled its advertising from a Reality TV Show, All-American Muslim, which had a million plus viewers every week.

QUBA is easy to find. In fact it may be the easiest Masjid to find in all of Scarborough. Just look up and work your way towards the Warden Water Tank Tower.

The Water Tank performs a similar waymarking function as many a Masjid’s minaret might.

There is a generous amount of parking available beside and behind the Masjid.

QUBA is open for all five prayers and holds Friday Jumah Prayers.

Everything in this wudu area was likely purchased across the street.

Likely at RONA’s.

Unlikely from Lowe’s.

Fascinating.

The wudu faucet extension is a short length of garden hose.

These are so new the white plastic twist tie minus the price tag is still attached.

There is a functioning shower here as well.

For people who wish to perform Itikaaf, the masjid is available to do so the last ten nights of Ramadan.

Everything is new. Everything is spacious.

There is only one other person here. Iqbal. He calls Adhan al Asr, the Late Afternoon Call to Prayer.

Only the two of us are present when the set time for Asr arrives. I call the Iqama Adhan, Iqbal leads the prayer.

It is incredibly peaceful. Sukkun is the arabic word for it.

Sunlight makes its way across the wall and carpet of QUBA much as it did in the Islamic Foundation of Toronto on Day 10.

The sister’s area is smaller, but they have two rooms rather than one large space.

Tetley Tea and Saudi Dates.

I have been collecting Ramadan Prayer Timetables at each masjid whenever I remember.

A dedicated 30 Masjids story or BIG photoblog post just on this Timetable aspect of the Ramadan Experience is forthcoming.

For right now however, QUBA’s timetable just became my favourite. Each of the Ten Days of Ramadan are colour coded. It’s easy on the eyes. They spell out the name of each day.

Overall, it is very well designed, MashAllah.

Window sills doubling as bookshelves.

The mimbar is simple. There is no mihrab. Perhaps by Ramadan 2013 one may be added.

Iqbal alone has been busy preparing the Iftar Break Fast foods. It is appreciated.

As Iftar time approaced about a dozen brothers and half that number of sisters arrive.

I want to go on and on and on and on about the food!

Even though most every night’s Iftar here are sponsored by a family or small business, people still brought more food for Iftar in potluck fashion.

What struck me was the variety and colours.

We all took our time with the initial break fast finger foods. No rush to Maghrib. I really liked this.

This was Maghrib. Plenty of space to go with the plenty of food.

During Iftar Dinner, I learn about QUBA Islamic Centre from a brother whose first name is Syed. The same as my last name.

This is a Commuter Masjid.

It’s on the way when people need to quickly stop and pray before heading to wherever they are going. Warden Avenue is a well traversed north-south artery in this part of Toronto. QUBA is a good addition to it.

QUBA only opened two months ago. There was a need in this industrial area for a masjid during Dhurh, the Afternoon Prayer.

There are numerous Masjids nearby, but for the many Muslims working in this industrial and Big Box retail area, those others weren’t as convenient.

A group of brothers saw this empty industrial unit and decided to rent it to start.

Nowadays, Dhuhr prayers sees about two and half full lines of male worshippers.

Double that number for Jumah Friday Prayers. There is only one Jumah scheduled, for now. That’s likely to change as more people learn there is a masjid here.

New carpet was donated just before Ramadan began and there is painting left to do. But the basics are all covered. Parking, Wudu, Sisters Area, Five Times Prayers, Carpet.

The Imam is currently in Makkah for Ramadan, consequently young brother Syed has taken up duties to lead prayers when he can. He lives near Victoria Park and Danforth, but has committed to ensure this masjid gets off to a good start and drives here often.

Being behind Crown Taxi’s headquarters, many cab drivers also find it convenient to pray here.

I head outside to McDonald’s to grab an iced coffee. Need the caffeine to stay up during Taraweeh. They pray 20 rakats at QUBA.

Even with our small number of worshippers, a few people leave after eight rakats.

If you find you need space and peace and quiet for Itikaaf for these last few days of Ramadan 2012, you will find it in QUBA Islamic Centre in Scarborough at 789 Warden Avenue…

…Because, if you wait until Ramadan 2013, when everyone will likely know about QUBA, you’ll miss your chance…

…next year, QUBA will likely be as packed as every other masjid in the Greater Toronto Area already is during this Ramadan.

For the time being, it’s empty.

Kind of like how the First Masjid in Islam was empty when it first opened 1433 years ago.

QUBA Islamic Centre is Toronto’s newest Masjid.

It is named after Islam’s oldest one, Masjid Al-Quba in Madinah.


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