THE ONLY BI-LINGUAL AND BI-WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

Volume 17 Issue 455-Rabi ul Awwal 18, 1439 AH December 8, 2017
 

 

 
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   :: Local Events
::The Last Salute- Released in Canada

After successful release in Pakistan, The Last Salute a memoir by Sqn. Ldr. Nusrat Hussain (R) of Pakistan Air Force was released in a simple and graceful ceremony held at Punjab Bhawan, Surrey BC on Saturday 25th Nov. 2017. The function was organised and amicably conducted by Mr. Harpreet Singh, popular TV Host and a journalist of note in BC, Canada. Dr. Mohammed Tariq, Pakistan Consul General in Vancouver was the chief guest and Mr. Kavinder Chand of the Punjab Bhawan was a guest of honor. Punjab Bhawan, a great facility is provided free for all literary activities of all the communities by Mr. Sukhi Bath of Sukhi Motors who himself is an enormous literature lover.
Harpreet Singh, introducing the book and the author spoke about his friendship with Nusrat and of cordial relations between the members of the Pakistani and Indian community living in Vancouver. Many other prominent members of the Pakistani and Indian community lauded services of Nusrat Hussain who is the founding chief editor of The Miracle, first Muslim newspaper of British Columbia.
Mr. Naseer Pizada, managing editor of The Miracle lauded the srivices of Hussain in establishing the newspaper and later handing to Pirzada. Mr. Mohammed Rafique, Mr. Zarar Butt, Mr. Shaukat Khan- president Pakistan Canada Association, Mr. Farrukh Syed-president Pakistan Canadian Cultural Association, Mr. Shams Siddiqui, Mr. Aslam Hayat, Mr. Intikhab Ahmed of Dil Apna Pakistan, Mr. Tariq Kiani of Sohni Dharti, Mr. Nadeem Parmar, Mrs. Sajida Shah, Mrs. Alam Ara, Mrs. Shahana Haqqi of Urdu Journal and Mrs. Surinder Kaur spoke on the occasion and described incidents of their good association with the author, Nusrat Hussain.
Sqn. Ldr. Hussain (R) briefly described about going through the joy and pain while writing The Last Salute. He called the Air Force as his romance and informed about the crash story of General Zia-ul-Haq included in the book. The Book, according to Nusrat, was a ‘must read’ for all fighter pilots serving in any Air Force of the world. He also appreciated services of Mr. Arslan Sultan who helped in shaping the cover design of The Last Salute.
Dr. Mohammed Tariq, Consular General of Pakistan described the book as a naughty and a thrilling narration about lives of the pilots of Pakistan Air Force who served during Nusrat’s days of service with Pakistan Air Force. In the end the book was presented to the Consul General and mementos of Punjab Bhawan were presented to Hussain and Dr. Tariq.

