The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 1 The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
Rabi II - Jamadah I 1421
July - August 2000
The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada (since 1987)
Greater Toronto’s Dependable Source for Islamic News and Views
Vol. 10 No. 4
W ho is a Canadian Muslim?
Living in a world in which religion does not really matter is a
challenge to Muslims.
by Dr. Mohamed Elmasry Muslims are a small minority. But oped an American nor a Canadian
If the question of identity and they are the largest non-Christian culture. Thus Canada’s Muslims
self-definition still occupies a minority in the country. They com- should work towards developing
prominent place in the minds of prise a variety of immigrants from an expression of Islamic culture
Canadians, a similar question some forty different countries, rep- within a Canadian context. In the
poses an even greater challenge resenting various linguistic, na- Indian subcontinent Muslims form
to Canada’s Muslims. Canada’s tional, and racial backgrounds. a minority of some 300 million.
Have a great Summer, Insha-Allah. Over fifty percent of them are Ca- That’s a very large minority, but
Future of Elder Care in our
nadian-born. Muslim identity in still a minority. Yet they created one
Canada has been influenced by of the world’s greatest cultures.
the country and by the self-per- And in the process they built re-
Community ception of the Muslim immigrants.
Canada offers a unique and
markable architecture including
the Taj Mahal. But there is an in-
dynamically challenging environ- credible challenge in creating a
The Muslim community, has not really freed itself from ment to develop this identity. A new form of a Canadian Islamic
the orbit of mosques and school projects. Muslim in the USA is usually be- culture. The challenge is that we
ing identified as a black Muslim. live in a society which is indiffer-
by Imam Abdul Hai Patel rect to say that the actual commu- ing, nursing homes, Meals-On- In France a Muslim is a North Af- ent to religion, any religion.
The Canadian-Muslim com- nity took firm roots, in major cities Wheels, special health facilities, rican, in Britain an Indian or Paki- The problem of indifference,
munity’s visibility began emerging throughout Canada, in the early etc. We, the Muslim community, stani and in Germany a Turk. Not living in a world in which religion
in the late 60’s and it is not incor- 70’s. have not really freed ourselves in Canada. A Canadian Muslim is does not really matter is a chal-
A large majority of these early from the orbit of mosques and just that, a Canadian Muslim. lenge to Muslims. But this chal-
Canadian society offers chal- lenge is also faced by others who
settlers are now either retired or school projects, some of them
approaching retirement. Last year based on ideological differences, lenges as well as opportunities. wish to fully practice their religion
Issue I was reminded of this reality by a rather than community needs. Since it is our destiny to be in and pass it on to their children.
phone call from a Muslim brother, So now in the 21st century, in Canada, some by choice and some But Canadian Muslims suffer from
from one of our site offices, that this decade, suddenly we are faced by birth, we must be able to live a historical experience which they
LD and you ------------------ 4 he would soon be taking the re- with this question: What will be as Muslims here in Canada, and do not share with other religious
Camp Al-mu-mi-neen ------ 6 tirement and would like to know, if the life of Muslim seniors in the not in India, Egypt, or Bosnia. minorities. For example, the crime
we have any Muslim seniors’ resi- coming years and what should be First, it is essential for Canada’s of the Holocaust has created a fa-
A visit from the -------------- 6
dential complexes or seniors’ their current role in the community? Muslims to maintain their Islamic vourable Western environment for
Journey to Islam - identity. This way they can con- Jews, while Buddhism, Hinduism,
homes and if this question was Our population is ageing. It is
On his way to Islam ------- 7 being addressed in the commu- estimated that by the year 2021, tribute culturally, socially, and and Taoism are considered non-
Brazilian Muslims ---------- 9 nity? My reply was obvious: Ontario will be home to three mil- more importantly, spiritually to threatening to Christian theology.
There is no seniors’ residence or lion senior citizens, up from one Canada’s well-being. Historically, But the case of Islam is different.
