Day 2 – Masjid Omar Al-Farook – Othman Bin Affan Islamic Society – 1659 East 10th Avenue at Commercial Drive – Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territory, British Columbia

Masjid Omar Al-Farook is located at 1659 East 10th Avenue.

Their large sign is easy to spot from a few steps east at Commercial Drive.

A little less easy to spot is this small kind note, taped to that sign:

To You
Your Jewish Neighbour

This is a small neighbourhood masjid. Wudu facility on brothers’ side is adequate.

I’ve been here before, but this is my first visit during Ramadan.

The right side of the Prayer Room is curtained off. Usually the sisters pray upstairs. I gather during Ramadan, sisters need more space.

The short cardboard on the floor and the few dates and snacks on the table suggest the size of people expected for Sunset Prayer and Iftar is small.

Masjid Omar hosts Community Iftars on Friday and Saturdays as well as all of the last ten nights of Ramadan.

There are “Little Free Libraries” placed and found in public spaces in cities all over the world.

In Masjids and Islamic Centres, one often finds bookshelves offering Free Books. Masjid Omar is one such place.


Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things.

Qur’an – Surah An-Nur [24:35]

This lamp always captures my attention. Muslim Prayer rooms are essentially empty rooms with a carpet.

A lantern or lamp with mosaic glass is a little extra touch that can make all the difference.

It is almost time to break the fast. Dates are placed onto plates.

More food to break the fast follows. Samosas and traditional sweet baked flour.

Adhan Al-Maghrib, Call to The Sunset Prayer is made. Time to break fast.

Like yesterday, I bite into the date before taking a photo of my “Iftar”.

Someone brought milk. Not the skim milk, the good stuff, organic maybe. But we run of cups. One resourceful brother hits up the water cooler and pour me three fingers of milks.

The Sunset Prayer didn’t fill up an entire line, though we probably had enough for a minyan… ooops, that’s our cousins!

Iftar but no Iftar Dinner. Everyone quickly prays and heads home for that. I instead decide to grab coffee around the corner, followed by vegetarian pizza north along The Drive. 

Looking up from putting on my sneakers, I spot the moon. Easily! It’s thicker than Friday night. Definitely a two day old moon.

From the Commercial Drive and Broadway intersection, the moon is clearly visible.

Commercial-Broadway is major transit node in Vancouver. Two skytrain lines connect here. One of the busiest bus routes in North America, the 99 B-Line, which gets us from here to the University of British Columbia campus on the west side of the city also connects here.

This allows Masjid Omar Al-Farook to be both a Commuter Masjid and a Neighbourhood Masjid.

This is an easy masjid to reach, pop in, pray, and continue with your day.

Adhan Al-Isha. Call to The Night Prayer.

Taraweeh tonight is lead by Brother Bukhari. He is from Somalia. I’ve heard him a number of times at Ajyal Islamic Centre.

He has a wonderful recitation of the Qur’an.

Brother Bukhari is also Blind.

Like the night before at MAC, a number of brothers leave after praying 4 Rakats.

Brother Bukhari lead short prayers, yet it was long enought. It is well past midnight.

There pray 8 Rakats of Taraweeh at Masjid Omar. Witr is a few short minutes.


Afterwards I meet the previous president of the non-profit running Masjid Omar. He shares with me some of their history. But it’s late. He has to lock up.

We agree to continue the story the next time I come here for Iftar.


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