::22nd Annual Milad Celebrated At Fiji Islamic Centre by IMAC

Muslims of Lower Mainland gathered at Fiji Islamic Centre Surrey on Dec 2, where the International Muslim Academy of Canada(IMAC) of Canada organised the annual 22nd Jashne Eid Milad-un-Nabi(Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam).
Br. Aseem Khan was the master of ceremony of this event. First Qari Imran Raza recited the verses of Quran, local Naat Khawans recited Naats time to time in their beautiful voices included Br. Muzammil Ahmed,Saiyed Hussain Br. Ghulam Shaizad Shah, Br. Abdur
Rasool Salis and Saad Andur Rasool.
Local dynamic Urdu speaker Maulana A. Latif Naumani, Imam and Khateeb of Jamia Masjid Aulia Allah delivered a beautiful bayan in Urdu in which he focused on the birth of Prophet Mohammad(SAW) and love with Allah and his messenger Mohammad(pbuh). He said that we praise in our Milad that Nabi (Prophet SAW) is the Messenger of Allah, and He is not Allah(swt) and neither equal to Allah. Therefore, it is not Shirk. It is an authentic Fatwah of Ahel Sunnah wal Jamaht. Allah said in Quran, “wherever my Zikar there is your (prophet’s) zikar”. Even in Kalma, Adhan, and Salat, the name of Prophet SAW is mentioned. Maulana Naumani asked everyone to promise that they would obey the teachings of Prophet and recite Darood daily.
MP Sukh Dhaliwal also attended the event and congratulated the community on this event. He expressed his respect for the religion of Islam and said that this is the beauty of Canada that we respect each other’s religions and cultural values. Mr. Dhailwal was commended because he stood up in the Parliament last week and informed them about Prophet’s Birth Day in his speech and specially mentioned the Fiji Islamic Centre, Masjid Aulia Allah where Milad un Nabi(saw) is celebrated every year.
The next guest speaker was Shaykh Sayed Nurjan Mirahamadi from Naqsbandi centre. Shaykh recited few verses of Quran and hadiths. Has asked everyone to think about their relationship with Allah. When you read holy Quran, understand the Commands being given to our Prophet Mohammad (SAW). Allah said, that if he had sent down Quran on a mountain, it would have been humbled and rent asunder for fear of God. However, Allah made the heart of Prophet Mohammad(saw), soft and powerful to accept all commands. Allah made Mohammad (saw) the Messenger of all creation and everything is in existence in this universe must have the love of Syedna Mohammad Mustafa(saw).
Next speaker was Imam and Khateeb of Fiji Islamic Centre Qari o Hafiz Imran Raza. He spoke in English and Urdu covering manu topics. He first spoke about what Milad is. It means having an Ijtimah or gathering where the people come together and talk about Mohammad(saw) and thank Allah (swt) to send his beloved Messenger Mohammad among us. He recited few verses of para 3. Sura.Al Imran and explained. After Allah(swt), If any respect in the universe, it is Prophet Mohammad (saw), because Allah(swt) granted his Prophet the best character, knowledge, and beauty. Imam Imran described the Husan o Jamal(beauty) of Muhammad(saw) with reference of many hadiths. Prophet MOhammad (SAW) came as a teacher, and taught us how to build character, morality, and manners. He conquered Mecca without any bloodshed and forgave everyone at that time in Mecca. We should implement Prophet teachings in our daily life. Qari Imran also spoke about how Islam is a complete way of life which has answers for everything. If we study Quran and Hadith in depth, we will find a vast amount of knowledge that is still undiscovered or has been discovered only recently.
After the Durood-o- Salam, by Peer Afzal Ahmed made Duaa for the Muslim Ummah. Mr. Kkan thanked all the guests, organizers and volunteers of this big 22nd annual Jashnen Eid Milad un Nabi (saw)event who prepared and served food and made a tremendous effort overall to make this event successful.
Members of the Masjid Committee were
recognized for their service towards the Fiji Islamic Center.

::Milad Celebration At Fleetwood Islamic Centre

On Nov 25th, the birth of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) was celebrated in Fleetwood Islamic Centre. The MC, Mr.Suleman Abbas welcomed and introduced the guests/speakers for the night. The program began with Qur’an’s Tilawat. Br. Haydar Hussain recited Naats.
Afterwards, Imam Fode Drame of Az Zawiyah foundation was invited. He elaborated on the celebration of Eid-E-Milad-Un-Nabi (S.A.W) and explained how we learn from basic teachings of life which is the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (PBUH). He recited few verses from Quran and references of Hadiths and how the Allah (SWT) loves with his beloved Messenger Mohammad (pbuh). He said the Quran is the set of instructions for our real lives and every Muslim should be respectful (Adab). He explained the conversation of prophet Moses and Allah(swt) and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) Sidratul Muntiha at Miraj. Imam Fode discussed the conquest of Makkah and how Prophet Mohammad (saw) was mercy for mankind. He gave many examples of Prophet Mohammad (saw) in which Allah (swt) through Mohammad (saw) gave everyone.
The other English and Urdu guest speaker was Imam and Khateeb of Fiji Islamic Centre Qari o Hafiz Imran Raza, who quoted the arrival of beloved last Prophet (saw) in Makkah tul Mukarrama. He also described the birth and Prophethood of Mohammad(saw). He explained the Darood o Salam through the reference of Quran., Allah (swt) Himself sends Darood o Salam on Prophet Mohammad (saw)in Sura Aaraf. He also explained the history of arrival of Surah# 102: At-Takathur and details of Surah# 93: Ad-Duha, as well as the verse “Wa rafana Lakh Zikrak”. He concluded his speech explaining how our love with our Prophet (PBUH) should show in our daily lives. Br Br Faizal Kadir thanked all the guests at the end and also thanked all the volunteers who prepared the food and arranged this spiritual event by financial and physical help, may Allah(swt) accept our efforts ameen. The program concluded with Darood-O-Salaam and this was followed by a dua by Imam Sillah Drammeh of Fleetwood Centre.

