Day 4 – MAC Islamic Centre – Muslim Association of Canada | 2122 Kingsway – Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territory, British Columbia

I have arrived early at MAC Islamic Centre Vancouver on this Long Victoria Day Weekend Sunday Evening.

I wrote about my visit to MAC Vancouver last year, and if you consider the following images, Tonight’s Iftar and evening went pretty much the same as it did on the First Fast of Ramadan 2017.

So I won’t repeat myself too much…

Adhan Al Maghrib, The Call to Sunset Prayer and time Break Fast.

Oh Lord! This soup was sooooooo good. When the young volunteer came around with seconds, you know I went for the second cup!

A Quarter past 10 p.m. and many little ones are running around having fun.

This little girl’s father asked his daughter to stay standing on the Mimbar while he smartphone snapped some photographs.

Adhan Al Isha, The Call to Sunset Prayer.

Before we begin the Prayer, the brother standing up front goes over some Taraweeh Housekeeping Rules, so to speak…

MAC Vancouver wants people to attend as a family, yet also wants people to be able to pray in peace, without the voices of young children distracting our concentration.

To that end, MAC has created the TTT Program:

“TTT Program (mini Taraweeh, Tafsir & Talk) and many activities that engage children and teach them about Islam in a beautiful and practical way.

This is one of the programs that ensure that the kids are safe and supervised while adults pray peacefully and quietly.

Mothers with babies and toddlers up to 2 years can pray in the musallah upstairs and follow the Imam (with speakers) while minding their children.

Children 3 years old and up to 5 can be in the child minding area upstairs in the classroom.

Kids 5 to 12 can join the TTT program right after Isha’ prayer”

Here are some photographs of TTT in action:

TTT is a wonderful addition and idea. Hopefully it’s something that other masjids and Islamic Centre may consider during their Taraweeh Nights.

That’s upstairs. Downstairs, it’s time to pray.

Taraweeh again this year is 8 Rakats at MAC.

After 4 Rakats, a brief Islamic Reminder from this year’s Visiting Taraweeh Leader.

Here’s the 411:

  • Sheikh Mu’taz Al-Mansoury was born in Libya and memorized Qur’an at the age of 17.
  • Student of the esteemed scholar sheikh Ma’touq Al-Amary, may Allah have mercy on him.
  • Ijazah in narration of Hafs and in narration of Qalun graduating with distinction. He also had an Ijazah in Arabic maqam (melodic modes) and public speaking.
  • Sheikh Mu’taz was hired as an imam for 15 years in several mosques in Libya before moving to Canada to complete his study of Medicine. That did not take him away from being an imam as he led taraweeh prayers in many mosques in Mississauga like Darul-Tawheed and Al-Farooq mosques.
  • Previously, Sheikh Mu’taz was the imam of Darul-Tawheed.
  • Likewise, he led taraweeh in Victoria, Canada as well as Milan, Italy.
  • Teacher of Qur’an in Al-Otrojah program,MAC, Mississauga.
  • Winner of various national and international Quran competitions.

We complete 8 Rakats Taraweeh followed by Witr. Time for a bit socializing. And for me, another coffee from across the street.

At the bus stop, one of the elderly brothers who was inside MAC for tonight’s Iftar until Witr is sitting on the bench in the bus shelter.

We strike up a conversation. I learn he’s only been in Canada five weeks and Vancouver is where he expects to complete his life.

One thing stood out for during our conversation.

He expressed how surprised he was that, “There were so many masjids in Vancouver!”

Hmmm…

He continued and shared with me how on his home continent of Africa that people didn’t expect there to be many masjids if any at all in places like Canada.

This surprised him.

For someone like me who grew up in Toronto, where today there is almost a Masjid or 5 times prayer space within walking distance of every Torontonian, this observation of his had me reconsidering Vancouver’s current inventory of Masjids.

Vancouver may not have Masjids within walking distance of every Vancouverite, but travelling a few stops on the bus or skytrain, a quick MOBI Bikeshare Ride, or even a short drive, and there are certainly are enough Prayer Spots to provide real choice.

That’s something I realized last year doing 30 Masjids in Metro Vancouver.

Something I was reminded of again tonight.

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