“Eid,

a holiday that marks the end of 30 days of fasting during Ramadan,

was marked with a drive-thru barbecue instead of a large gathering to pray, celebrate and share food.

“It’s really an opportunity for people to see each other, at least from a distance,”

said Esseghaier.

He estimates that the Muslim community on Prince Edward Island totals almost 1,000 people,

many living in the Charlottetown area.

He said during a time that’s usually focused on togetherness,

it’s not easy to be apart.

But the global health pandemic has also made this Ramadan special in terms of supporting more time to reflect and to connect with family.

“It could be seen as a humbling experience, and also a reminder that there are a lot of things that are more important than what our worldly life is all about,” said Esseghaier.

One example, he said, is the way declining pollution levels during the pandemic have made clear the way daily routines impact the environment.

“So there might be some lessons that could be also learned from a pandemic.

And I hope that we will heed those lessons as well.”

He said it’s also been an opportunity to witness the strength and resilience of individuals and communities.

“I’m always amazed at the type of solidarity that develops among people in difficult times,” said Esseghaier.

“And I think in Canada we have shown very clearly that when things get tough,

people come together and support and help each other,

which is which is another silver lining as well.”

“The Muslim Society of PEI was in the process of arranging Eid prayer venue and Charlottetown Police provided assistance in securing the venue,

but Eid prayer plans were called off at the last moment to provide more safety and compliance with public health guidance.

The President of the Muslim Society of the PEI presented a gift to Charlottetown Police in appreciation and gratitude for their efforts.”

Alhumdulillah,

That was quick and fun!

A very nice experience visiting Al Huda Institute on this Eid Al Fitr 2020.

I was previously here on Night 2 of Ramadan 2019 for Isha and Taraweeh.

The line up of cars was orderly and everybody advanced easily in only a few moments.

This was a nice touch!

Balloons along the fence must have brought some smiles to children today.

Volunteers offered to tattoo Eid Mubarak greetings onto cars with washable inks.

There, see, Eid Mubarak !

Everything moved very smoothly, and with so few volunteers.

Paper Bags and not plastic bags. This was appreciated.

And just like that, we were receiving our Eid Al Fitr Drive-Thru Sweets.

Thank you Al Huda Institute Canada & Eid Mubarak !

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

⭐️UPDATE⭐️ Eid is Saturday, May 23! Our Eid Drive Thru will happen on Sunday, May 24! ⁣ Asalamu alaikum everyone! ⁣ ⁣ We pray everyone had a blessed Ramadan and may Allah (SWT) accept our efforts and ibadah. Ameen!⁣ ⁣ 💝We definitely missed seeing you all and having the Masjid full during Ramadan nights but we can’t imagine seeing an empty masjid on Eid morning! Sooo…. We want to invite everyone to our Eid Drive Thru! ⁣ ⁣ ⭐️Join Al Huda Institute on Eid Morning (10am-12pm) for an Eid Drive Thru! Get your Eid goody bags, let us tattoo your cars with Eid Mubarak messages (with washable markers of course)! Most importantly let us share Eid Morning Salams and smiles like always!⁣ ⁣ ***Date of Drive Thru will be determined after the moon sighting. 🌙👀⁣

A post shared by Al Huda Institute Canada (@alhudainstitute) on

“⭐️UPDATE⭐️

Eid is Saturday, May 23!

Our Eid Drive Thru will happen on Sunday, May 24! ⁣

Asalamu alaikum everyone! ⁣

We pray everyone had a blessed Ramadan and may Allah (SWT) accept our efforts and ibadah. Ameen!⁣

💝We definitely missed seeing you all and having the Masjid full during Ramadan nights but we can’t imagine seeing an empty masjid on Eid morning!

Sooo….

We want to invite everyone to our Eid Drive Thru! ⁣

⭐️Join Al Huda Institute on Eid Morning (10am-12pm) for an Eid Drive Thru!

Get your Eid goody bags,

let us tattoo your cars with Eid Mubarak messages (with washable markers of course)!