::Grand Mawlid al- Nabi (saw) Celebrated by Hub-e-Rasul

Naqshbandia Islamic Center of Vancouver celebrated 4th annual Jashn-e-Eid Milad Al-Nabi (saw) under the guidance and leadership of Mawlana Shaykh Sayed Nurjan Mirahamadi (Damat Barakatuhum Ul Aliya). A program that is full of Naats, Nasheeds, Zikr and soulful speeches of Mashaikh Karam.
Hub-E-Rasul (saw)conference is rising as the biggest Mawlid conference of Canada where community comes together to celebrate the love of Holy Prophet (saw). Naqshbandia center is very thankful for all sponsors and community leaders who participated and collaboratively made this program a success.
The night began with Mawlana Shaykh Sayed Nurjan leading the flag march where hundreds of people including kids dressed up in beautiful white outfit decorated with badges and head bands waving flags and reciting durood o salam marched in the center of hall.
Program started with recitation of Holy Quran followed by Naqshbandia Ensemble reciting salawats and Nasheeds praising upon Sayedna Muhammad (saw). Mawlana Shaykh Nurjan lead the khatme Khawjgan, an ancient way of Mashaikh karam of Naqshbandi tareeqa for zikr followed by a soulful speech where Mawlana Shaykh Nurjan emphasized on loving Prophet Muhammad ﷺ more than we love ourselves to fulfilling our deen according to hadees of Holy Prophet (saw). Mawlana said that Nabi ﷺ taught us the best of manners. He came to perfect the character of humanity and spread the peaceful teachings of Islam. Mawlana said it is very important to celebrate these nights and be happy and share the happiness so other communities can see us as peace loving and warm hearted community.
Mawlana Abdul Lateef Naumani who equally participates in all Hub-E-Rasul ﷺ conferences also gave a heart touching bayan. He call upon all community to be united and take a stand for mawlid Al-Nabi ﷺ and celebrate the event with happiness. Mawlana Naumani narrated incidents of love of Shaba Karam for Sayedna Muhammad (saw).
Evening ended with Ziarat of Holy reclics including Muae Mubarak of Sayedna Muhammad (saw), cloth of holy Turban of Imam Hussain (Alehe Assalam), The Shroud of Roza Shareef and Holy Kabba. Final Dua was made after darood o salam for safety and protection of everyone participating. A delicious dinner was served to hundreds of people with deserts and cake.
This year event is another huge success to spread the peaceful message of love, compassion and peace. The event was attended by hundreds of people from lower mainland.
Once again Naqshbandi Islamic Center is very thankful for everyone who supported and participated. Let’s make an intention to do even bigger program next year and bring the whole community under the blessings of Him who is mercy to mankind by raising His flag and showing our love for Him. If you would like to donate and be a supporter of these beautiful programs, please contact Naqshbandi Islamic Center of Vancouver at
604-558-4455.


