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Founder’s Corner: Ottawa Gatineau Masjids/ Musallahs Under Locked Down and Reduced Capacity

Dr Emdad Khan.

Ottawa Gatineau has over 20 Masjids and Musallahs who provide different levels of regular prayer services. Some of them provide a range of other services but here we will focus on day-to-day prayer services under Covid-19.

During COVID-19 first wave from Mid March 2020 to Mid June 2020, all the masjids/ musallahs were closed as Ontario allowed only a maximum of 5 persons.

But after Mid June 2020, Ontario allowed the masjids/ musallahs to open with 1/3 capacity for prayer, wedding, and funeral services. Except few musallahs, most of the masjids/ musallahs were offering regular five prayers until December 25, 2020.

Unfortunately, 2nd lockdown happened on 26th December 2020 until February 15, 2021, during the peak of the second wave of Covid-19. During these 50+ days, Ontario restricted capacity for regular prayer, wedding or funeral services, a maximum of up to 10 persons.

During the second locked down period only, few masjids were open for 5 regular prayers.

We like to thank SNMC management, volunteers and musalles for providing one of the best prayer services. Unlike other masjids/ Musallahs, there were 6 shifts of Isha salah each 10 and 4 shifts of Fajr salah with 10 each and Zuhr, Asr and Maghreb, each 3 shifts each 10. In addition, there were special arrangements for seniors.

After 50 days of second lock down, on 16 February Tuesday   Fajr at 6pm at SNMC masjid, despite heavy snow and difficulties over 60 persons attended.

Alhamdu Lillah, the doors of mercy open.

Masjids/ Musallahs follow city health guidelines: 2-meter distances, face mask, hand sanitization. They are safer and have tranquility compared to groceries and shopping malls.

We meet brothers and sometimes sisters at groceries and shopping malls.

We request all brothers and sisters, please come to the house of Allah and let us under the pandemic be closer to Allah swt Ameen.

We feel encouraged, as we see attendance in regular prayers at SNMC is increasing. Currently, attendance are as follows, at Isha (100-125), Fajr (60 -70), Maghrib, Zuhr and Asr (40 -60).

Let SNMC and other masjids excel in activities and be an example in each activity. prayers, social and community services. Quran learning and teaching for kids, youths, sisters, and adults.  We provide youths’ activities education and sports.

 

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Islam is the Natural and Easy Way!

A Moment with Our Prophet, Muhammad (S)

By Imam Zijad Delic

Day 197: Islam is the Natural and Easy Way!

A Moment with Our Prophet, Muhammad (S) — By Imam Zijad Delic

Narrated by Abu Huraira (r) that the Prophet (S) said: “Verily, the religion is easy, and no one burdens himself/herself in religion but that it overwhelms him/her.”

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ إِنَّ الدِّينَ يُسْرٌ وَلَنْ يُشَادَّ الدِّينَ أَحَدٌ إِلَّا غَلَبَهُ

Source: Bukhari

Transliteration: “Innad Dina Yusrun! Wa Lan Yushaadda Ad Dinu Ahadul Illa Galabah.”

Islam is the natural way of life!

And anything natural is easy!

As natural and easy way, it causes human beings’ hearts to gravitate towards its teachings easily.

Th consequence of this gravitation then will be that Islam will bring tranquility and comfort in people’s personal life and harmony into the society.

So, Islam came to make life of people easy and not to make it complicated!

One of the terms used by the Qur’an, in the early Makkan period, to describe Islam, was the term “Al Yusr” which means “the easy way.”

Today, unfortunately, some Muslims are under the misconception that the more-strict they are in following religion, the more pious they will become.

So, they make it hard for themselves and often try to impose harshness and rigidity on others.

This attitude is totally in contradiction to the logic of Islam!

It contradicts what our religion is all about, what it stands for and what it teaches us.

The misconception is a result of lack of understanding of the primary sources of our religion – the Qur’an and the Sunnah (or ignorance of these).

And at times. this lack of understanding drives some people away from religion, mainly because of the way it is presented to them.

Indeed, the view that Islam is easy to understand and practice, is one which is derived from the mentioned two primary sources of Islam.

