The ISLAMIC FORUM OF CANADA is a community based Islamic organization whose primary focus is to educate the Muslim families to enable them to know more about their creator, His Messenger and be able to serve Him better. The organization is run by a prominent Imam who has a tremendous amount of insight, experience and the ability to impact knowledge in whatever level a Muslim might be in his/her quest for seeking knowledge of The Creator.
Even though the Islamic Forum is located in Brampton, the activities of the organization are spread far and wide. In addition to the educational component aspect, the organization is dedicated to helping Muslims in all facets of their lives. The Forum helps the needy, and the poor, provides counseling for individuals and families in need. It also has the authority to perform Nikkah (Islamic Marrriages) and make arrangements for Janazah (Islamic Funerals). In short, the Islamic Forum is capable of providing the religious and social needs of the community.
Further details about the Islamic Forum of Canada are listed below:
- HOW DID THE ISLAMIC FORUM START
- WHERE THE IMAM HAS TAKEN THE FORUM LOCALLY AND GLOBALLY
- THE FUTURE OF THE ISLAMIC FORUM
- THE IMAM’S CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENT IN THE COMMUNITY
- ABOUT THE LEADER
- THE NEEDS OF THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY
- WHAT THE ISLAMIC FORUM HAS DONE AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO TO BENEFIT THE COMMUNITY
- HOW TO ACHIEVE THIS VISION OF THE FUTURE
- WHY WE THINK THE ISLAMIC FORUM IS THE ORGANIZATION TO ACHIEVE THIS VISION
- WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
- YOUR EFFORTS AND FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS
- BREAKDOWN OF EXPECTED CONTRIBUTIONS
- DIVERSIFICATION OF OUR VOLUNTEERING GROUP BOTH SEEN AND UNSEEN, AND WHY WE THINK THAT IS ONE OF OUR STRENGTHS
- SENSE OF OWNERSHIP, TO GIVE THE FORUM THE ADDED FOCUS AND SECURITY TO PROVIDE FOR THE COMMUNITY
- THE BENEFIT OF YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DEEN OF ALLAH, THE MUSLIM UMMAH, YOUR FAMILY, THE CAUSE OF DAWAH AND THE COMMUNITY WE LIVE IN
- A LOOK AT OTHER COMMUNITIES
- CONTACT NAMES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
- LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION
- PLEDGE FORM
HOW DID THE ISLAMIC FORUM START
The Islamic Forum of Canada started when the Imam realized the need for an organization that was not based on nationalistic or ethnic mentality. A center that will cater for the need of families, women and children. The vision was to create an environment that is inclusive, a true representation of Islam and the community where colour, gender, country, ethnic and race were irrelevant. An environment that encourages learning, support and where people can feel a sense of belonging to an Islamic Nation (Ummah).
As with anything that is started with good intentions, and for the sake of Allah, Allah finds ways to make the efforts prosperous. In no time and with the help of his family and a few volunteers, the center was established in 1992 at the Brampton Civic Center. Islamic school was established as the reputation of the center grew due to the quality of services offered. Families flocked the center with their children. It became evidence in a short time that the center needed a larger room to accommodate the growth.
Jumu`ah Salaah and Taraweeh Salaah became bigger and bigger. Iftars and fundraising dinners and Eid Salaah were moved to rented banquet halls. It was evident through the blessings of Allah that bigger and better things were to follow.
Today, by the Grace of Almighty Allah, the Islamic Forum offers some of the largest and best programs in Brampton, Mississauga, and Metro Toronto areas.
WHERE THE IMAM HAS TAKEN THE FORUM LOCALLY AND GLOBALLY
On any given day, emails, faxes and phone messages are heard from all over the world. Saudi Arabia, Australia, South America, India, Sub-Continent etc. just to name a few places that have heard and benefited from the numerous activities of the Forum.
The Islamic Forum is small enough to give the feeling of personal care and large enough to provide the services that are expected from a big Center.
Through the Imam’s personal involvement with the community he has firmly placed the Forum on the world stage. The Imam is a member of the Peel Inter-Faith Council, Member of Council of Imams, and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. Wherever he has been, the Forum has been propagated. His lectures in various communities overseas have put the Forum in the world map. The Forum is truly a global organization. Hard to believe that this all started within small rented rooms at the Civic Center.