When Affliction Strikes ---- 10
elder care facilities in the GTA, but and a half million in 1998. I cannot Muslims, whether a minority or a It is not considered an exotic reli-
Free Internet or is it? ------ 11 majority, have been able to create gion. Moreover, it is perceived to
there was an effort to establish say what percentage of Muslims
Report - ISNA Canada's 26 such facilities by the now defunct seniors there will be by 2021, but an Islamic culture suitable for their offer an alternative world-view and
annual conference ---------- 12 group called Ihsaan Rest Home. based on current population region. Thus there is the Islamic ideology which are not compatible
This was an ambitious project by trends, we can expect a very sharp culture of the Arabs, the Africans, with Western civilisation. How-
some dedicated sisters, but had to increase in the number of Muslim the Persians, the Indians, the ever, the idea that the foundation
Departments be untimely laid to rest, because seniors. Malays, the Chinese, the Rus- of our Western civilisation is
of the lack of support and people Muslims have debated the idea sians, and the Turks. based only on Greek and Judeo-
Muslim Role Models who were looking for instant re- Continued on page 10 But Islam has not yet devel- Continued on page 10
Mus'ab ibn Umayr ---------- 3 sults and solutions.
At the Cr ossroads
Until now we have focussed
Editorial all our efforts to fulfil the needs of
Give Islam a chance ------- 2 adults and youth, i. e., all commu-
Our Mail nity efforts were directed to plan How will freedom come to Muslim women? By embracing the
--------------------------------- 2 for the future, the coming genera- West or going back to Islam?
tion, but not the future of the liv-
Newsroom ing generation about to be aged. by Asma Warsi women’s rights. Just a few months ment.
Budget 2000, Credit card size To this day, the needs of seniors So much is being said and ago, the world celebrated Interna- But the very idea of “women’s
Quran, Welcome to GTA remains unaddressed, whereas, has been said about women’s tional Women’s Day. It seems that rights” gives the notion that
parent's website ------------ 8 other religious and ethnic commu- rights that the topic has become the West is our saviour and any women are not entitled to human
nities have taken full advantage stale and there is nothing novel benefits we have as women are rights, only women’s rights.
Success Story of all the available government about it. Everybody seems to be due to the plight of Western Once, I was talking to a non-
Nosheen Mian --------------- 12 programs to establish viable jumping on the bandwagon of women and the feminist move- Muslim friend of mine who
projects, such as subsidised hous- showed interest in reading the
Qur’an, so I presented to her a
copy of its English translation.
Later, I asked her if she had a
chance to read it and what she
read. She told me that she was look-
ing for women’s rights in Islam and
found nothing except for po-
lygamy and Hijab. I had to explain
to her that in Islam, men and
women are considered equally
human. Hence, their rights are not
Continued on page 5
The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 2. The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
Editorial Our Mail Prophet
Letters to the
editors are pub-
Give Islam a chance to
regardless of the
In Response to Our Muhammad’s paper's policy. We
entertain all letters
er adicate pover ty!
Reader’s Concern Date of Birth except ones with
It is a pleasure to see that our A very interesting and knowl- Please include your
readers take the time to write when edgeable research paper pro- name, address and
We’re number one! Again!! they are displeased by a phrase in duced by Mr. Fazlur Rehman
Only names are
For the seventh straight year, the United Nations has chosen one of our articles. It shows that Shaikh, entitled “The Prophet’s published.
Canada as the best country in the world in which to live. However, the they care enough to correct what Real Date of Birth,” was published
latest UN report on human development shows Canada ranks just they believe to be an error in the- in an Indian weekly called “Ra-
eleventh out of eighteen industrialised countries on a poverty index, ology. diance” on August 14, 1994. Celebrating Prophet
which is down from eighth place last year. Canada’s ranking on pov- In order to set the record According to the paper, the
erty is a disgrace and undermines this country’s overall first-place Muhammad’s Birth
straight though, I would like to date of the Prophet’s birth is the
spot. It seems that Canada’s continual ranking at the top of the list Re: “Celebrating the Proph-
take this opportunity to explain Second of Rabi’ al-Awwal, corre-
has provided an excuse to some governments to do nothing and et’s Birthday: The Ruling on
what “God’s innocent child” sponding to June 23, 570 CE.