Most importantly let us share Eid Morning Salams and smiles like always!⁣

***Date of Drive Thru will be determined after the moon sighting. 🌙👀⁣”

 

Eid Celebration Live

Posted by ISNA Canada on Sunday, May 24, 2020

 

Posted by ISNA Canada on Sunday, May 24, 2020

 

Posted by ISNA Canada on Sunday, May 24, 2020

 

“Are you Eid ready?

This may be a socially distant Eid but there is still a ton we can do to get in the spirit,

starting with…

*decorating our cars for the Eid drive-thrus*!

Deck out your car with ALL things Eid and join us at our drive thru where you can get boxes of sweets and goody bags!

Also don’t forget to tune into our Eid Takbeerat and Eid Show virtually on social media!”

Ajyal Islamic Centre in Vancouver delayed their regular Fajr Prayer time,

shown in this first image,

until 4:45 a.m. on the morning of Eid Al Fitr 2020.

This was done to bring it closer to the time for Eid Al Fitr Prayer, which is in the next image . . .

Eid Al Fitr Prayer, that you see above, was performed shortly after 6:05 a.m.

Ajyal Islamic Centre had previously closed completely as of March 20 2020 :

“Under the guidance of the Office of the Provincial Health Officer of British Columbia and City of Vancouver,

we have temporarily closed the center until further notice.

During this time:

  • There will be NO scheduled Daily Prayers
  • There will be NO Jummah Prayers
  • There will be no in-center educational or social programs
  • All Ramadan activities remain suspended
  • All educational programs have switched to Online format.”

 

During the complete closure, on March 30 2020 there was break-in.

“…Around 4:20 pm two individuals broke the backdoor lock (sister’s entrance) and robbed the Masjid.

They caused a fair amount of damage to the center and stole a number of items.

We are still trying to conduct an full inventory but rough estimates put the damages and loss at around $5000.

We have reported the break-in to the Police and handed all relevant video footage.

Please continue to remember the Center in your Dua.”

If you want to help,

You can donate to Ajyal on their Donate Now webpage.

 

On May 2 2020, Day 9 of Ramadan 1441,

Ajyal Islamic Centre announced Limited Opening – Fajr and Isha . . .

“…As we navigate our way through the Covid-19 pandemic,

the Board has decided to open the Masjid for two prayers.

Starting today,

we will start praying Fajr and Isha prayers in congregation.

The social distances rules will be enforced and everyone is asked to bring in their own praying mats.

Currently we can accommodate a maximum of 30 people for each of the prayers.

Timings:

Fajr and Isha iqama times will be 10+ after the Athan times published on the Ajyal Ramadan Timetable.

 

Ajyal Islamic Centre is my Home Masjid in Vancouver.

AIC has been tagged at least 32 times on this blog, so far.

If I was in the Lower Mainland today instead of being in Ontario,

I would have joined them for Fajr and Eid Al Fitr Prayers.

 

 

 

Eid Mubarak Vancouver !

EID virtual Takbirat and Reminders.

Posted by ISNA Canada on Sunday, May 24, 2020

 

Prayer will start at 7AM.

Please pray at home with your family and do not follow the imam virtually.

The reminder will take place immediately after, please join us with your family then insha Allah.

Laylat al-Jaiza or Night of Rewards is the night preceding both the Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

It has particular significance with the month of Ramadan and is to earn rewards for all the fasts and good deeds in this month.

It is considered as a blessed night for Muslims and a night to offer prayers and supplications.

Prophet Muhammad (upon who be peace) is reported to have said in a hadith in Sunan ibn Maja.

“Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord,

his heart will not die when the other hearts will die.”

I recorded this video on Laylatul Jaiza Night 30 of Ramadan 2018 in Vancouver’s Al Jamia Masjid.

Before the Imam began leading the prayer, he reminded us about Laylatul Jaiza and encouraged us not to let it pass by us . . .

Tonight after praying Maghrib at Home,

because that’s where you pray during a Pandemic Lockdown,

I went looking for the new crescent moon for the Month of Shawwal 1441.

I spent about 10 minutes searching, yet did not see the moon.

There is haze on the horizon, and you can the cloud covering in the photo.

For some reason, the planet Venus was extremely bright.

I can understand how someone could be mistaken and think they saw a very thin crescent when if fact what they were looking at was Venus.