Allah comforts us by continuously reassuring us that He intends and desires for us ease not hardship, despite the seemingly formidable trials and tribulations that we may sometimes face in our lives.

Let me mention just a few examples from the Qur’an where Allah guides us towards understanding of Islam as the easy way or path.

“He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty.” (Qur’an 22:78)

هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ

“God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship.” (Qur’an 2:185)

يُرِيدُ اللّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْر

In another verse, we are reminded that “God will assuredly appoint, after difficulty; easiness.” (Qur’an 65:7)

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا آتَاهَا سَيَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍ يُسْرًا

“Whoso fears God, God will appoint for him/her, of His command, easiness.” (Qur’an 65:4)

وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْرًا

“God desires to lighten things for you.” (Qur’an 4:28)

يُرِيدُ اللّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنكُمْ

In sharing the message of Islam with people the Prophet (S) was advised the following in the Quran: “It is part of the mercy of Allah that you deal gently with them. If you were severe or hardhearted, they would have broken away from you. So, pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them in the mutual affairs.” (3: 159)

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لاَنفَضُّواْ مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الأَمْرِ

All these verses allude that Islam is easy to follow and rather encourage us to promote Islam as the easy path/way.

In addition to the Quran, the Hadith literature is also stuffed with references exhorting us to adopt a simple and easy approach to life.

Prophet Muhammad (S) has advised us: “Verily, the religion is easy, and no one burdens himself/herself in religion but that it overwhelms him/her.” (Bukhari)

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ إِنَّ الدِّينَ يُسْرٌ وَلَنْ يُشَادَّ الدِّينَ أَحَدٌ إِلَّا غَلَبَهُ

It was narrated by Abu Burdah (r) that when the Prophet (S) sent his companions Abu Musa and Mu’adh (r) to teach Islam to the people of Yemen, he (S) gave them the following advice: “Facilitate things for the people and do not make things difficult for them (Be kind and lenient (both of you) with the people, and do not be hard on them) and give the people good tidings and do not repulse them.” (Bukhari)

عَنْ أَبِي بُرْدَةَ، قَالَ بَعَثَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَبَا مُوسَى وَمُعَاذَ بْنَ جَبَلٍ إِلَى الْيَمَنِ، قَالَ وَبَعَثَ كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا عَلَى مِخْلاَفٍ قَالَ وَالْيَمَنُ مِخْلاَفَانِ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏ “‏ يَسِّرَا وَلاَ تُعَسِّرَا، وَبَشِّرَا وَلاَ تُنَفِّرَا

On another occasion Anas ibn Malik (r) narrates that the Prophet (S) said: “Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam).” (Bukhari)

عَنْ أَنَسٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ‏ ‏ يَسِّرُوا وَلاَ تُعَسِّرُوا، وَبَشِّرُوا وَلاَ تُنَفِّرُوا

In a practical sense, the Prophet (S) guided the companions by his example, to make things easy for others.

He (S) used to prolong the Salat whenever he (S) would pray alone, but he (S) would shorten it whenever leading others in Salah.

He (S) taught the companions to do the same and demanded that they do not make things harsh for people.

It was narrated by Abu Mas’ud (r) that a man came to the Prophet (S) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (S)! By Allah, I keep away from the morning prayer (Salatil Gadati) only because so and so prolongs the prayer when he leads us in it.”

The narrator said, “I never saw Allah’s Messenger (S) more furious in giving advice than he (S) was at that time.

