Day 8 – In-Person Iftar – Islamic Centre of Canada – ISNA Canada – 2200 South Sheridan Way, Mississauga

I don’t know that Sister Arshia ever got her answer.

ISNA Canada’s most recent tweet was June 29 2021.

So, when social media goes silent,

Why not attend the Saturday night Iftar at Islamic Centre of Canada in Mississauga and find out In-Person !

We entered the ISNA driveway as the final Drive-Thru Iftar Picker Uppers had checked in at the booth in the front parking lot.

Our timing was spot on, Alhumdullilah.

ISNA is doubling down during our third Ramadan of the pandemic…

Fridays to Sundays, are Pre-Registered Drive-Thru Iftar Pick ups.

With a bonus Drive-Thru Iftar on Easter Monday April 18 2022.

Friday and Saturdays are In-Person Iftars.

Drive Thru and In-Person Iftar Walk through

We arrived about 7 p.m., early enough to wander around without gettting in anyone’s way.

A number of volunteers were still self-organizing their duties for the evening.

We entered the main prayer hall moments after recitation of the Qur’an began.

Listening to this Qari, this reciter of the Qur’an, was enough, make that more than enough, to make tonight’s 30 Masjids visit worthwhile.

Ramadan is The Month of The Qur’an.

Here’s the recorded livestream, listen for yourself…

Daily Recitation with Shaikh Mohamed Abdelaziz

Some people collect rare items, or buy plastic action figures and keep them in the original packaging, while some people are natural hoarders.

Me, my weakness is Prayer Mats.

Beautiful prayer mats, Geometric Design prayer mats, soft fluffy-feally prayer mats.

This prayer mat is brand new.

A gift from my mom from earlier in the day.

Fluffy, soft, maroon, I am grateful for the gift.

Only been prayed on once, and that was the Asr prayer, made just about an hour ago.

Another first for this prayer mat, is its first breaking of the fast.

Youth volunteers have been making their way around the prayer hall.

One holds the large open box of Medjool Dates, the other youth hand out napkins.

It was a reflex done without thinking, I picked up the date out the box with my right hand fingers.

Moment later I witnessed another brother taking the napkin first, than using that to pick up his medjool date.

Why didn’t I think to do that ????

As that great unsung sage of the ummah, Homer Simpson might say,

” D’oh! ”

Sitting down on our prayer mats spread out before us, my brother Amir and I, are standing out in this sea of alternating green that is the carpet of the prayer hall.

People are sitting hodge-podge close and common to one another.

I don’t feel comfortable. Isn’t it still too early to be this close?

Especially with the sixth wave now locally confirmed and in-progress?

Our prayer mats being spread out before us, while sitting atop the bottom ends of them, affords my brother and I an amount of personal space we likely would not have had otherwise while waiting for Adhan Al Maghrib and the time to break the fast.

There seemed to be some natural distance formed between us and other worshippers, perhaps done automatically without thinking about it.


30 Masjids Pro-tip : Bring your own prayer mat to EVERY Masjid in-person visit for the foreseeable future.

Now the masks.

Are people wearing them?

Maybe one in ten worshippers were wearing masks.

This ratio stayed consistent during our entire time here tonight.

A brother who was sitting in the row ahead of us, suddenly got up and walked around me quickly.

His mask fell off his person somehow and I hestitated to turn around and let him know it had.

In the moment I hesitated he was already almost at the exit into the hallway.

I assumed he’d return and I could then point him towards his dropped mask.

While waiting for this brother to return to his spot in the row in front of us, I realized he had brought this mask, yet he was not wearing a mask.

In the end, he didn’t return.

This mask stayed on the carpet exactly like this until after Adhan Al Maghrib was called and we had all broken our fast.

That mask on the carpet created an additional amount of empty physical distanced space on my immediate left.


8 Minutes until Maghrib and Iftar time.

Okay, it’s Maghrib. Iftar Time. Where’s the Muezzin ?

