For this First Friday of Ramadan 2014, I wanted to tie up a lose end from Ramadan 2012.
Back then, I prayed Asr in the Dixon Musallah at 340 Dixon Road.
There, I learned that Jumah was performed in a much larger space next door at 320 Dixon Road in the underground parking lot. I made the effort to make it out there and alhumdulillah, was finally able to so.
I arrived way too early. An elderly brother hanging around outside informed me the Musallah would open up around 1 p.m. with Qhutbah beginning at 1:30 p.m. and prayer at 2 p.m. So I went in search of open WiFi which had me walking up and down Dixon Road for about an hour.
Now, some of you reading this might be feeling the Address of 320 Dixon Road is familiar somehow.
That’s because just in front of this address was where two Toronto Star Reporters watched a video of Mayor Rob Ford. That controversial video has yet to become public but it began a series of events which were very bad for the Mayor, and bad for Dixon Road as a community too.
That controversial video was apparently filmed on the 17th floor of the 320 Dixon Road Building.
That was over a year ago now.
Today, I waited for someone to open the door, and then followed Muslim-clad men down the stairwell to the P1 level and Friday Prayers. No mention of the Mayor nor Police Raids nor videos.
I found a wonderful converted prayer space comprised of a few connected basement rooms. It reminded me of the Basement Spaces in Regent Park. Yet this space, being used only for Jumah, was not as grand as any of the Regent Park Musallahs.
Overlapped carpets overlapping with unfurled bamboo-ish mats, creating a tapestry of exploding colour. The simplicity was visually stunning. Sitting there waiting for the Jumah Qhutbah to begin, it was easy to forget I was in an Apartment Building basement Parking Lot.
The Qhutbah was in English. The Sermon’s theme with numerous examples given by the Imam, was on what we lose when we stick to revenge and do not forgive. It was a good reminder.
— HïMY SYeD (@HiMYSYeD) July 4, 2014
The space is rented. It’s been here for 13 years, since 2001. A few hundred can pray here, and it is only Jumah Friday Prayers that are performed. It’s closed the rest of the time.
There is no accommodation for Sisters, nor wudu facilities.
It’s really intended to allow brothers who live in these high-rises who can’t make it out to any of the nearby masjids and Islamic Centres to not miss their Jumah Prayers.
Despite all that, there was a real sense of community and belonging I witnessed before and after prayers.
InshAllah, I look forward to choosing to pray here again, if ever I find myself in the Dixon Road area on a Friday.