THE FUTURE OF THE ISLAMIC FORUM
The mission of the Forum is to take Islam to the homes and lives of every person in the community in particular and the whole country in general.
To achieve this, the Forum has outlined a decisive course of action.
To establish an Islamic center that:
- Educates Muslims and non-Muslims
- Provide counseling and support services
- Aid and help the poor and the needy
- Provide specialized and targeted Da`wah activities
- Harness the resources of the Muslims
- Create and support sound financial plans for Muslims
- Establish Islamic Schools to teach the various sciences of Islam
- Open and support services like Banquet Halls, Halal Meat Stores, Book Stores, Recreational Centers
- Services to translate classic Islamic literature into English
- To become self-supporting (i.e. not depending on the public for support)
THE IMAM’S CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENT IN THE COMMUNITY
In North America, the toughest audience to capture are the University students and public officials. Ask any one of these groups to name their influential scholars and in unison the Imam’s name is mentioned.
Why? Because of his depth of knowledge and the ability to simplify the most complex Islamic Science to a chosen audience.
People sometimes comment that they feel that a particular subject and topic is tailor made for their benefit and understanding. He makes every effort to “bring up or bring down” a discussion to the level of the audiences. Being a member of the Inter-Faith Council, he has brought forth to light Islamic stands on issues that affect our community, neither to say, able to convince the traditionally, clergies that are not known for tolerance of Islam.
He has authored many educational books, some include: Teach yourself Islam, Actions are by Intentions, Books of Death, Manuals of Hajj, Books on Nikkah, Books of Salaah, Essential Teachings of Islam, Seerah Etc. There are also numerous topics that are recorded on audio and video cassettes. In short he is a beacon in the community whose contributions are too many to list. We present a brief Bio-Data of the leader of the Islamic Forum of Canada in the following section.
ABOUT THE LEADER
Shaykh Faisal Hamid Abdur-Razak lives in Brampton, Canada. From 1977 to 1986 he studied in Saudi Arabia, first at Umm Al-Qurra University in Makkah, then at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. He also studied at York University, Toronto, Canada.
While in Saudi Arabia, in addition to University studies, he studied under many Scholars and Sheikhs, including:
- Shaykh Hasan Ayub
- Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ghazali
- Shaykh Muhammad Qutb
- Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Barood
- Shaykh Muhammad Al-Wasfi
- Shaykh Farooq Al-Batal
- Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Sabuni
- Shaykh Abdullah Nasih `Alwan
- Shaykh Maw’il Ezziddin Al-Samura’ee
After completing his studies in Saudi Arabia in 1986, he returned to Canada where he became actively involved in Islamic Da`wah and education. He served as Imam / Khateeb of several Masaajid and Islamic Centres including the Islamic Society of Peel, the Islamic Centre of Brampton, and the Toronto And Region Islamic Centre (TARIC).
Shaykh Faisal served on the Government of Canada Interfaith Committee, the Province of Ontario Multifaith Council, and the City of Brampton Multifaith Committee.
He is also the President of the Islamic Forum of Canada, Vice-President of the Islamic Council of Imams of Canada, and a member of the Al-Shura Muslim Consultative Council.
He has lectured on a wide range of Islamic topics to gatherings in many countries including:
- Canada, U.S.A.
- England, Germany, Norway
- Pakistan, India
- Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Turkey, Syria
- Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad
He has to his credit more than one hundred titles recorded on Audio and Video Cassettes.