Is anyone coming to Mic ?

Is that brother going to make Adhan ?

No. Okay, maybe that brother is… nope.



Some brothers are looking down at their devices, others I notice turning their heads looking around.

Still others are asking each other if it’s time yet?

I see at least one brother already biting into his oversized Medjool date.

Okay, it is Maghrib Sunset Time according to Mississauga local time.

My brother and I break our fasts.

The Medjool is soft and textured, like my new prayer mat!

ISNA Canada advertised that we bring our own water bottles.

They would not be handing out cups of water in the prayer hall ahead of Iftar time.

Only dates.

Adhan Al Maghrib, The Call to Prayer after Sunset.

While Adhan is being called, young volunteers meander through the rows of worshippers.

The paper bags they’re holding are obviously for us to drop our date pits into.

I wonder for the briefest of moments if paper bags are only collecting organic waste destined for the green bin?

Rather than hesitate, again, I pick up that dropped mask to my left, and drop that also into the volunteer’s paper bag.

With that dropped mask no longer on the carpet beside me, the empty space disappears when we all stand almost shoulder-to-shoulder, pre-pandemic Salat style.

After prayers, brothers are asked to wait while the sisters head into the gym ahead of us.

The Imam makes a request while we wait for the sisters’ side of the prayer hall to empty.

He us to sit with someone we don’t know, introduce ourselves and get to know a little bit about each other.

I have been blogging 30 Masjids in 30 Days of Ramadan since Ramadan 2011.

This the first time  I can immediately recall that any Imam has asked this of the congregation.

His request and suggestion are dream words to my 30Masjids ears.

And yet…

This is the only night, the only night, I don’t want to be having any involved conversation with my mouth open while eating Iftar in a public setting.

Volunteers. They got to get some kind of perqs, eh?

The line moves remarkably quickly.

So fast at some point my brother and I end up with another brother in line between us.

He and I have the briefest of conversations encouraging each of us to go ahead of the other as we approached the Iftar hall.

The line moves so fast all my photographs of the Iftar pick up line turn out beyond blurry, unusable.

This volunteer brother handing us the single-use utensils recognizes me as the blogger from 30Masjids.

He recognized me even with my mask on.

The Iftar trays were saran wrapped. This was new. I can’t recall ever opening up an Iftar Dinner wrapped like this.

Until my brother asked me how it tasted,

somehow I visually mistook the kababs in the bottom left of the tray for baklava.


The kababs was soft and textured, like my new prayer mat, and also tasty, unlike my new prayer mat.

I spy volunteers prepping the coffee / tea / refreshment table.

I opt to skip it this evening.



That brother who recognized me as the Ramadan blogger asks whoever hasn’t gotten any soup to raise their hands.

Ours go up too.

This lental soup was soooo good

…Soup was almost Turkish in quality. That good !

Somehow, there are two empty Iftar sit-down spaces opposite me and my brother.

Behind us was pretty empty too.

But we didn’t stay for Isha nor Taraweeh.

There was just too many people not wearing masks.

Too many, too close, too soon.

The last time I was inside this hall, was Sunday January 30 2022, when I got my vaccine booster shot.

I look down at the plastic where everyone was sitting during Iftar.

Underneath it looks like unrolled prayer carpet.

I won’t be finding this answer out for sure tonight.

Will have to return to learn that answer on another night, during another Ramadan.


Once at home,

I load up ISNA’s Isha & Taraweeh livestream into the browser window watch.

During a break in-between rakats, the Imam humbly requests Worshippers to stop doing three-point turns in the drive way immediately in front of their Main Door Front Entrance.


At ISNA Canada, Ramadan is back to normal.


Bodyguard coach: “As a bodyguard, your only loyalty is to your protectee, not to your family, not to your country, not to Muhammad.” [saw]

Homer Simpson: “Even during Ramadan?”

Comments are closed.