Night 12 – Isha – Taraweeh – Islamic Forum of Canada – 200 Advance Blvd, Brampton

For Night 12 of Ramadan 2022,

My brother Amir & I chose to pray Isha & Taraweeh at Islamic Forum of Canada in Brampton.

The listed address is 200 Advance Blvd, but it’s more easily found when looking on the east side of Dixie Road north of Highway 407 and south of Steeles Avenue.

Upon entry, having shelved our shoes, we were almost immediately welcomed by an elder member of the congregation who greeted us.

That was our first greeting of the night.

I’ve sometimes written and often said that Masjids are essentially empty rooms with a carpet.

Sometimes these empty rooms have bookcases.

Stepping into the Islamic Forum of Canada, we find the expected carpeted room with an unexpected studio set up for livestreaming in the middle of the prayer hall.

Everything is transparent.

…Computers, cameras, control room.

Feels more like Mission Control than any television broadcast control room.

We spread our prayer mats and sit down in the second line to the right side of the studio set up.

There are still a number of minutes before Salat Al Isha, The Night Prayer begins.

A younger brother, Rashad, introduces himself to us and greets us.

This is our second greeting of the night.

Brother Rashad, now 23, has been attending the Islamic Forum of Canada since he was 14.

So he grew up with this Masjid.

He tells me that he encouraged the elders running the masjid to get online and be up-to-date communication-wise with intentions of reaching the younger generation, his generation.

Printed newsletters, telephone numbers, and xeroxed posters on the notice board and VHS video cassettes and audio tapes might have been state of art when the Islamic Forum of Canada began.

Website, YouTube recordings, social media graphics and livestreaming are how the Islamic Forum of Canada continues today.

To their credit, the first generation leadership have given space and encouragement to their second generation to go ahead and experiment.

At least one experiment seems to have succeeded.

In my travels of blogging 30 Masjids in 30 Days of Ramadan since 2011, I’ve visited numerous masjid organizations who experience Founders’ Syndrome.

Founders’ Syndrome is what happens when the founder(s) of a masjid, or Islamic organization, doesn’t allow space for new ideas, new voices, new board members, even new board members who are Women(!), or youth board members.

It looks like the youth are behind the scenes running the show.

But they can’t be behind the scenes, because everything is transparent and out in the open.

It only looks like they are behind the scenes if you only watch online.

Watch online and you will quickly realize this is a Sunni Sufi Masjid.

And what Tariqah of Tassawuf is followed here ?

Whenever I enter a Sunni Masjid, I never ask if it is Maliki or Shafi’i or a Hanafi observing congregation.

Likewise tonight, I learned Islamic Forum is a Sunni Sufi Masjid. Full stop.

Most worshippers tonight were not wearing masks.

My brother and I having spread our prayer mats before us were the odd Muslims out.

Double Triple Quadruple Hospitality from the Islamic Forum of Canada.

Shaykh Faisal acknowledged me twice, once after Salat Al Isha, and again during the break in-between rakats six and seven of Taraweeh.

Bringing the count to four.

I was welcomed to the Islamic Forum of Canada a total of four times tonight.

Salat Al Taraweeh is being lead by a Qari from Turkey, I could type up a little bit about him, but it’s easier to listen to Shaykh Faisal…

My brother Amir & I would wonder afterwards how the Islamic Forum was able to get such an esteemed reciter of the Qur’an to commit to Ramadan 2022 in Brampton ?

Brampton, that city north west of Toronto, with a Muslim population of around seven percent within the city’s overall count of 700,000 ?

The day before tonight, during IIT’s Monday evening Resilient Hour livestream, Shaikh Dr. Jasser Auda took us on a deep dive in understanding Dreams and when they are Wahy.

Tonight, during the break in-between Taraweeh Rakats, Shaykh Faisal retold the story of Prophet Yusuf (upon whom be peace), with some emphasis on the part of the story dealing with dream interpretation.

For a certain number of the next generation of Brampton’s Muslims, the Islamic Forum of Canada is already a dream come true.

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