When Shaykh Faisal is not teaching, counseling, and doing Da`wah locally and internationally, he spends a great deal of time writing practical books for the benefit of ordinary Muslims, teachers, and workers in the Muslim Community. His published works include:
- TEACH YOURSELF ARABIC READING
- TEACH YOURSELF ARABIC CALLIGRAPHY
- HELP YOURSELF TO READ QUR’AN
- MI`RAAJ AN-NABI
- MILAD-UN NABI
- SEERAH MUHAMMADUR RASULULAH – LIFE OF THE HOLY PROPHET [S]
- RAMADAAN COMPANION – SPIRITUAL REFLECTIONS
- DHIKRULLAH – THE REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH
- THE BOOK OF DEATH – KITAAB AL-MAWT
- GEMS OF PROPHETIC WISDOM
- ACTIONS ARE BY INTENTIONS
- ARABIC LANGUAGE FOR BEGINNERS
- TAFSEER AL-QUR’AN AL-KAREEM
- THE CLARIFYING LIGHT: A TEXTBOOK OF HANAFI FIQH
Shaykh Faisal received IJAAZAHS (Certificate in Traditional Islamic Learning) in many of the sacred Islamic sciences from several Scholars and Shaykhs. His most prominent IJAAZAHS come from the noble and remarkable scholar HIS EMINENCE AL-`ALLAAMAH Shaykh MUHAMMAD ABUL HUDA IBN IBRAHIM AL-YAKOUBI AL-HASANI, and HIS EMINENCE Shaykh MUHAMMAD IBN `ALAWI AL-MAALIKI AL-HASANI.
THE NEEDS OF THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY
Given that we are surrounded by non-Muslims, their perception of Islam is negative and stereo-typical, we are synonymous with violence and terrorism. The community needs an avenue that expresses the true sprit of Islam to the general public.
The community needs Islamic Leadership and worshippers that are reflective of the morals, values and commitments that is embodied in the Deen of Islam. The community deserves an all-inclusive tough issue tackling organization and leadership that deals with issues on Islam. The Muslims need somewhere and someone to turn to when they have religious and personal questions. The community needs an avenue to do Da`wah activities to our non-Muslim neighbors and coworkers. The community needs someplace where they can practice Islam with their families with a feeling of ease and belonging. The Muslims need an organization leadership that are consistent and informative and able to deal with current events as they happen around the world. A place where they can learn about their obligations to Allah and His Messenger, to their religion, their families and themselves. A forum that recognizes the social ills that afflicts our youth, both girls and boys, parents and relatives.
An organization that takes stands on issues in accordance with Islam not in respect to pleasing a particular segment of the community, where people are treated equally based on their Islam and not their status. Where right is right and wrong is wrong.
Brothers and Sisters in Islam and humanity, welcome to the Islamic Forum of Canada under the leadership of Imam Faisal, this is what we are and will always be.
WHAT THE ISLAMIC FORUM HAS DONE AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO TO BENEFIT THE COMMUNITY
An annual Hajj group and a series of Hajj seminars are conducted in order to educate and prepare the Hajjis for this important undertaking. Participants are prepared through a number of ways:
- Lectures and instructional manuals
- Video presentations of facts of the trip
- Visual demonstrations of how to perform various rituals
- Precautions and Preventative measures are taught
- Through seminars, people are bonded even before they leave on the journey
- An outline of regulations and historical cities are presented
- How to best maximize your time and money in order to benefit and enjoy your worship
- The weak and the strong, the old and the young are identified to properly ensure safety and reliability
The Islamic Forum offers a variety of services to the community including:
- The Imam has the authority to perform Nikah, Talaq and counseling
- The Islamic Forum also make arrangements for Janazah or Muslim funerals
- Legal authority to endorse passport forms, visas etc.
- The Forum cooperates with Elizabeth Fry organization in reforming juvenile offenders
- Able to assist individuals that has problems with the law – at work or school
- Assist individuals that have financial needs
- Assist new immigrants to assimilate into the Canadian Society and maintain their Islamic identity
- Marriage and family counseling
- The Forum is connected to numerous higher Islamic learning institutions overseas that will grant scholarship to deserving students e.g. Syria, England, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, USA, Guyana, Trinidad and many more places
- The Forum has programs that are geared towards educating new Muslims
- Programs to help Muslims grow spiritually etc.
In addition to all these ongoing programs, the Forum is dedicated to bringing better services to the community.