::Milad un Nabi (saw) Celebrated At Masjid Anwar e Madina

On Dec 2, Eid Milad-Un- Nabi(saw) was celebrated with great respect and honor in Masjid Anwar-e-Madina in Surrey.
Br. Saiyad Afroz was the master of ceremony and conducted the program successfully.
The program started with the recitation of the Holy Quran by Hafiz Mohammad Farooq.
Afterwards, there was a Naat-e-rasool Maqbool (saw) session, starting with local Naat Khawans Br. Yaseen, Shareef Chacha from Edmonton, Br. Abdur Rauf and Br Iftikaar Ahmad including young presenters Zeeshan Dean, Irfan Ali, Haider Ali, Yavar Yaqub and Abbas Ali in group.Br Afroz did an introductory speech about the Seerat un Nabi (saw) in English language. He also gave the references of different Hadiths regarding the praising of beloved Prophet in His Life.
Imam and Khateeb of Masjid Anwar e Madina Maulana Saiyad Imroze Dean delivered a dynamic speech in Urdu, in which he narrated incidents from the Seerat un Nabi and importance to celebrate the birth of Mohammad(PBUH).
Syed Imroz recited many Ayaats and Hadiths referencing the Seerah. He gave the reference of Sura Al Imran: ayat 81: “When Allah made (His) covenant with the prophets, (He said): Behold that which I have given you of the Scripture and knowledge. And afterward there will come unto you a messenger, confirming that which ye possess. Ye shall believe in him and ye shall help him. He said: Do ye agree, and will ye take up My burden (which I lay upon you) in this (matter)? They answered: We agree. He said: Then bear ye witness. I will be a witness with you.”
He said that at any gathering where we describe our Prophet Mohammad’s (saw)life history/ Seerat in speeches and Nasheeds /Naats on the Day of His Birth is called Milad un Nabi(saw).Maulana Imroz detailed the Sura Araf Ayat 172 And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” He explained the level of love of our beloved prophet Mohammed (saw) and Allah (swt). Next was the chief guest speaker Imam and Khateeb Masjid Awliya Allah Allama Mohammad Ayyub.
He explained what was “Shirk” that you give anyone status equal to Allah(swt). Milad un Nabi(saw) means “Happiness of birth of Prophet Mohammad (saw). Many Sunni Muslims on this occasion recite the Quran, narrate Seerat un Nabi (saw)and Naats o Nasheed but none of these celebrations equate Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Allah (swt) (Nauzubillah). He explained the coversations between angel Jibraeel and Prophet and said that Angel Jibraeil, Hzt Aisha Siddquea, and Hzt Abu Bakar Siddique who were very close to Prophet even didn’t know about all details about Mohammad(saw) life. He recited few Ayaats of the Sura Hujrat, Sura Nisa, Sura Tuba Sura Hasher, in which Allah and Rasool name came together, for example in Sura Al Imran ayat 32 “Allah and His Messenger knows”. These signs are enough for showing the respect of our Prophet and we should show our love with our actions in our daily lives. Mr. Afroz thanked all the guests and community members who joined this spiritual gathering. At the end, Darood o Salam read by Abbas Ali Saifi aand Duaa made by Allama Mohammad Ayyub.

::AICP Together in Loving Muhammad, (PBUH) Milad-un-Nabiyy Celebration at Bell Performing Arts Centre

In the presence of an honorable hair of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (AICP) in British Columbia celebrated like the rest of the Muslim world Milad-un-Nabiyy expressing joy and gratitude for the birth of the best of creation. The celebration this year took place at Bell Performing Arts Center – Surrey, BC.
No effort was spared and no expense was held back for a celebration that is one of a kind in BC. The Association of Islamic Charitable Projects in BC raises the flag of happiness and thanking Allah for this honorable birth. Happiness for the appearance of the Prophet who erased the darkness of ignorance with the illuminations of his guidance. Thanking Allah ta^ala for making us amongst the followers of this Great Prophet.
Together in loving Muhammad Muslims from various communities came to celebrate this honorable occasion as they would in their homeland.
A moving Qur’an recitation started the celebration followed by chants and beautiful tunes for the love of the Prophet sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam from AICP chants group.
Imams of AICP Center addressed the crowd in Arabic and English speeches highlighting our great beloved Muhammad who came as a mercy to all nations and cultures. Speeches stressed the importance of following the true and authentic teachings of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Muslims must adhere to this Authentic creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama^ah, clearing Allah from resembling His creations, and to love our Grand Prophet as he deserves.
They urged Muslims to adhere to the fundamentals of this tolerant Religion commanded by Allah; while passionately warning against exploitation, misguidance and extremist ideologies in the name of religion.
The children of Al-Hidayah and The Islamic Education School (TIES) drew a long and passionate applause from the crowd after their performance and heartwarming chant about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
The Association of Islamic Charitable Projects held this celebration under the banner of ‘Together in loving Muhammad’, peace be upon him. Attendees enjoyed complimentary food provided by the Association for the love of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him.
At the end of this huge great even, the attendance was able to seek tabarruk and the blessing from the hair of the Greatest Prophet sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam that was brought especially for Milad-un-Nabiyy celebration.