This is a negative moonsighting report from Brampton, Ontario, Canada for Saturday May 23 2020.

For me and my household,

We are completing 30 Days of Fasting of Ramadan 1441 / 2020.

Eid Mubarak from me,

HiMY !

I could not let Ramadan 2020 expire without blogging about Steve Rockwell.

The following was posted May 2 2020 on Iqra.ca :

Muslim TV Host Steve Rockwell passes away

The host of a weekly Muslim TV show,

Mohamed Twahir,

also known as Steve Rockwell,

passed away on Saturday May, 2, 2020 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada at the age of 74

He was the founder of Sheik Deedat Centre in Toronto,

host of The Call of the Minaret show on television and owner of Worlds Biggest Jean Store and Rockwell Resort.

Born in Guyana,

he was the grandson of the late Imaam Moulvie Alabaksh,

son of the late Imaam Moulvie Yusuf and Naseeran Yusuf,

spouse of Sharon,

loving father of Riyad (Ameera), Refena (Noureddine),

grandfather of Abdul Rahman, Fatima and Ayah,

cherished brother of the late Hajii Imaam Zaakir, Habiban Nesha (brother-in-law of the late Imaam Sahadat Ali), Sherifun Nesha (brother-in-law of the late Imaam Shamir Khan, Isha, (brother-in-law of Mohamed Kalamadeen) and Azra (brother-in-law of Abdool Satar).

 

For some reason, web traffic on my previous blog stories mentioning Steve Rockwell suddenly had new page views . . .

Yet, I did not understand that Steve died until later on, perhaps around Middle of Ramadan 2020 when I visited Iqra.ca.

His TV Show, Call of The Minaret, was kinda weird to me.

I never watched it, beyond a minute or so.

People were watching, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

How do I know ?

His show kept coming up in passing conversations every now and then.

It wasn’t Reflections on Islam, but it was one more Islamic TV Show on the air, at a time when there weren’t that many.

Ramadan 2020 has seen an explosion in online video content from so many masjids the world over, be it livestream Qhutbahs on Twitter or Zoom Iftars later uploaded to youtube.

Before all that, there was Steve Rockwell.

Steve had a youtube channel, and only a few Call of The Minaret episodes were ever uploaded to it.

I’m embedding this one episode as it relates to Ramadan and Fasting . . .

 

 

Last Ramadan, 2019, I spent part of Day 19 and had Iftar on Night 20 at Sheikh Deedat Centre.

While this Pandemic Lockdown Ramadan 2020 has seen Massive Public Weekend Iftars at Toronto Area Masjids replaced with Drive-Thru Iftar Pickup,

Steve Rockwell had been handing out Take-Out Iftars to anyone who wanted or needed one, no questions asked, each previous Ramadan.

Many Ryerson University Students who needed to break their fast, pray Maghrib, then dash off to evening classes, would rely on these Take-Away Iftar trays.

Likewise for Muslim Professionals in Downtown Toronto who needed to catch their once-an-hour scheduled GO Train taking them home in the outer suburbs.

Last time I was there, this sign was posted on the wall . . .

” Last Ramadan on Bond Street “

Upon seeing this sign,

I immediately felt an overwhelming sense of purpose in needing to write down all the appreciation I had for Steve making a Muslim Prayer Space in Downtown Toronto.

He did a lot with so little.

But I never wrote that story, and got busy with the last ten nights and days of Ramadan 2019.

And now it’s the final few hours before the end of Ramadan 2020.

Maybe I don’t have to write anything more about Brother Steve Rockwell.

My previous blog entries remain readable, my previous photo blog entries are there to show the inside of the 100 Bond Street Masjid no longer there.

I can only think of this one thing I want, or need, to say to complete this Remembering Steve Rockwell blog post…

I can’t recall exactly when this happened, but the 100 Bond Street masjid was there.

At the time it was the only masjid in Downtown Toronto.

There was no way it could service the many hundreds and hundreds of Friday Prayer Muslim Worshippers for Jumah, but it did its best with multiple Qhutbahs through the afternoon.

Other Jumahs were taking place in rented locations around downtown Toronto, and those locations were only rented once a week on Fridays.