- Permanent Islamic Schools
- Islamic Banquet facilities
- All Sisters program – Sunday Family program and Wednesday play group
- Deen intensive programs
- Quranic memorization programs
- A recreational facility for our youth
- A Da`wah training center
- A printing house to translate Islamic books into English for the benefit of the community
- A Muslim driving instructional school
- A daycare facility for busy families
- A Forum for business opportunities through partnership with major corporations, the Government on all levels, the Banks and professionals
- Male and female Muslim doctor offices
- A Muslim dental office
- A Muslim health clinic
- An employment agency
Allah willing, the vision is endless but your effort and help is needed to make this a reality.
HOW TO ACHIEVE THIS VISION OF THE FUTURE
All success is from Allah. Allah does not change the condition of a people until and unless they change the condition within themselves.
The Islamic Forum of Canada has the vision of a better future but without the support of the local communities that reality might not materialize. To obtain this success in our effort we propose the following:
- To consult the community with our plans
- Seek for the family support in both financial and resources
- Establish self-supportive means of income
- Seek out businesses and corporations for support
- Seek financial grants from the Government
- Engage in activities that are beneficial financially
- Look for larger volunteering base for our activities to cut down expenses
- Acquire our own building to achieve the sense of ownership in order to provide better services
- Create business opportunities for the Muslims and the Forum such as banquet halls and other businesses
- Help to elect public officials to support our causes
The emphases cannot be made enough for the involvement of the community in shaping and controlling our destiny. We have to abandon the notion of “let me leave it to someone else,” mentality.
Islam is our religion and the only way to preserve that is maintaining our identify and supporting organizations that are at the forefront.
The future is bright, we have the leadership and the organization to achieve that, but like Allah said more or less – it is only possible if we make a sincere and honest effort.
WHY WE THINK THE ISLAMIC FORUM IS THE ORGANIZATION TO ACHIEVE THIS VISION
As stated in the previous sections, the Forum has grown from a one-room operation to approximately 10,000 square foot network.
The history of the Forum has been such that whenever a program is started at a particular space allocated to it in no time the program out grows that space.
The Forum started at the Civic Center in rented rooms until the biggest room at the civic center was used. The crowd became so large it necessitated a larger hall. The activities were moved to 200 Advance Road in the Steeles/Dixie area. A 300 square foot hall was rented and again in no time the services outgrew the space. It then moved to a 6,000 square foot area to accommodate the growth. As the programs and activities became well known people were coming from as far away as London, Kitchener, Waterloo, Kingston, Montreal, Ottawa, Scarbrough and Toronto to benefit from the programs. It became evident that something needed to be done.
A decision was made to move to the current space of 8,000 square feet in less than two years. The place is sometimes so full that volunteers are praying in the hallways or outside. It is one of the largest Jumu`ah Salah location in the west end of the city. If history repeats itself the current space is becoming too small. Insha Allah, it is a good problem to have. Decisions are being made to relocate to a larger facility.
Giving the rate of growth and the intent for future plans, the leadership has taught us it would be wise to not only look for a larger space but something we can call home. Something large enough to accommodate the future plans and growth. We need to avoid rentals and look towards purchasing a new home for the Forum. If the past history is an indication, the Islamic Forum is the organization that is poised for a better future due to its innovative ideas and educational focus. Again remember all success is only from Almighty Allah.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
The Forum is the first to admit that as educational and beneficial as our programs and activities are, we have not been able to reach every Muslim family in Brampton and Mississauga, and other parts of Metro Toronto.
All efforts are being made to propagate Islam in our community and unfortunately the level of our coverage is largely determined by our home resources (volunteers).
In short, volunteers are needed in all areas of our activities from scrubbing the washrooms to speaking to people on the street. Everyone has a role to play. We encourage everyone to first get to know the Forum. Benefit from our numerous activities and then take the message out. Your assistance in whatever skill and talent Allah has blessed you with is very much appreciated. Get to know us, our leader (Imam), the volunteers and you will be compelled to chip in, in your own way. The blessings are from Allah alone.
YOUR EFFORTS AND FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS
Who is it that will give Allah a goodly loan so Allah will pay back to him/her multifold.
This is our appeal for help financially. We operate in a system where there is no government support financially for Islamic Activities.
Our primary source of income is through weekly and monthly pledges and donations from individuals and families. As welcome as that is, may Allah bless those families, unfortunately the burden of this support rest on the shoulders of very few.