He (S) then said, “Some of you make people dislike good deeds (the prayer). So, whoever among you leads the people in prayer should shorten it because among them are the weak, the old and the needy.” (Bukhari)

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ قَيْسًا، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي أَبُو مَسْعُودٍ، أَنَّ رَجُلاً، قَالَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي لأَتَأَخَّرُ عَنْ صَلاَةِ الْغَدَاةِ مِنْ أَجْلِ فُلاَنٍ مِمَّا يُطِيلُ بِنَا‏.‏ فَمَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي مَوْعِظَةٍ أَشَدَّ غَضَبًا مِنْهُ يَوْمَئِذٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ مِنْكُمْ مُنَفِّرِينَ، فَأَيُّكُمْ مَا صَلَّى بِالنَّاسِ فَلْيَتَجَوَّزْ، فَإِنَّ فِيهِمُ الضَّعِيفَ وَالْكَبِيرَ وَذَا الْحَاجَةِ ‏

Abu Huraira (r) narrates that the Prophet (S) said on another occasion: “If anyone of you leads the people in the prayer, he should shorten it for amongst them are the weak, the sick and the old; and if anyone among you prays alone then he may prolong (the prayer) as much as he wishes.” (Bukhari)

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ إِذَا صَلَّى أَحَدُكُمْ لِلنَّاسِ فَلْيُخَفِّفْ، فَإِنَّ مِنْهُمُ الضَّعِيفَ وَالسَّقِيمَ وَالْكَبِيرَ، وَإِذَا صَلَّى أَحَدُكُمْ لِنَفْسِهِ فَلْيُطَوِّلْ مَا شَاءَ

Aisha (r) described the Prophet to be the Prophet of ease and said that “whenever Allah’s Messenger (S) was given the choice of one of two matters, he (S) would choose the easier of the two, as long as it was not sinful to do so.” (Bukhari)

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رضى الله عنها ـ أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ مَا خُيِّرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَيْنَ أَمْرَيْنِ إِلاَّ أَخَذَ أَيْسَرَهُمَا، مَا لَمْ يَكُنْ إِثْمًا

As you have noticed from the discussion, Islam is the natural way and anything natural is easy and needs to be presented to others, especially to our children, in the North American context, as an easy way.

If it is done so, our human hearts will gravitate towards Islam and its teachings!

And when our hearts gravitate towards Islam and its teachings, expectations would be that we will enjoy tranquility and comfort in our personal lives as well as cohesion and the prosperity of the society!

Ya Rabb! Guide us to understand our faith of ease and help us to show others the beauty and ease of our faith in our practical day-to-day life!

Allahumma Amin!

 

 

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Founder’s Corner: Forget and Forgive to Move Forward

By Dr Emdad Khan.

We Human beings make mistakes in life and unknowingly commits sins. Two kinds of forgiveness are essential to move forward: Allah’s forgiveness and human forgiveness.

Adam and Hawa (AHS) case is a beautiful example of seeking forgiveness, unlike, Shaitan. They did not blame Shaitan or blame each other. They owned the mistake and sought forgiveness and mercy from Allah swt.

قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمۡنَآ أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمۡ تَغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَتَرۡحَمۡنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِينَ (٢٣) سُوۡرَةُ الاٴعرَاف

Adam/Hawa: They said: “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” (7.23)

 The case of prophet Younus AHS has two dimensions. He got upset, his community did not listen and were simply waiting for Allah’s punishment. Here Prophet Younus did not wait until Allah swt commanded him to move out and by the time, his community seeing the red Cloud at the horizon got frightened and seek forgiveness and Allah swt forgave them.

But Allah swt put a new test for prophet Younus AHS, and he was tested and in mult0e darkness was swallowed by Hout /Whale. He admitted his mistake and Allah swt forgave him. Also, as we know form Hadith, who ever recite the Dua Younus, Allah swt will also protect him from difficulties.

وَذَا ٱلنُّونِ إِذ ذَّهَبَ مُغَـٰضِبً۬ا فَظَنَّ أَن لَّن نَّقۡدِرَ عَلَيۡهِ فَنَادَىٰ فِى ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتِ أَن لَّآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنتَ سُبۡحَـٰنَكَ إِنِّى ڪُنتُ مِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ (٨٧) سُوۡرَةُ الاٴنبیَاءya

Prophet YOUNIS: And (remember) Dhunnun (the man of the fish, namely Younus (A.S)), when he walked away in anger and thought that We would never put him to trouble. Then, he called (Us) in depths of darkness saying, “There is no god but You. Pure are You. Indeed, I was among the wrongdoers”. (21.87)

Forgive, Forget and Move forward: parents, relative, everyone and ourselves.