::Milad Celebration by Bullay Shah Academy of Canada

On Nov 25, Eid-e-Milad-Un-Nabi (S.A.W) program was organised at Bullay Shah Academy of Canada for the lovers of Prophet Mohammad(saw).
The program started with the recitation of Quran by Hafiz Arham and Ahmad Raza. Mr. Raheel Aslam was the MC. He invited many local Naat Khawns to recite heart touching Hamd o Naat s and Nasheeds included Rayan Ahmad, Br. Muzammil Ahmed, Hafiz Ashfaq, Br. Ch Ijaz and Br. Naseer Pirzada. After recitation of Hamd o Naats Mr. Aslam invited President of Bullay Shah Academy Pir Afzal Ahmed Naqashbandi to address the audience. He delivered a stunning bayan in Urdu and English in which he focused on the birth of Prophet Mohammad(SAW) and love with Allah and his messenger Mohammad(pbuh). He said our Prophet Mohammed(SAW) worried about his Ummah till his last breath, and made dua for them He discussed the verse from Quraan: Surat Ash-Sharĥ (Wa rafa’na laka zikrak”. He talked about the love for Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in depth and the ways of achieving or implementing in our daily lives. Pir Afzal said that unfortunately today our actions are not as per the teachings of Quran and Sunnah. We should praise Allah and His Messenger Prophet Mohammad (saw) all the time and be a practising Muslim. After Darood o Salam at the end M Pir Afzal Ahmed made Duaa for all Muslim ummah.

:: Launching ceremony of a Book “Memoirs of a Pakhtun Immigrant”

By Teresa Schapansky

On Dec 2, another book was launched in town and this time it was Ms. Teresa Schapansky’s “Memoirs of A Pakhtun Immigrant “, based on the memoirs of Mr. Gafoor Khan. Consul General of Pakistan Dr. Mohammad Tariq hosted this launching ceremony at Afghan Chopan Restaurant in Surrey with Pakistani community members. Ms. Layla Khan did the MC. Few speakers were invited to speak about late Mr. Gafoor Khan, as they knew him personally.
Among the speakers was Mr. Shams Jilani, who told the audience about Mr. Khan’s efforts at that time and how difficult the immigration system was. Mr. Khan got the immigration with the help of Nasarullah Khan, a Pakistani Minister. His honesty, hardship, and dedication were the reasons behind his success.
Next speaker was the writer of the book, Ms. Teresa Schapansky. She thanked everyone who came to hear Khan’s immigrant story and specially thanked Dr. Tariq for arranging the event. She said that the purpose of writing this book was to ensure the history of her husband Salim’s family was preserved. Mr. Salim is the grandson of Gafoor Khan. His father Mr. Jamal and his family’s struggles are mentioned in the start of this book. She said, “ I have the absolute honor of playing a small part of this incredible journey, researching and learning history of this family discovering what could happen at arriving in Canadaside by side with Mr. Jamal and his Family.”
Mr. Salim Khan, also talked about the book and his grandfather. He remembered him as a very generous man. He arrived in Vancouver Island many years before, and he struggled hard. Then they spent some time in Pakistan and came back to Canada. Mr. Khan also thanked his wife for writing the book.
Mr. Rasool Mohammad had come from Texas to speak at this event. , He said that the book is the story of an immigrant and everyone here today knows how we struggle here for our food and living. He talked about Mr. Ghafoor Khan and Sr. Mastoor’s efforts during that time. He came from same region, and at that time Mr. Khan had only $2 and he had $400 in our pockets but never Mr. Khan never gave up. He was a great and brave man.
The Consul General in his speech highlighted that the title of the book ‘Memoirs of a Pakhtun Immigrant’ has ethic and linguistic overtones as Pakhtun live in Pakistan and Afghanistan, however, the subject story relates to Pakhtun from Pakistan. Mr Jamal Khan takes pride in calling himself as Canadian of Pakistan origin. The story is about the earliest known Pakistan origin family in Western Canada who permanently settled in Vancouver Island.
The Consul General added that the author through her work, depicting Pakhtun and Pakistani culture has brought Canada and Pakistan closer. The author, Ms Teresa Schapansky, a hardworking and positive person always looks at the brighter side of the things.
He then thanked everyone for coming and joining him at this one of a kind event.
‘Memoirs of a Pakhtun Immigrant’
On May 15, 1903 in the remote village of Charuna, in the North West Frontier Province of undivided India, a child was born in a one-room house made of stone and clay. Although the family members of this child were poverty-stricken, they felt rich with knowledge; this knowledge stemmed from their customs and religious beliefs, which had spanned generations and survived the passing of time.
The moment this child’s gender was determined, so was his destiny. It was expected that he would, as his father and ancestors before him had done, grow up strong, marry young, build a stone house, father children, and farm the land. As always, names were chosen carefully among the Pakhtun people, and he was called Gafoor. This was a strong, masculine title, which meant “forgiver” and “merciful”.
Throughout the early years of his childhood, the boy would gather daily during the harvest seasons with his brothers, sisters, and other village children while the adults farmed the land. Never far from the watchful eyes of their parents, these children were content as they played, learned, and grew together, protected by the thick green canopies provided by the trees, and sheltered from the hot summer sun.
This simple, yet laborious way of life lasted throughout his adolescent and teenaged years, and it might have continued into adulthood, if not for the interest he’d taken in the stories he’d heard about those who’d chosen to leave the mountains.
Widely talked about among the villagers, and held in high regard, were the brave men who had left the comfort and security of their mountain homes. These men for the most part, found work with shipping companies in Bombay, and rumour had it that this employment not only provided a good income, but also opportunities for traveling the world - a world which, for most of those left behind, could only be imagined in their minds’ eye.
Gafoor listened to the stories and was growing into an idealist. He was eager to find out how much more the world might have to offer.