Every effort is being made to reach the rest of the Muslim community to support our activities in order to be able to continue providing these services. Your financial support is crucial for the benefit of many. Your effort in whatever way you can help is needed. Remember, together we can achieve this. And the reward is from Almighty Allah.
BREAKDOWN OF EXPECTED CONTRIBUTIONS
As an intensive effort is being made to locate a bigger facility, it has become clear that money is going to be our biggest concern. We are looking for a place that has the potential for future growth, accessibility, convenience and plenty of parking.
We have established a New Masjid Project which is already under construction and we need your support. The New Masjid cost is $3M (three million dollars). For more details on the New Masjid Project click here: New Masjid Project
All efforts are being made to look for Muslims and businesses that can grant us interest-free loans for this project. Today we are yet to find someone.
The second phase of the project is to look for individuals and businesses that can serve as guarantors or consignors to this project.
The third aspect of the plan is to look for and appeal to individuals and families to donate:
- Individuals and families that can commit to monthly contributions and donations
- Third party Interest-free loans for repayment in a given time frame
- Suggestions and ideas that will help us achieve these objectives
Remember that any financial contribution will receive a tax receipt.
It is a large undertaking but with the help of Allah all things are possible. Please make Du`a for this effort.
DIVERSIFICATION OF OUR VOLUNTEERING GROUP BOTH SEEN AND UNSEEN, AND WHY WE THINK THAT IS ONE OF OUR STRENGTHS
Our volunteering teams, both seen and unseen are a true representation of the global brotherhood of Islam. The volunteers come from different backgrounds and countries. Our group transcends ethnic and cultural backgrounds and their tireless efforts are solely for the sake of Allah.
From the brothers and sisters that clean the floors, the kitchen and the washrooms, vacuum the prayer mats and help to teach the Islamic classes, to the ones who donates and purchases items for the Masjid from toilet paper to vacuum bags to dust pans and brooms, we say “ May Almighty Allah bless you with the best of His blessings.”
We sincerely believe that one of our strengths is our volunteer base. But we always welcome new members to our organization. As the services offered become bigger, so is the workload. Any help that we can get is greatly appreciated.
SENSE OF OWNERSHIP, TO GIVE THE FORUM THE ADDED FOCUS AND SECURITY TO PROVIDE FOR THE COMMUNITY
RENTING VERSES OWNERSHIP
Our activities both past and present have been in rented facilities. Even though that arrangement has enabled us to move from small units to larger ones as the growth necessitates, we don’t have the sense of our own place. It was essential at those times to seek out the best course of actions because we did not have the funds and means to purchase. It was also a time for the organization to indicate to the community the kind of programs we were capable of. It proved both our obligation and commitment to the community as well as our consistency in being there all the time.
A lot of time and effort as well as resources were put into those units to make it as comfortable and accessible to the community and public as possible. Every stage of growth, as indicated earlier, has required us to move to bigger facilities. The organization feels with great insight and anticipation that the time has come to move to bigger and better facilities to accommodate our future growth and to be able to plan effectively for the future.
Economic events such as low interest rates, an atmosphere of sellers market and a struggling economy has presented to us an opportunity to look into owning our “own place.” Of course it is easier said than done, as we will need the help and support of the community.
This initiative requires good planning strategy and the commitment from families and individuals to make it a reality. The intention is to get out of renting and build a future for our young where they can take pride in calling “Our Center.” It will also give us the security and peace of mind to focus in more important plans that will benefit the community.
THE BENEFIT OF YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DEEN OF ALLAH, THE MUSLIM UMMAH, YOUR FAMILY, THE CAUSE OF DAWAH AND THE COMMUNITY WE LIVE IN
Almighty Allah states in the Holy Qur’an: Whatever good you do for your soul you will find it better with Allah.
The Noble Messenger of Allah [S] says:
“Whoever establishes a house of worship for Allah, Allah will give him a house in Paradise.”
Your contributions in this cause goes in establishing the deen of Allah. It helps to form the foundation of the Muslim Ummah and helps in propagating Islam. The benefit of giving thanks to the blessings that Allah has bestowed on you.