make no improvements. Maulid-un-Nabi,” (May-June)
means in Canadian terminology. The author had evaluated the
If the government cannot take care of its own poor people, then against celebrating the birth of
A young child, if he or she has dates put forward by about ten his-
what are we, as Muslims, doing for the comfort of the poor among us? Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The
not been ill-treated by mankind, torians including Mahmud Pasha
Islam has rightly given a mandate to all believers that negligence of person who wrote the article had
generally is sweet and unsullied Falaki, an Egyptian astronomer
the needy does not earn the good will of God. Instead, sharing what- no understanding of the concept
by evil. In Canada, when one uses who wrote a book on the birthday
ever one has with one’s fellow beings will enrich us in many ways. of Bid`ah and did not search
the term “an innocent child of of the Prophet (pbuh), as well as
We have two methods of raising funds for poor at our disposal: through Hadith or history to prove
God” one means that he or she is other renowned international
Zakat and Sadaqah. Zakat, is obligatory and is the right of the poor whether his claim was true or not.
wholesome and untouched by scholars, and came to the final
over the wealth of the rich. It amounts to 2.5% of a person’s annual The article claimed that “most
evil. One does not mean that the dates through intensive research.
savings. The word Zakat itself means “purification,” and its purpose of these ‘Maulid’ celebrations,
child is “begotten” by God Mohammed Ali Rizvi
is to purify legally earned wealth, just as Salat (prayer) purifies the besides being Bid`ah (innovation),
through the agency of normal birth Editors’ Note: Many other
soul. It is for this reason that Zakat remains obligatory even if there are also not free from other sinful
procedure. All of us are creations dates for the Prophet’s birth have
are no needy persons in a community. The other is Sadaqah, or volun- practices, such as the mixing of
of God and come from Him and one also been put forward. The ma-
tary charity, which depends on need in the community and the amount men and women, use of songs and
day will return to Him. jority of scholars and historians
of excess wealth one has. musical instruments, sometimes
I hope that this has made this give preference to the Twelfth of
Zakat and Sadaqah are the means of narrowing the alarming gap even the consumption of alcohol
particular terminology clearer to Rabi’ al-Awwal. We do know for
between the rich and the poor. It helps distribute wealth fairly and is and other intoxicants, and other
our readers and cleared up this certain that Prophet Muhammad
a form of social security. Since there is no Islamic State today, our evils.”
misunderstanding. (pbuh) was born on a Monday
Islamic institutions would ultimately be responsible for providing the One of the first rules of cel-
Sister Wilma, (related by Muslim). However, for
necessities of food, clothing, housing, medicine, and education to ebrating Maulid-un-Nabi is to
Staff Reporter Muslims, knowing his exact date
every Muslim. No one should have any fear of insecurity or poverty. have men and women segregated.
Editors’ Note: Insha-Allah, of birth should be a minor issue.
Miserly folks tend to think that their money will decrease or that As for the other sinful practices
we will try our best to avoid po-
they will become poor by giving to charity, but our religion tells us the the author claims, he seems to
tentially confusing terminology
contrary: “The parable of those who spend their substance in the have a very wild and evil imagina-
in the future. Support Those Who
way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: it grows seven ears and each tion.
ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He Support Us Maulid was celebrated in Saudi
pleases; and Allah cares for all and He knows all things” (Qur’an
Readers Arabia since the time of Prophet
Hopefully agree with me, the
2:261). Appreciates the media has not been fair with us in
Muhammad (pbuh). It has only
We should encourage people, with kind words, to give in Allah’s recently been banned in the coun-
Quality of its news coverage. Very few jour-
try since the Saudi family came
cause. We must also inform them that charity should not be used as a nalists stand behind justice, fair-
tax shelter or to win personal recognition, but only for the love of The Ambition ness, and truth when the issues
into rule. All other Arab and Mus-
Allah: “And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, I am writing to express how lim countries celebrate Prophet
relate to Muslims.
and the captive (saying): ‘We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: impressed I am by The Ambition Muhammad’s birthday officially.
I have not seen good journal-
No reward do we desire from you nor thanks’ ” (Qur’an 76:8-9). journal. I first started reading The I advise the editors to carefully
ists, other than Eric Margolis
With 2.5% of the savings of the rich people throughout the Mus- Ambition two years ago, and have examine the articles that you place
lim Ummah going to its poor every year, the basic needs of everyone been hooked on it ever since! in this paper. If even one Muslim
and Michael Coren, who tell their
could be satisfied. In fact, if only Zakat is collected from all Muslims What I appreciate most from your is wrongly guided, then you will
audience the truth about our re-
and implemented properly, it could put the World Bank, IMF, and paper is the quality of the content, be responsible on the Day of
similar institutions that have been enriching themselves, at the ex- which is always informative and Judgement.
