Friday, 5 April 2013

Ambition 2013 Mar reports

AMJA held its 7th annual conference in Dallas
Imams from across USA and Canada joined scholars from around the world in a three days conference in Irving Dallas under the auspices of the famous Dr Salah Al Sawy. He is the current chair of the American Muslim Jurists Assembly and former chancellor of the Islamic University of Islamabad and Malaysia. About 200 Imams and scholars convened to discuss issues surrounding the Muslim woman living in the West. The main sponsors of the event were a number of local Muslim charities and Juma was held at the majestic Irving Islamic Centre. Many scholars presented their papers in English and some in Arabic with translation available by head phones. There were a noticeable number of attendees from the Indian subcontinent seminaries and a lively interaction ensued after each session. Topics included women working, participating in sports, abortion, beautification, participation in politics and marital pleasures, etc
AMJA has a growing need in USA and similar interest in Canada as its online presence grows with thousands of questions asked and now an online university on Islam called Miskha. Dr Hatem Al Haj is the vice chair and being a doctor and scholar he spoke about bridging the gap between the academia and traditional Islamic teachings through well rounded scholarship.
Guyanese Author launches ‘Whispers of Kaieteur’
MARCH 18, 2013 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS  byashley rehanna

Canadian-based Guyanese, Habeeb Alli’s 15th publication was launched on Thursday evening last in the Conference Room of the National Library located on Church Street in Georgetown, Guyana.
Author, Habeeb Alli hands over a copy of his book to a student of the ISA Islamic School
Titled the ‘Whispers of Kaieteur’, and inspired by the magnificent Kaieteur Falls, the book chronicles news, letters, poems, and a number of personal activities of its author, with deep reflection of his home, Guyana.
There is also a piece reflecting on his time being in Mahaica Creek.
The book basically focuses on the strengthening of society and its people in various settings so that peace could prevail, and persons can enjoy harmonious relationships.
Ironically, Alli was a Queen’s College student pursuing the Sciences. And as he puts it, the Sciences have inspired him to experiment with his more creative side.
Meanwhile, a book review done by PhD candidate in Theology at Emmanuel College, Susan Harrison, described Alli’s publication as a piece having the capacity to network and build bridges of understanding within and beyond the Canadian Muslim community.
Harrison also pointed out Alli’s “compassion for humanity and tireless efforts, rooted in his devotion to Allah, hallmarks that are evident in his writings”.
She went on to establish that “Alli’s book makes evident his capacity to His Guyanese background; gives him an edge at noticing where communities are ready to transcend racism and other barriers on the path of faith. Indeed, it has given him the ability to ‘navigate between cultures, traditions, and religious personalities’ and we, his readers, benefit from his dexterity.”
She also highlighted Alli’s ‘people-oriented’ nature, stating that “his compassion for humanity and tireless efforts, rooted in his devotion to Allah, overflows in these poems, articles, letters, and accounts of the myriad of activities he has both catalyzed and given testimony to on these pages.”
As far as the news component of the book goes, Harrison asserted that the news reports show a vibrant, living, faith-based community that is active in caring for one another and their neighbors in Canadian society, and further abroad.
At the launching ceremony on Thursday last, a presentation of copies of the book ‘Whispers of Kaieteur’ was made to the National Library and the ISA Islamic School.

Muslims of Canada supports Muslims in Guyana Earth Day campaign
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
“Purification is half of Faith.”
Shamal Zamaludin has done Dawah though his thought provoking brochures on lslam and TV crisp documentaries on Islam. He initiated a cleanup campaign among several of Guyana’s leading Muslim organizations for Earth Day and has been successful in getting the City council and Government Ministers and local agencies abroad. Recently, he reached out to the Muslims in Canada to support this worthy cause and the Islamic Foundation donated as well as several business persons and friends of Guyana. Joe and Lily Ally of Atlas Concrete and ardent contributors of Sayeda Khadija Centre, sent down a brush cutter from Canada. Habeeb during his book launch at the National Library presented these donations and was received in an audience of almost 80 persons and the local media. CIOG, GIT, ISA School, MYL, Muslims Businesses, etc. are involved.
According to Shamal,” Local financial donations & yours have done & are doing the following: 1. Printed thousands of bumper stickers (pic 2)2. Posted signs on the streets, Paid brothers doing the brush cutting 4. Bought water for the volunteers 5. Paid the truck drivers to remove the garbage”.shamaland habeeb.JPG
Check out the blog

MIST Toronto launched its fifth year at York University

Where do you find a thousand young Minds interacting n competing in Islam and Arts in Toronto? Hamza Moin had this inspiration several years ago as a young Artist himself and stand-up comedian to ensure youths had a safe place to express their artistic side and enjoy through competition without getting careened off into haram. This year event was centered on the self and the importance of balancing life achievements with solid spiritual grounding. Almost a thousand students from the Islamic and Public high schools participated in spoken word, scientific research, orations, poetry, nasheed singing, art, etc
Habeeb Alli was among three judges for the oratory competition and it was indeed mind boggling as well as entertaining to see the eagerness of many youths wanting to express themselves on current political topics as well as social issues with the dynamics of research, Islamic studies, Iman and motivational speech guidelines falling into a single paradigm to produce a battery of promising speakers. They were tested on time keeping- something for Imams to take hint on!