::Baabul Ilm Education Society organized an Inter-Faith Harmony Seminar on Existence of God

By: Dr. Mohammad Akbar
On Dec. 02, Baabul Ilm Education Society organized a ‘Inter-faith seminar on Existence of God at the conference centre of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey campus. The seminar was very well attended. Some sixty plus people from all walks of life and different religious background attended the program. However, as usual participation from the Muslim community was very nominal despite the repeated invitation and requests by the organisers. Similarly, no notable Sunni scholar was present at the event. The majority of the audience was either Christians or Ahmadis and only handful of Muslims were present. It is a pity that the Muslim community did not give any importance to such an important event.
According to the Baabul Ilm Society the objective of this event was to demonstrate that Muslims or Islam has nothing against any other religion. Muslims believe in interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence. The overall goal was to try and contribute towards dispelling the negative propaganda, especially in the Canadian media, against Islam and Muslims. This was fourth of the series of seminars organized by Baabul Ilm Education Society.
On behalf of Baabul Ilm Education Society Dr. Mohammad Akbar welcomed the audience to this unique, auspicious, and one of its kind occasion. He highlighted the goals and objectives of the Society and the purpose of organizing this conference. In addition the Society also organizes lectures, seminars and conferences on a variety of topics mainly related to education, literature, and on great events and personalities in the history. The idea is to enhance knowledge and awareness among the community.
Dr. Akbar said that the Society strive to promote a platform for interfaith dialogue and discussion. Our aim is to promote respect and understanding between people of different cultures so that we develop strong communities in this beautiful part of Canada, Dr. Akbar added.
Filza Raza representing youth gave a very good presentation on who youth view existence of God. Pastor Tim gave an enlightening and a revealing presentation. He said that we need to recognize our differences and yet we have to find and work on common grounds to build a better society that provides conducive environment for the peaceful coexistence of all the communities.
Professor Marci Luccock of Kwantlen Polytechnic University presented Jewish views on existence of God. Dr. Raminder Kang representing Sikh community gave a very nice presentation. He said that Sikhs also believe in one God. He recited some verses form their holy book which were very similar to what Muslims believe in terms of oneness of God.
Dr. Akber Mithani in his keynote address discussed the spiritual significance of existence of God. He said it would be very difficult to explain this important concept in this limited time. Dr. Mithani further said that it is difficult to understand especially in the modern world in which the religion is separated from other domains of life
After the presentations a very lively Q and A session ensued. Audience from different backgrounds acknowledged that this event was very useful and timely. They said that this type of events is very helpful in understanding each other’s points of views and beliefs. Audience were of the view that in such events at least we can agree to disagree in a more civilized manner and in a more peaceful and educative environment. They expressed their gratitude for Baabul Ilm Education Society’s welcome and hospitality on Saturday afternoon. They also admired the graciousness in which Mahmood Jaffer conducted and MC’ed this event, particularly the lively question and answer session.

::BCMA Surrey Muslim School held very successful fundraising dinner

The BCMA Surrey Muslim School held very successful fund raising dinner on Sunday at Royal King Palace in Surrey. BCMA operates 2 schools in the lower mainland, one in Surrey and one in Richmond. There are about 530 Muslim kids take benefits of these Muslims schools. They provide core competence in Islamic values, Quran, Arabic Language and standard BC ministry of education curriculum. The school also plan to offer grade 9 in the future and improve overall IT infrastructure coming year.
The dinner was well attended by over 600 guests including BCMA president Br. Ilraf, various branches management committee members and MLA Harry Bain. The program included presentations from school kids, speech by newly elected BCMA president Iltaf Sahib, followed up by guest speakers, Maulana
The detailed presentation was shared by the current board members Inamul Desai and Fazal Mohammed providing the details about the school and future plans. Both brothers shared the overview of current BCMA Board of Education, status of schools, current challenges and future plans for coming years. One of the accomplishments this year by BCMA was that purchased newer buses, completed major renovations, obtained City Of Surrey occupancy permit and paid off some debts.
The funds raise on the night will be utilized for many of IT and other improvements at Surrey Muslim School. The estimated fund of $106744 was collected.