First, our parents (father, mother, father-in-law & mother-in-law), living or dead. We must forgive them for every mistake they made in bringing us up. By not forgiving our parents, we remain a child and see ourselves as victims and keep our negative feelings and anger alive.

Second, close relatives, forgive relation from our marriages or blood. These relationships can be intense, and threatening to our feelings of self-esteem and self-worth, that we may be angry and unforgiving toward those people for years.

Third, let go by writing a letter/email but nor sending “the letter” is considered a powerful way in putting a bad relationship behind, a powerful way to free us from feelings of anger and resentment.

Fourth, forgive everyone else who has ever hurt us in any way. Clear and clean our slate and move forward.

Fifth, forgive us for every senseless, wicked, thoughtless or cruel thing we have ever done or said. Stop carrying these past mistakes around with us.

Finally, recite the Dua, (last verse of sura Al-Baqarah) and we will feel very light as we will be relived from all burdens and feel peace and tranquility in our heart. 

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللّٰهُ نَفۡسًا اِلَّا وُسۡعَهَا ‌ؕ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتۡ وَعَلَيۡهَا مَا اكۡتَسَبَتۡ‌ؕ رَبَّنَا لَا

تُؤَاخِذۡنَاۤ اِنۡ نَّسِيۡنَاۤ اَوۡ اَخۡطَاۡنَا ‌ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِصۡرًا كَمَا حَمَلۡتَهٗ عَلَى الَّذِيۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِنَا ‌‌ۚرَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلۡنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهٖ‌ ۚ وَاعۡفُ عَنَّا وَاغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَارۡحَمۡنَا اَنۡتَ مَوۡلٰٮنَا فَانۡصُرۡنَا عَلَى الۡقَوۡمِ الۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ‏ ﴿۲۸۶﴾  سُوۡرَةُ البَقَرَة

Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Account us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us, our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Protector and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (2.286) Surah Al-Baqara

 

 

 

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Won’t You Love that Allah Forgives You?

A Moment with Our Prophet, Muhammad (S)

By Imam Zijad Delic

Day 196: Won’t You Love that Allah Forgives You?

Narrated by Abu Abdullah Al-Khadali (r) who said I asked ‘Aisha (r) about the character of the Messenger of Allah (S) and she said: “And he would not respond to an evil deed with an evil deed, but rather he (S) would pardon and overlook.”

وَلَا يَجْزِي بِالسَّيِّئَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ وَلَكِنْ يَعْفُو وَيَصْفَحُ

Source: Tirmizi

Transliteration: “Wa La Yajzi Bis Sayyiati As Sayyiata Wa Lakin Ya’fu Wa Yasfah.”

In the FB livestream post, recorded on Monday, February 1st, we discussed the correlation between our forgiveness to others and Allah’s forgiveness to us and we mentioned that Abu Huraira (r) narrated that the Prophet (S) instructed us that when “we forgive others, Allah will increase us in honor (dignity and rank).” (Muslim)

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ وَمَا زَادَ اللَّهُ عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلاَّ عِزًّا

I am well aware of emotions and feelings that the abused, harmed or bullied people go through, and I truly sympathize with them!

After every talk about forgiving others or writing about it, a few individuals will categorically state that they will never forgive those who have done them wrong.

One of them explicitly told me that there is no way that he will be able ever to forgive the person who took his right and made his life and the life of his family up-side-down.

To understand this topic and even start thinking about forgiving others, we need first to understand what forgiveness is not, then what forgiveness is, why the Qur’an and the Prophet (S) encouraged forgiving others and what are some of the benefits of this act.

What forgiveness is NOT?

Forgiveness does not mean that the wrong was not done to you!

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting what was done to you!

Forgiveness does not mean condoning or excusing the offences, abuses, bullying or oppression done to you in any way!

Forgiveness does not mean justifying what was done to you!

So, what is then forgiveness?

Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious and deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or retaliation towards a person (or a group) who have oppressed you, harmed you or abused you in any way, regardless of if they asked you for forgiveness or not and whether they actually deserve your forgiveness or not!