Ghulam Sajan honored with Queen Jubilee Award
Ghulam Sajan is Canadian Muslim with endless accolades and a man of many hats. He is known for his fundraising knack in the Shia community and his famous Eid dinner that brings the Interfaith communities together. He was among the 60,000 Canadians to have received the prestigious Queen Jubilee Award for outstanding community service to humanity. On June 26, 2012, Ghulam Abbas Sajan was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his many years of service to the community. MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament) Peter Shurman recognized Ghulam Sajan as an active member of the community, among others, having served as President of the Islamic Shi’a Ithna-asheri Jamaat of Toronto. Ghulam has been heavily involved in interfaith activities, including 32 years of acting as co-Chair of the MOSAIC Interfaith group, representing and promoting dialogue between various religious groups. In 2005, he was appointed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission and served for 3 years.
He credits this to his Islamic upbringing in Tanzania from the age of 8 when he was eager to help in the mosque. Recently his family, friends and well-wishers joined him, fresh from a trip abroad and miraculously recovered from a serious brush of cancer, to celebrate this man at the Simply Delicious Banquet Hall, Markham. The roast of speeches reminded the wonderful audience of Ghulam’s varied family cordiality where he has an adopted Jewish daughter, wonderful work place mannerisms in Tanzania remembered by more than one colleague, his fundraising hobby spoken to by Dr Takim Liaqat and the friendly generous side mentioned by Dr Sachedina’s- brother Mohamed. Habeeb Alli congratulated Ghulam for working with the Council of Imams in ensuring dialogue and cordial relations exist among the two communities and a poem extempore was read as a compliment! The event was hosted by the breakfast friends and his daughter Fatima Sajan spoke to her father’s inspiration in making her a young leader in the community. Sajan at the end thanked everyone for the surprise luncheon and almost asked them to donate to a cause he just adopted while in Pakistan!

York University department of Humanities hosted a dialogue on Religious Pluralism.
Members travelling to Jerusalem from Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities were constantly told that there are two truths. Mr. Ron Smith wanted to explore this further with an Imam, Pastor and Rabbi.
Audiences were presented to by Habeeb Alli from the Canadian Council of Imams and the Rabbi, Prof Lockshin who is the head of the religious department of York University. He later said that he was inspired about Islam’s critical stance on monotheism as a young reader of Maimonides. Noel Badou from the Centre of Human Rights coordinated the event in the prestigious Nat Taylor Cinema. Among the others were two students from Valley Park School that participated in that travel. They said they had misconceived ideas about others and the trip made them see the other side of the story as well as get an opportunity to interact and learn from each other. One person in the audience highlighted that with the swell of atheism and anti religious favor such dialogues are critical and should be more publicized with secular and other religious personalities asked to present. The Rabbi felt there was only one truth while the Imam showed that Islam looks at other religions originating from the One God called Al Haqq- the Truth. With the passage of time sometimes that truth gets blurred but truth it is, like a diamond, just covered in dust!
IDRF launches Youth Leadership Board

International Development and Relief Foundation have been around for 27years, doing relief and development work in 27 countries and working closely with Canadians of all stripes and colors. The Chairman, Mr. Winston Kassim, recently held a reception at the newly acquired corporate location 908 East Mall to showcase the charity to young professionals. He himself a banker and philanthropist, started with IDRF some 11 years ago as someone who wanted to give without being known! Doctors, lawyers, bankers, fundraisers, leaders, men and women alike, found themselves liking the opportunity to give back without being curtailed by their rich experiences, creativity and diversity.
Penny Fancy the Development Director welcomed the eager attendees and answered their questions while Director Yasmine asked that they formulate their own board and ideas into furthering the cause of the reputable Canadian Muslim charity. Habeeb Alli was introduced as the new Community Development Manager and long standing Executives Zeib Jeeva and Javed Akbar were present. IDRF started off as a humble undertaking to help refugees by the Ontario Award Recipient Dr Fuad Shahin, resident of Niagara Falls and one time Imam of that mosque.
Khalid Usman did it again- 1 M for Stoufville Hospital
Promised to be an evening of excitement and great entertainment and so it was- the 11th annual Pakistan Day Gala at the impressive Crystal fountain banquet hall in Markham.
After the national anthem of Canada and Pakistan, the 750 guests were not treated to tasty hor od’overs only but a sumptuous display of talent and short speeches from political leaders, religious leaders, and financial supporters besides the Stoufville hospital management. Funds to the tune of 1 million raised by Persons of Pakistan goes a far way of saying thank you for Canada, by supporting the new wing of the emergency ward of the state of the art hospital at 9th Line. The Yellow Brick House was also presented a check of 25 000 for their sterling work among women of domestic violence, a message sent to men of South Asian background that this is unaccepted praise anywhere.
Plato Developments sponsored the event and as noted by the Mayor of Markham Mr. Scarpetti the Markham Theater is now named Flato Theatre thanks to the generous donation of 1 M by Mr. Shakier of Flato Home Developments. Mr. and Mrs. Asif from Fragrance Club donated 200 000 towards the hospital and coming from Guyana they did not feel alienated from joining hands with Pakistani Khalid Usman, who had guests from all races, religions and towns participating in this Gala. There was an auction of art pieces done by famous Artist Nouman and the musical talent of Tariq Hameed knows no limits! The cuisine was ideal and delicious and among the leaders noted on stage was Akbar Warsi from Islamic Foundation, Ehsan Ehsanullah from Markham Masjid, Najmul Siddiqui from DarulIman and Winston Kassim form IDRF.
Civic Muslims celebrate Lights off earth day and first anniversary

