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Author: iqradotca

Celebrating Family and Diversity – History of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto Part 3

By Muneeb Nasir [This is the third part in the series covering the history of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, one of the first Islamic Centers to be established in Toronto. Many of the men, women and young people involved in the Islamic Foundation would become leaders and community activists in the North American Muslim community well beyond the confines of this mosque – a testimony to the dynamism of the Foundation in the early decades]. The 1970s were a period of flowering for the community of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto. The activities of the organization were moved into the newly acquired building at 182-184 Rhodes Avenue. The building consisted of 2 floors and a basement; the main floor was converted into a prayer hall and the upper floor was used as a multi-purpose hall for social events and to conduct educational classes; adjoining, the main building was a house that was rented out. As one of the few Muslim facilities in the city, the Islamic Foundation of Toronto was soon to become a hub for the community. The Friday prayers were established and conducted by volunteer Khateebs, among them were Farouk Ghanie and Abdul Hai Patel, and the community’s weekend educational and social activities had now found a home. The Muslim community in Toronto in the 1970s went through an increase in its population with the change...

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Ramadan is the “month of the Meaning”

By Tariq Ramadan (August 16, 2009) – Most of the classical religious teachings regarding the month of Ramadan insist on the rules being respected as well as the deep spiritual dimension of this month of fasting, privations, worship and meditation. While thinking about it more closely, one realizes that this month marries apparently contradictory requirements which, nevertheless, together constitute the universe of faith. To ponder over these different dimensions is the responsibility of each conscience, each woman, each man and each community of faith, wherever they are. We can never emphasize enough the importance of this “return to oneself” required during this period of fasting. Ramadan is a month of abrupt changes; this is true here more than anywhere else. At the heart of our consumer society, where we are used to easy access to goods and possessions, and, where we are driven by the marked individualism of our daily lives, this month requires from everyone that we come back to the centre and the meaning of our life. At the Centre, there is God and one’s heart, as the Qur’an reminds us: “…and know that [the knowledge of] God lies between the human being and his heart.” At the Centre, everyone is asked to take up again a dialogue with The Most-High and The Most-Close – a dialogue of intimacy, of sincerity, of love. To fast is to...

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Habeel Alli releases collection of essays

(August 14, 2009) – Habeeb Alli has released a new book, Naked Truths. Naked Truths is a collection of essays based on social, religious and sexual issues. These concise analyses are based on a number of widely debated topics, aimed at refreshing our minds on past experiences and contemporary issues. Living through our daily activities, at times, happiness evades us, as we think it’s only from certain things and persons we can find happy balance. But each daily act provides a spiritual dimension that is reason for happiness. This book explores those options and liberates us from thinking religion is totally against being happy! Readers will get an opportunity to examine most of their spiritual happiness in a worldly paradigm that touches on love, sex, travel, work, honesty, charity, care, etc Habeeb Alli was born in 1969, Guyana’s Independence Day, in the town of Enmore, Guyana, South America. He attended Queens College, and worked at the National Bank in Georgetown, before undergoing studies in spirituality and journalism in India. In 2003 he immigrated to Canada, where he later studied world religions and new age happiness. Since then he has been actively writing fiction and non- fiction themes that are thoughtful and informative. Author’s website: www.pakaraimawriters.org Publisher: Blue Tree Publishing and Design 24 Crossroads Drive Richmond Hill Ontario L4E 5C9 Canada Publication date: July, 2009 ISBN: 0-595-53206-3 Number of Pages:...

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Canadian Muslims Getting Ready For Ramadan

(August 14, 2009) – Canadian Muslims are getting ready to welcome the annual month of fasting (Ramadan) expected to begin on Saturday, February 22. Across the country, Islamic Centers are preparing to host large numbers of people who attend the mosque daily for the special evening prayers (Salatul Taraweeh). Some of the mosques are also getting ready for the weekend iftar (fast breaking) gatherings, while others that offer daily iftar meals are seeking donations and volunteers to assist with these events. This coming weekend, there is a flurry of community events as organizations try to squeeze in late summer activities before the fasting month begins. This is the first year in over two decades that Ramadan will start in a summer month. Sporting tournaments and youth camps are scrambling to get their events completed this coming week; and the annual conventions are winding done this weekend with the final one, the ISNA Canada convention, being held at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) which recognizes astronomical calculations as an acceptable Shar’ia method for determining the beginning of lunar months has announced the first day of Ramadan will be Saturday, August 22. Other moon sighting bodies are scheduled to meet on Friday evening, August 21, to receive reports on crescent...

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Will the Newcomer Experience Ever End?

By Farheen Khan (August 14, 2009) – It is becoming more evident that the ‘good life’ in Canada for most new immigrants is simply a dream that may never come true. Immigrants come to Canada hoping to get the best possible life for themselves and their families. But is that really what happens when they get here? This is certainly not the stories I have come across and seen over the years. Imagine how a person feels after leaving his or her country of origin and a well paying job, and comes to the “promised land” that really doesn’t promise anything more than a menial job that barely pays the bills and with a whole lot of challenges to integrate into “Canadian society”. Under-funded agencies are doing their best to help new immigrants find jobs. Working with the United Way of Peel, I can see the challenges such agencies face when trying to reach out to newcomers. But, what is the purpose of such funded settlement agencies when immigrants still have to deal with the challenge of not having ‘Canadian experience’ and unrecognized credentials? I know work is being done by agencies, such as the Peel Newcomer Strategy Group, to map the immigrant services in Peel in hopes that they can better integrate new immigrants. But, isn’t this just a bandage solution to larger systemic issue? According to the...

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