Forgiveness means not carrying a grudge in your heart against that person/group!

Forgiveness means, if you are given a chance to retaliate, you will choose not to!

Forgiveness means wishing no evil, even secretly, upon that person/group!

Forgiveness means being civic towards them!

Forgiveness means even praying for their well-being and guidance!

The best example that explains what forgiveness means in the context of the discussion is the example of Abu Bakr (r) and his relative Mistah!

Mistah was the cousin of Abu Bakr (r), the son of his maternal aunt, and a poor man with no wealth except whatever Abu Bakr (r) spent on him.

He was one of those who had migrated from Makkah to Madinah for the sake of Allah.

Abu Bakr (r) was known for his generosity, and he did favors for his relatives and strangers alike; but when Allah revealed the ayah to confirm ‘Aisha’s innocence (from the slander invented by Mistah and others), Abu Bakr (r) swore he would not help Mistah.

“Those who slander chaste and believing women, unsuspecting, they will be cursed in this life and in the Hereafter. And they will suffer a tremendous punishment.” (Qur’an 24:23)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ لُعِنُوا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيم

In fact, he said, “By Allah, I will never spend on him,” (and in another version, “By Allah, I will never provide for Mistah anything after what he has said about ‘Aisha.”)

They accused the honor of ‘Aisha (r) and her chastity and yet Allah says: “Do not let the people of virtue and affluence among you swear to suspend donations to their relatives, the needy, and the emigrants in the cause of Allah. Let them pardon and forgive.

(Qur’an 24:22)

وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُوْلُوا الْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوا أُوْلِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا

And then, Allah puts the challenge forward: “Do you not love to be forgiven by Allah?”

أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ

And then comes the statement that Allah wants us to aspire for: “And Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

On hearing this challenge and the statement, Abu Bakr (r) said: “Certainly, by Allah! I would love that Allah forgives me (Bala, Wallahi, Inni Lauhibbu An Yagfirallahu Li.”

And then he (r) issued the promise: “I swear by Allah, I will give him (Mistah) his monthly allowance.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

Subhanallah!

After everything Abu Bakr (r), his family and particularly his daughter ‘Aisha (r) went through as a result of the slanderous tale to which his cousin Mistah contributed, all it took was one verse of the Qur’an and a reminder about forgiving others and the Forgiveness of Allah, for Abu Bakr (r) to reverse his stand.

What a man, true believer and the role-model was Abu Bakr!

So, in reality, forgiveness is not about the abuser!

It is about the forgiver, the one who was abused or harmed!

Forgiveness brings to the forgiver peace of mind and frees his/her heart from corrosive anger!

Anger that could stop our lives and make us unproductive individuals or members of the community/society!

Benefits of forgiveness to others are many – spiritual, physical or psychological and in both – Duniya and the Akhirah (will discuss the benefits soon, in one of the posts, Insha Allah)!

Ya Allah, guide us to be among those who will develop soft hearts for others and be among those who forgive others even when they do not deserve our forgiveness!

Allahumma Amin!

 

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Event: Lessons from the story of Prophet Yunus (as)

Please join us with Imam Zijad to talk about the lessons from the story of Prophet Yunus (as). Following the talk there will be a quiz game and prizes will be awarded to the winners.

Location: Virtual

Date: Monday, February 15

From: 5PM-7PM

Age: 5-10

Registration required!

Please register using this link:

http://bit.ly/3rw0nn0

One day before the event will send the link for the event.

SNMC Youth committee

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Forgive Others and Allah will Forgive You!

A Moment with Our Prophet, Muhammad (S)

By Imam Zijad Delic

 

Day 195: Forgive Others and Allah will Forgive You!

 

Narrated by Abu Huraira (r) that the Prophet (S) said: “No one forgives another person except that Allah increases his/her honor.”

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ وَمَا زَادَ اللَّهُ عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلاَّ عِزًّا

Source: Muslim

Transliteration: “Wa Ma Zadallahu ‘Abdan Bi ‘Afwin Illa ‘Izza.”

There is a direct correlation between the ways we treat others and how Allah treats us!

