30 MORE | Guest Blog Post : Yesterday was the 50th Anniversary of the Jami Mosque, Toronto — By Faisal Kutty

Guest Blog Post By Faisal Kutty

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the Jami Mosque, Toronto.

This was my regular hangout on Saturdays and Sundays as a teen.

Saturday morning classes with Dr. Thabit Mehdi, Sunday Islamic classes and my parents laid the foundations for my understanding of Islam.

After classes were done, before and after the afternoon prayers, we would play soccer, murder ball or handball.

We built strong friendships most of which have sustained to this day.

One of my best friends at the time Abdul Gaffar Shaikh passed away a few years ago (may his soul rest in peace). We used to spend a lot of time at the mosque because both of our parents worked at the mosque.

After my friends all left I had hours to kill waiting for my ride home, my father who was an imam there.

I had no phone, no video games and plenty of time.

Boredom ended up forcing me to read books in the mosque library (upstairs outside the imams offices).

I read many books including the Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Road to Mecca, etc.

When I ran out of books, I was forced to turn to journals, the Journal of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, Islamic Studies, and Muslim World Book Review.

I also became a regular reader of Arabia: The Islamic World Review, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Afkar Inquiry, Islamic Horizons, and Impact International.

By the grace of God, within a decade of so after that period I had published articles in every single publication listed above.

In fact, I became the Canadian correspondent for the The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and filed stories for years before I got too busy.

Jami Mosque and boredom were two of the best things that ever happened to me.

I am sure many people have amazing stories of this great institution.

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