Day 2 – JUMAH – First Friday – Islamic Centre of Nanaimo – 897 Harbour View Street – Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

I’m boarding BC Ferry Queen of Cowichan en route to the Islamic Centre of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island.

My intention is to join Jumah Prayers there on this First Friday of Ramadan 2018.

Looking back towards Horseshoe Bay and the different BC Ferries.

I don’t know the names of the islands passing by, this one may be Bowen Island, which still falls within the jurisdiction of Metro Vancouver.

Off in the distance, one can make out the vertical shape of Vancouver.

Zooming in, a Manhattanesque spine reveals Vancouver as Vanhattan, British California.

I am working on the previous blog post as container ships are passed.

An hour and forty minutes later, Departure Bay, at the north end of Nanaimo is in sight.

I haven’t taken too many self-portraits while doing 30 Masjids in 30 Days all these years. Something I want to change this year. So here’s one on the BC Ferry approaching Nanaimo.

We’re not the only ones arriving in Nanaimo at this moment. I watched this seaplane circle around and land while our Ferry was in slow approach to the dock.

The 8:45 a.m. Ferry wasn’t full. De-boarding was a breeze.

See all these vehicles lined up, I wondered about the logistics to ensure swift Ferry Boardings?

This is the first time I am in Nanaimo and this part of Vancouver Island. Taking the Ferry was the easy part.

Now I need to locate and reach the Masjid.

I found two conflicting addresses listed online for the Islamic Centre of Nanaimo. Both addresses are on official websites. One address is listed on the BCMA’s Nanaimo webpage. The other address is from the centre’s social media page.

And the addresses are in very different parts of the city.

I have enough time, so I began walking to the closer address.

Eventually I get lost and throw in the towel. It’s about 1 p.m. now, and Jumah Khutbah, the Friday Sermon, begins at 1:30 p.m.

Took some doing, but I was able to hail a cab. The driver wasn’t familiar with either address and didn’t know the Islamic Centre’s location off the top of his head, so he contacted dispatch. The farther address, in the south end of the city, was confirmed as the correct destination.

The current and correct address for the Islamic Centre of Nanaimo is 897 Harbour View Street at Strickland.

We reached the front of the Masjid as the Adhan al Jumah, the Arabic Call to Friday Prayer could be heard from inside the building. Settled the cash with the driver as fast as possible and literally got my right foot in the door as the final word of the Adhan was decrescendoing.

The wudu facility had me scrounching down even lower than usual.

I was able to make it in time to sit in my preferred Friday Prayer spot, in the front line, on the right side, facing the Imam.

The Jumah Khutbah, Friday Lecture, was good with numerous reminders to start off this Holy Month of Ramadan. I would learn later that the Khateeb, was the Brother who is the Imam of the Duncan Musallah.

Duncan is a small town halfway in-between Nanaimo and Victoria. It was one the locations I had wanted to include in my 30Masjids 2017 around Metro Vancouver, but was unable to last year.

I missed talking to him in person as I got into conversation with others.

Those others were two young Muslim Scholars-in-Training from Scarborough, Ontario.

More about that in the next blog post.

When I had first envisioned going Coast to Coast to Coast for 30 Masjids in 30 Days in Ramadan Across Canada, I knew it would have to be a two year, two Ramadan, project.

The first year, I would begin in St. John’s Newfoundland, and head west.

The second year, the plan was to begin in Nanaimo, make the first Iftar in the western-most masjid in Canada, then head back east, visiting numerous places I missed or couldn’t do the first time around.

I wasn’t able to do that.

I had to completely miss Calgary in 2016 and haven’t yet visited any masjids in Canada’s three northern Territories. I have since visited Calgary’s Masjids, but not during Ramadan.

Well, here we are in Nanaimo on Day 2 of Ramadan 2018.

Let’s see how far we go, and what Allah, God-Alone, Glorified and Praised be He, has in store for us this year.


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