Our Prophet (S) taught us the correct understanding of this correlation!

Once he (S) said: “Forgive others and Allah will forgive you.” (Ahmad)

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَاصِ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَاغْفِرُوا يَغْفِرْ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ

Omar (r) was heard to say: “Anyone who does not forgive, will not be forgiven.” (Al Adabul Mufrad)

عَنْ عُمَرَ قَالَ‏ وَلاَ يُغْفَرُ لِمَنْ لاَ يَغْفِرُ

The following marvelous story reflects on the high rank of those who do not keep grudges in their hearts against others but free their hearts from bitterness and anger.

Anas Ibn Malik (r) narrated: “We were sitting (at the masjid An Nabawi) with the Prophet (S) once when he (S) said: “A man from the dwellers of Paradise will walk in now” so a man from the Ansar walked in whose beard was wet from the effect of ablution and who held his slippers with his left hand.

The next day the Prophet (S) said the same thing, and the same man walked in.

On the third day, the Prophet (S) said the same thing, and the same man once again walked in.

When the Prophet (S) left the gathering, ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr (r) followed that man and said to him: `I had a misunderstanding with my father and swore not to stay in his house three nights, so if you permit me I would like to spend these three nights with you` The man said: `Yes, I permit you.’”

Anas Ibn Malik (r) added: “‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr told us that he spent three nights and did not notice that the man prayed the optional night prayers during any of these nights, but if he woke up during the night, he would simply mention Allah.

Nonetheless, I never heard him utter except good things, so when the three nights finished, I almost belittled his deeds (as they were insignificant) and I said to him:

`O slave of Allah!

There was not dispute between me and my father or anger, but I heard the Prophet (S) saying thrice: “A man from the dwellers of Paradise will walk in now” and you walked in all three times, so I wanted to sleep in your place to see what you do in order to imitate you, but I did not see that you exert extra effort in performing any extra deeds.

How did you reach such status to deserve what the Prophet (S) said about you?

He replied: ‘My deeds are nothing more than what you saw.’

Then when I left, he called me back in and said: ‘My deeds are nothing more than what you saw, but the only thing I do (besides what you saw) is that I do not hold any grudge against any Muslim (I forgive) or envy anyone for what bounties Allah has bestowed upon them.’

Thereupon ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr (r) said to him: “This difficult quality to obtain is what granted you this high rank!” (Ahmad)

Indeed, when we humble ourselves and forgive those who did wrong to us, Allah will honor us with a degree or high rank from Him, as the Prophet (S) mentioned in the opening Hadith of this post, narrated by Abu Huraira (r): “No one forgives another person except that Allah increases his/her honor.” (Muslim)

The most among human beings think that if we forgive, we will be perceived as weak, timid or sometimes dumb; however, that is not how it is in the universe of God and that is not how it should be, if we want to have peace in our hearts and our life in general.

Only great characters and personalities are capable of forgiving others – people of healthy hearts and the knowledge of what it means to know Allah, know about His rewards for forgiving others and what it means to sincerely follow the Prophet (S).

May Allah make us of those who would, against the odds of today’s thinking that forgiving others is a sign of weakness, have soft hearts for others and guide us towards that which is the best for us and others!

Allahumma Amin!

 

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Founder’s Corner: January 29 and Action on Islamophobia

Dr Emdad Khan.

We all know, on Jan. 29, 2017, a lone gunman in Quebec City and opened fire on dozens of Canadian Muslims while they were praying in a local masjid, six innocent persons had been tragically killed, and 19 more injured. We Canadian citizens and Canadian Muslims are glad to note that, after three years, the government of Canada, designated January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination.

 

We would consider 90% of Canadians are tolerant and accept Muslims and Islamic practices and understand Canadian Muslims are contributing law abiding citizens.

Remaining 10% are having some form of racism but this is in every society.

 

These 10% people openly or subtly express hatred, discrimination against Muslims or other religions or ethnic minorities.

 

We are also happy to note that recently Canadian Federal government also declared the Proud Boys, white supremacy groups, a total of 13 groups as terrorists’ groups.