One location was The Cathedral Church of St. James.

A number of Muslims had made arrangements with the Church to use one of their multi-use rooms for Friday Prayer.

Those prayers were quick, maybe 15 minutes tops.

No wudu facilities, we had to have it before we arrived.

I attended a number of St James’ Jumahs when I could not make it out of downtown in time to a real masjid for Jumah Prayer.

( That Friday-only Congregation would eventually become one justification for today’s Masjid Toronto at Adelaide, immediately opposite the Church where these earlier Jumahs were held.

Before that, another nomadic Jumah Congregation would stop renting empty Downtown Toronto office spaces.

Pooling money and negotiation savvy together, Masjid Toronto at 168 Dundas Street West was the result.

They in turn would set up the Satellite Masjid Toronto at Adelaide Street. )

Well, at some point, the magazine Christianity Today published a story about how there were NO places for Muslims to pray in Toronto other than this one church.

On the face of it, the magazine article was completely incorrect.

I wrote a letter to the editor, and cited Steve Rockwell’s Masjid at 100 Bond Street, as evidence that yes, in addition to so many other masjids around Toronto, there was indeed a Masjid in Downtown Toronto.

The magazine never acknowledged my letter nor retracted the article.

Later on though, once Christianity Today had an online presence, they asked if they could post a image from my then very active photoblog.

I agreed, and for a week, this Muslim had a photo on the front webpage of Christianity Today.

It went unsaid, but in-between the lines of our email exchanges, I felt this was their way of making good.

Fine. Good enough.

Without Steve Rockwell and his second floor Masjid at 100 Bond Street, in Downtown Toronto, I could not have written that Letter to The Editor in earnest.

The next closest Masjids were Jami Mosque near Dundas and Bloor in the city’s west end, or Rhodes Avenue Masjid in the east end.

So that’s the way I remember Steve Rockwell.

A businessman who made a Masjid, two masjids in fact.

Somebody has to say the following publicly, so why not me?

Growing up in Toronto, there were MANY successful Muslim business people who had the connections, know-how, and money to establish masjids.

My dad could have, my family could have, but we never did. We donated when someone else started masjids, but what was stopping us from starting ?

Somehow, almost nobody put their money to seed masjids.

That’s why so many, many, many, Jumah-only rental locations persisted from the 1970s into the early 2000s.

While many others were renting, Steve was establishing.

Before 100 Bond Street, Steve had a rental space as a musallah on the second floor of the building at the north-west corner of Yonge and Dundas Streets.

Before the Public Adhans of Ramadan 2020,

Steve Rockwell would use his loudspeakers from those second story windows at his previous Yonge & Dundas masjid to broadcast the Call to Prayer.

Several times a day.

Yeah, Steve did that too.

Sometimes you could hear those Adhans five blocks away at Toronto City Hall.

Maybe as a reminder from the Man who once owned The World’s Biggest Jean Store whose building on the South East Corner of Yonge And Dundas was expropriated against his wishes to make way for Yonge-Dundas Square.

 


The World’s Biggest Jean Store Nov. 1998. Photo: Bessie Ng

“At the intersection of Yonge and Dundas,

dance music blares onto the streets from the World’s Biggest Jean Store.

The two-storey flea market is draped on the outside and inside with women’s clothing.

Steve Rockwell,

owner and building tenant,

has been at this intersection for the past 17 years.

He calls me into his small office on the second floor at the back to be interviewed.

He’s not too worried about his future,

as he has already staked out a new location in Toronto — he won’t reveal where.

Downtown needs development,

says Rockwell,

who is not disappointed with the progress the city is making.

“I’m not married to this building,” he says.

“I have more beef than anybody else,

but you can’t stand against progress.

But when you throw me out,

compensate me fairly.”

Rockwell can’t reveal how much he is being compensated.

No one will.

They are in negotiations with the city right now and all they can look forward to is a fair share.

The city has offered all owners and some tenants more than $30 million.

But lawyers for the owners say the land is worth between $75 million to $100 million,

much more than the price the city is willing to pay.”

The Eyeopener, November 11 1998

 

Embed from Getty Images

Steve Rockwell; right; manager of World’s Biggest Jeans Store on Yonge Street, December 29 1991.

