Tonight, 30Masjids returns to its roots and begins this year’s Ramadan Journey where it first began in 2011: The Islamic Information & Dawah Centre International.
I arrived just as Adhan al Maghrib / Call to Sunset Prayer was about to be made.
In 2011, I wrote about what Brother Shabbir Ally had said in the Dawah Centre that first night, yet I always regretted NOT at least making an audio recording of his words.
For this first night in Ramadan 2015, before fasting even begins Thursday at Dawn, I wanted to make the effort to hear Dr. Shabbir Ally speak. He wasn’t there for Maghrib. Instead I found him speaking later on about half an hour before Isha was penciled in to begin at 10:30 p.m.:
Inbetween Maghrib and Isha, I went Moonsighting, but of course, did not see the new crescent.
I returned a few minutes after Dr. Ally began the first of his nightly 10 p.m. Qur’an talks, hence the disjointed beginning to my recording.
The Lunar month of Ramadan has migrated as it does each year about 11 days earlier on the Solar Calendar. Consequently, we Toronto Muslims will find ourselves opening our day long fasts around 9 p.m. and then starting all over again around 4 a.m.
That doesn’t leave much time overnight to pray and then do extra prayers, and then rest somewhat and wake up again before dawn to eat something before Fasting begins once again.
The usual nightly extra prayers, the Tarawih prayers, are traditionally 20 Rakats.
It will be interesting to see how each congregation I visit this month balances everything.
In the Dawah Centre, as Dr. Shabbir Ally outlines a little bit near the end of the video above, their schedule as follows:
- Educational session about The Qur’an’s message to the World starts at 8 p.m. leaving time for Q&A before Adhan al Maghrib and the time to Break Fast
- Overview of the Qur’an verses to be recited during that night’s Tarawih Prayers
- Full 20 Rakats of Tarawih performed
- 1/30th of the Qur’an will be recited each night: Half during the 20 Rakats, and the remaining half will be recited after the Tarawih prayers are done, sitting down
- Free Community Iftar Dinners on Saturday and Sunday (Might include a few Fridays also, none confirmed at present)
Altogether, the Dawah Centre’s Schedule worked well on this first night of Ramadan.
Dr. Shabbir Ally was sharing his knowledge as people arrived ahead of the 10:30 p.m. Isha Prayer time.
Tarawih began about 10:55 p.m. with the first 8 Rakats being completed by 11:20 p.m.
Many of the brothers who called it a night after praying the 8 Rakats for the most part didn’t make too much noise allowing those who wished to continue praying til 20 to do so distraction-free.
20 Rakats plus Witr Prayer took us to about 11:40 p.m. which comes to about an hour of standing and prostrating listening to the Qur’an.
Thereafter, those who remained, perhaps 20 to 30 people sat down to listen to the Qur’an being recited. A few followed along on their handheld devices or old schooled it and actually held a Qur’an in book format and read along silently.
We wrapped up a few minutes before Midnight.
Left me feeling pretty good on this first night of Ramadan 2015.
For people who are in transit in the West End and the time to Break the Fast nears, The TTC recently opened their new Dufferin Subway Station Exit and Entrance closer to the Dawah Centre. It does make reaching the Dawah Centre somewhat more practical and pleasant.
There is flexibility in this year’s shortened Tarawih prayers with respect for those who have to work the next morning by completing 8 Rakats around 11 p.m.
I left the Dawah Centre a few minutes past midnight and headed home, which is in North York nowadays.
… the second of signboard of their Neighbour, The Dovercourt Baptist Church…