 

We thank our PM Trudeau and the MPs for two positive actions for religious freedom where minorities can freely live without fear and hatred or racism.

 

We, each and every Muslim, can also do some positive and proactive actions in our daily life in our workplace, in our neighborhood and in social settings.

 

We can exchange gifts, be active during Ramadan, Eid sacrifice and even work during Christmas and Easter, with mainstream society.

 

Let us keep our Islamic identity and be active with Canadian mosaic and do some simple visible activities to develop peace and harmony in the community.

 

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Ottawa Gatineau Muslims Community Builders: Br. Syed Mumtaz Akhtar and Sr. Khadija Haffajee

By Dr. Emdad Khan.

We all know how the above two sacrificed life long to build the Ottawa Gatineau community. We are working with UMO-OG to develop a process to preserve the memory of important community leaders. May be develop a website like Ottawa Gatineau Muslims.UMO-OG.ca

We all will be happy to note that our future generations will know the sacrifice of earlier Muslims in the twin city of Ottawa Gatineau. Alhamdu Lillah after a big sacrifice in Quebec City Muslims now got January 29 as Muslims Remembrance Day and Actions against Islamophobia.

Few community members also suggested under UMO-OG, we should create an Ottawa Gatineau, city wide, advisory committee, to identify and record the profiles of important community leaders who have contributed to develop and uplift the status and organizations in Ottawa Gatineau.

We put here  brief contributions of Br. Mumtaz and Sr. Khadija.

Syed Mumtaz Akhtar has been involved with the Ottawa Gatineau Muslim community for the last 40 Years. He was the founding member and/or president / Chairperson of several Muslim organizations – Ottawa Muslim Association (OMA), Sadaqa Food Bank, Human Concern International (HCI), Canada Pakistan Association (CPA), and the Jamiatul Muslimeen of Ottawa Carleton (Jami Omar). Br. has had roles in the Canadian Muslims National Steering Committee for Bill C-36 and C16 and the Community Policing Action Committee.

Br. Mumtaz came to Ottawa from Pakistan to Ottawa Canada in the 1960s as a young man to study, got married to Sr. Talat in the early 1970s and their three daughters were all born in Ottawa. He died peacefully, after suffering from cancer, on Wednesday, January 28, 201 while performing maghrib prayer around 5:15pm.

Khadija Haffajee was a pioneering Ottawa Gatineau Muslim Community Leader. She died peacefully, after a brief illness, on the evening of September 17, 2020. Born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. She moved to Ottawa, Canada in 1966.

She spent over 50 years living and working in Ottawa. Khadija devoted her life to the care and well being of Ottawa Gatineau Muslim Community. In 1997, she was the first female elected to the Board of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and served as Treasurer at the Ottawa Muslim Association (OMA), and president of the Women’s Auxiliary.  Sr Khadija worked with Afghan refugees in Pakistan and worked on CIDA funded projects in Afghanistan. She went on a lecture tour of Malawi and Zimbabwe and represented Canadian Muslim women at the UN conference on Women in Beijing China.  She attended the International Muslim Women’s Union in Sudan, and the World Conference on Religion and Peace in Amaan Jordan.

She served as a board member of the Multicultural Advisory Committee at CHEO, and a member of the Spiritual Care in Secondary Schools’ Coordinating Committee. She empowered young Muslim women to rally and organize the Expressions of Muslim Women event, celebrating Muslim female achievements in the Arts. She has given lectures on Islam in many schools, churches and universities locally, nationally and internationally. She mentored university and college young women and reverted through study circles, book clubs, etc. She leaves behind a devoted husband Dr. Mazhar Hasan, her sister Zohra Haffajee, nieces and nephews.

 

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Real Estate Corner – Rental/Buying/Selling

Link to join

https://tinyurl.com/OttawaRentalJoin

Link to add

https://tinyurl.com/OttawaRentalForm

Link to view

https://tinyurl.com/OttawaRental 

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Youth Poetry Competition

A poetry competition open to all youth under 18 years old!

Registration deadline: February 10th at 11:59pm

Poem topic: Our Prophet Muhammad SAW!

Click here for details and to sign up