“…The World’s Biggest Jean Store, whose “tired” facade was located on the southeast corner of Yonge and Dundas and which has now reopened on Victoria Street Lane,

just behind its old location.

The store was a major tourist attraction that provided the same kind of gritty Times Square atmosphere council now seeks to mimic.

Ditto the Licks Restaurant,

forced out of its downtown location.

Steve Rockwell,

owner of Rockwell Jeans,

provides the same discounted clothes favoured by inner-city kids,

although his new store’s traffic isn’t what it used to be.

And 30 staff members were laid off.

Rockwell agrees the city plan was a good one and thinks the public square is beautiful.

But he says the city botched the plan when it failed to open up the “best piece of real estate in the country to bidding.’

Originally, he was angered by expropriation and only got “peanuts” for his property,

but according to Rockwell it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to him.

He bought a building on Bond Street and contends it is now worth three times what he paid.

The city tried to take that building as well,

but according to Rockwell,

“God stopped them.”

Upstairs there’s a mosque with a congregation of 2,000.

Apparently,

no politician wants to be known for expropriating a house of worship to build a commercial development.”

NOW Magazine, April 24 2003

STEVE ROCKWELL (Muslim Preacher) passes away

“Br. Steve Rockwell (Mohamed Twahir), one of the pioneers of da’wah in Canada, passed away at the age of 74 years old on May 2/2020, during the holy month of Ramadan.

He was the founder of the Sheikh Deedat Center at 100 Bond Street in downtown Toronto, as well as the landmark store “World’s Biggest Jean Store” (later renamed “Rockwell Jeans”) which was originally situated on the southeast corner of Dundas Square on Yonge Street.

He also hosted the t.v. show “Call of the Minaret” on Vision TV.

Please remember to pray for his soul and to donate to a da’wah organization of your choice in his memory.

JazaakumAllah khairan.”

Sadat Anwar

 

Statement regarding celebrating Eid Ul Fitr during the COVID19 Pandemic

For Immediate Release

May 23, 2020 | Ramadan 30, 1441 AH

“Bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Abundant Peace, Blessings and Salutations upon the Prophet Muhammad (S)

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,

May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah (SWT) be with you

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Just like that, another month of Ramadan has quickly come and gone, and one that was unlike any other in our lifetimes.

While it was challenging and difficult to not be able to attend our Masajid or break our fasts with our loved ones,

it also gave us an opportunity to spend more time with our families and bless our homes through our worship.

The restraint shown and sacrifices made by the Canadian Muslim community during this holy month have been well recognized and appreciated by all the Chief Medical Officers of Health and public health departments across the country.

So while most of us still cannot go to our mosques or visit family and friends in their homes,

we can still celebrate Eid as normally as possible,

while being safe and responsible.

We should still wear our best clothes,

make sure we’ve paid our Zakat al Fitr in advance and eat something sweet like dates for breakfast.

We should call out the Eid Takbeerat at home,

perform Eid salah in our homes as Imams have described,

and can attend one of many virtual khutbas.

We can still go outdoors with our household members but should connect with our extended family and friends via telephone or video calls,

just as we have been.

We can exchange gifts and Eidi within our homes,

deliver or e-transfer gifts to others.

There are drive-thru toy and gift drives that have popped up and we can enjoy delicious meals at home with those who live with us.

We can do all of this,

while respecting the provincial and public health recommendations on gathering sizes

(which includes our household members, up to allowable limits)

and whilst maintaining physical distancing.

Now is not the time to be selfish,

put lives at risk and throw all that hard work that we did during Ramadan away.

Obeying the law is as much a civic duty as a religious obligation in Islam,

and infractions can come with significant penalties and consequences to individuals and our communities.

Let’s not spoil our Eid,

and spend it enjoying the festivities safely and responsibly.

May Allah (SWT) accept our supplications and may the joys and blessings of Eid permeate our hearts,

our homes and our communities. Ameen.

EID MUBARAK!”

Canadian Muslim COVID-19 Task Force
cmcovidtf@gmail.com | www.cmcovidtf.com | @cmcovidtf