::“Seven Seas Apart” An Afghan Man Leaves His Kids Behind to Find Refuge for Them

Ghulam Muhammad was a physician in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. He had fourkids who were nothing like each other yet Ghulam could never decide whom he loved the most.
Though Ghulam created a comfortable life for his wife and kids, he couldn’t stop worrying about their safety outside the home. It was the constant gun fires, bombs and rockets that kept him up at night.
Ghulam didn’t remember a time when Afghanistan was peaceful. In 2012, at the height of war, Afghanistan had reached all world records. The world’s poorest country, the country with the lowest literacy rate, the country with the world’s biggest refugee population. To Ghulam, these were more than just statistics. They were the bitter truths of his life.
Ghulam and his wife, Zainab, decided that they will not accept the fate that Afghans were destined with. They packed their bags in the hopes of finding refuge somewhere far away. Ghulam didn’t have enough money to pay for his three older kids, Raihan, Kaihan and Aisha’s voyage so he had to leave them behind. He requested his cousin to care for them until he had a home ready for them someplace safe. Zainab cradled her one-year-old daughter as they left for a journey very few people dare to take on. It was a journey through continents.
First the Muhammads travelled to Europe. From there they immigrated to the U.S. where they lived for three years. When Ghulam’s family arrived in Canada in November, 2015, they first settled in New Westminster. Tariq Aziz, a caseworker at the Muslim Food Bank & Community Services, was handed Ghulam’s case two months into their arrival. To Tariq it was clear that Ghulam and Zainab’s biggest struggle was separation from their kids. Their eyes thirsted to see each one of the kids they’d left behind.
“Ghulam only ever talked about his kids that were back home,” Tariq recalls. Tariq is just
one among many volunteers that work for the ASPIRE community services program designed to help individuals and families stand on their own feet. ASPIRE stands for Actualizing Self-Reliance by Providing Inspiration, Resources and Education. Each client in the ASPIRE Community Services
program is paired with an ASPIRE caseworker who assists them in overcoming obstacles and achieving successes through one-to-one support. Tariq, like most volunteers in this program, is motivated by the desire to serve the underserved.
Though new immigrants generally require interpretation due to language barrier, Tariq didn’t have to interpret for Ghulam because he speaks English fluently.
“Ghulam is self-sufficient and is a quick-learner,” Tariq says. Tariq soon learned that the Muhammads were struggling to put food on table as Ghulam had not yet found a job. Through the help of the ASPIRE program coordinator who oversees all cases, Tariq was able to provide Ghulam’s family a Walmart gift card to pay for food and other essentials.
What’s more, Tariq helped Ghulam navigate the waters of Canadian life by guiding him
through various online resources such as the WorkBC and the BC Housing websites. Ghulam’s application for subsidized housing was soon accepted allowing his family to move into a more affordable home. Tariq also taught Ghulam how to access public transit.
Ghulam and his wife began integrating into Canadian lifestyle one step at a time. Zainab
attended English classes and Ghulam has started networking for jobs. There was still one more mountain to climb though which was sponsoring their kids. Ghulam and Zainab appealed to the Canadian Immigration board to help reunite them with their kids on the basis of humanitarian and
compassionate grounds.
Eight months after their initial appeal, Raihan, Kaihan and Aisha were accepted into Canada.
Three long years later, the Muhammads were together again. At last, Ghulam didn’t have to rely on faded memory to remember his kids’ faces any longer. At last, he didn’t have stare at his three kids’
wrinkled photos from old family albums any longer. He was finally reunited with them.
These are real stories where our volunteers have an impact on members of our community helping them progress in their lives. InshaAllah next week we will bring you another story.
Please join us to have a purpose in your life to make a difference in the lives of your brothers and sisters by coming to our events and registering as a volunteer or donating to your organization, the Muslim Food Bank and Community Services Society (usually referred to as Muslim Food Bank) at
www.muslimfoodbank.com/donate.
Our email is contact@muslimfoodbank.com and telephone number is 1-866-824-2525.

 

 

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