A candle light dinner!  In a Multifaith centre downtown! Viewing documentaries on the environment and eating baklava among a hundred young professionals. Yes, these are Muslims doing Dawah by civic engagement and making a difference with their online presence and through their climbing the CN Tower for Wild Life Fund, helping to clean Rouge Park for earth day and having conversations at Paramount restaurant on saving the world. Sounds like my hippie days wanting to save the Earth except this is spiritually grounded on Islam’s strongest values of modesty and halal lifestyle. Muaz Nasir is a green Muslim and he started the green Khutba campaign to get Muslim Imams around the world buy in to saving the planet from pollutants. Mohamed Ali has a passion to network Muslims and so do Sara and Omar and others on the team. The night at the candle lit dinner when lights went off in Toronto main core for an hour in trying to save energy a speaker who hikes in the Himalayas and Rouge Park conservation enlightened us  the important of small steps in saving the earth as Khalifa and stewards. Hijabi and Hiker, she sees a spiritual act to know nature and save the world. Another Professor spoke about the social cost of environmental damage and yet another spoke on keeping the movement going among Muslims who waste water and food shamelessly in their mosques and functions.
A cake to mark the first anniversary was there with the Canadian flag colors and the crescent- their logo for Muslims being Canadian and Canadian being Muslims!
Next event- Climbing CN Tower on April 27th. See site. I’ve signed up- hope you will! “We are a Canadian grassroots initiative promoting volunteerism and civic engagement.” 
Zakat seminar held at Ontario Muslim Academy, Cambridge
Mufti Zakaria Panchbhaya, Imam in Malton Masjid and graduate of South Africa Azadville Darululoom, conducted an in-depth seminar on the dos and don’ts on Zakat in Islam at the newly purchased church turned mosque and school in Cambridge. This town has two beautifully purpose built mosques and this third entity caterers to Alim and Hafiz programs. Mufti spoke to an audience of men and women separated, and were asked several questions pertaining to paying Zakat by mortgage-owners. and organized this event.
Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment in Toronto held their Café’s Scientifique in Daniels Theater

Asked to speak at Café’ Scientifique at Artscape Daniel Theater in Regent Park was surprise. The scientific community studying stigma HIV positive people have to face in the diversity communities launched their knowledge sharing with the public at the newly built artful edifice in Regent Park called Daniels Theater. Among the speakers was Habeeb Alli who spoke of the work the Canadian Council of Imams have been doing in educating the masses about HIV through workshops, brochures and speaking engagements. It was heartening to see many Muslims in the audience and the many stories shared about social justice and personal therapy against trauma. It was indeed a great Café’s with halal cuisine and congratulatory notes to the participants of the last two workshops held in Ryerson last year.
Attendees participated in a mindfulness exercise as well as Lego play in order to demonstrate the importance of accepting your situation and moving on to a commitment of goodness and willingness to help others.
Ajax masjid hosted fundraiser at Scarborough Convention Centre
The first mosque in Ajax Durham started under the name Falah Musalla and with the support of Council of Ajax the purchase of a warehouse near their present location at Taunton Rd at a cost of 1.4 M is well on the way of achieving thanks to a packed audience that raised almost 400Ks in one night. Dr Munir El Kasim gored on and Junaid Jamshaid encouraged all with his nasheeds. Waqas Sayed is the President and he has been doing yeoman service trying to steer the ship with Mufti Wajidullah at the helm.
It was a beautiful evening at the new elegant Scarborough Convention Center near Islamic Institute of Toronto on Neilson Rd and Finch.

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