It gives you a feeling of satisfaction, a sense of contribution and knowing that you, your family and the future generations will reap the rewards from Allah.
It pleases Allah and he will continue to bless you with many choices of His blessings. It also establishes the community and helps in our contributions towards the society we live in.
Your contribution sets an example for other people and the future generations to follow. It helps to establish an avenue for the youth, both Muslims and non-Muslims to “hang-out” instead of the streets.
It provides a place for Muslims to meet strangers and new immigrants in the community. It becomes a beacon to direct stray individuals to.
You help to establish a house of worship, a house of Allah and a house of goodness. Whenever someone uses the facility, Allah rewards you. This reward is perpetual and everlasting.
This is an investment that cannot be wrong. Please take advantage of this opportunity since this reward is endless.
A LOOK AT OTHER COMMUNITIES
There are communities that are relatively new comers compared to how long Muslims have been in this part of the world. Their numbers are much smaller than Muslims and also the Muslims have more educated professional individuals than they do. But yet they are more organized and successful than Muslims. Why? Because they have harnessed their resources and stocked together. They support and assist each other.
They have used their places of worship as an institution of growth. Their leaders determine their direction and chart their course of action for growth and success. The Center (place of worship) creates employment and assist them to be self sufficient. They do not have to depend on other communities. They support their own, they patronize their businesses and use services provided by their own. They are so organized that they have elected officials to fight for their interest on all levels of Government. They are obligated to support their place of worship in financial, material and any other resources they could. No wonder they boast some of the larger and beautiful places of worship around.
They apply for and obtain personal loans for their place of worship. They donate a percentage of their income to the place of worship. They employ members of their groups. They consider their place of worship as their focal point for gathering, meeting place, a source of identity in the community and an avenue for pride and success. They impose their religion and vision in the community through those centers. And to think they are the ones that have gone astray. And we, who claim to have the perfect deen, the religion that have answers to all questions and problems. The deen that is universal and transcends all barriers, which have the second largest nation, and is the fastest growing religion in this planet and have the best Messenger and Message, could it be that, we simply do not fully grasp our obligation and responsibility. Are we so wrapper up in pursuit of this world that we have lost the very thing that will bring the world to us. The early generations of Muslims understood the role of the Masjids. They knew its importance and were only too happy to contribute and sacrifice for its establishment. No wonder Allah made them the leaders of the world.
Brothers and Sisters, do not lose hope as the Islamic Forum is giving you the opportunity to help and contribute for this. We ask Almighty Allah for His Guidance and Tawfeeq.
CONTACT NAMES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION”
SHAYKH FAISAL ABDUR-RAZAK
ISLAMIC FORUM OF CANADA المجمع الإسلامي في كندا
200 ADVANCE BOULEVARD, BRAMPTON, ONTARIO, L6T 4V4, CANADA
TEL: (905) 790-8859 FAX: (905) 790-6734 EMAIL: ShaykhFaisal@gmail.com
LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION
Please See Shaykh Faisal Abdur-Razak in person to collect this letter.
200 ADVANCE BOULEVARD, BRAMPTON, ONTARIO, L6T 4V4, CANADA
TEL: (905) 790-8859 FAX: (905) 790-6734 EMAIL: ShaykhFaisal@gmail.com
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, MOST GRACIOUS, MOST MERCIFUL
ISLAMIC FORUM OF CANADA
200 ADVANCE BOULEVARD, BRAMPTON, ONT, L6T 4V4, CANADA
TEL: (905) 790-8859 FAX: (905) 790-6734 EMAIL: Info@IslamicForum.net
ISLAMIC CENTRE PROJECT
HEREBY PLEDGE TO DONATE THE AMOUNT OF
TOWARDS SUPPORTING THE ISLAMIC CENTRE PROJECT.
[ PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:]
I am enclosing the Post-Dated Cheques for fulfilling my pledge towards the above fund.
DATE : ____________________ SIGNATURE:______________________
To make a pledge, please download the pledge form below and mail it back to:
Islamic Forum of Canada
200 Advance Blvd.
L6T 4V4 Canada