Michael Coren used to work
pense of the poor, out of business in Muslim countries. community oriented. Young Mus- Aamer Naveed
for CFRB. He then moved to Editors’ Note: Although many
Our institutions can prove to be immensely effective agencies. lims in Canada need a forum to TALK 640 Radio but was later Muslim countries officially commemo-
However, at present they are too weak and poorly managed. A sys- share their thoughts and concerns, fired. Now he works for CTS tel- rate Maulid-un-Nabi, there is not a sin-
tem that is a trust created for the benefit of the poor should be restruc- and The Ambition serves this evision station on weeknights. gle Hadith that mentions Prophet
tured and its role well defined. Experts with a sense of commitment purpose. Your journal is the only I once told him that I wished Muhammad (pbuh), his Companions,
should be sought. Overall, trustworthy and capable Muslims should one I never throw away. I keep or the Rightly-Guided Caliphs gather-
he was back on radio and he said ing to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday.
manage these institutions. Let every Muslim contribute in the name them stacked neatly in my library that he wants to go back to CFRB. Neither is there any mention of this oc-
of God to this “Bait-ul-Maal,” with all Zakat funds properly accounted to share with others and for future He suggested that I write to the curring in the first and best three centu-
and audited. reference. Keep up the excellent station. ries of Islam.
It should be noted that besides economic input, what is equally work. Jazak-Allah Khairan. I think we as Muslims, should Muslims have the right to differ, as
required is a positive social outlook in life. Such concepts as honesty, Ahmad Muinuddin, (Toronto) long as we fear Allah (swt), respect one
support those who support us. We another, and sincerely seek the truth
hard work, self-respect, self-reliance, avoiding wastage, and aspiring I’ve enjoyed looking at your should stand behind them. I would from legitimate Islamic sources. May
in life to become better than the status quo would help many in social newspaper over the past few like to suggest you the following: Allah (swt) forgive us if we have of-
development. These are not at all alien concepts to Islam. months. As far as content, it’s a Please write e-mail to Mr. Steve fended any Muslim and grant all of us
Even for our economic problems, Islam is the solution if only we beautiful, well-written thoughtful Kowch, Programming and Opera- the wisdom to clearly see truth from
would give it a chance. All we need to do is propagate an Islamic falsehood.
publication. I was quite impressed. tions Manager, CFRB Radio Sta- For further reading on Bid‘ah and
blueprint for socio-economic development. Our Imams too have a I especially like that little Qur’anic tion, and ask him to bring Mr. Maulid, consult the book entitled “The
vital role to play in taking up practical measures while they give their calligraphy piece you usually have Coren back on the air. His email Observance of Mawlid An-Nabawi and
sermons to ensure a slow but radical transformation. at the top of page one. That’s a address is email@example.com Other Birthdays” by Umm Muhammad,
Perhaps a day may come when the poor do not perpetuate pov- nice signature. Abubakar Kasim published by Abul-Qasim Publishing
erty. They may come out of the shackles of poverty and see rays of a House (1994) ISBN 9960-792-25-0.
Khalil Bandib, USA
better future. This is not a myth or a utopian theory; it can be a social
reality, as it has been in the past.
At times, we may feel frustrated by the lack of progress in elimi-
Five Good Reasons to Advertise in The Ambition
nating poverty. As Muslims, we must remember to be patient and not 1. The 2. Unlike 3. It has 4. Your ad 5. With
get caught up in the radical methods that we have recently seen on Ambition most ethnic Islamic has a long The
the lawn of Queen’s Park. Instead, let us work together in an Islamic goes to papers, it has knowledge so life of two Ambition,
manner to see this glorious day, for only then will Allah (swt) grant us
thousands of fewer pages people don't months, your
His promise: “He releases them from their heavy burdens and from
the yokes that are upon them” (Qur’an 7:157). Muslims and your ad throw it away not just money
regardless of catches more after reading one week goes a
Muhammad Basil Ahmad their ethnicity. attention. it once. or so. long way.
The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 3 The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
Muslim Mus‘ab ibn Umayr service of Allah (swt). He had nei-
ther the time nor energy to partici- From the
Role Models (May Allah be pleased with him)
pate in any viable economic activ-
ity nor did Makkan hostility and Qur'an
persecution afford any chance for
by Ayub Hamid lent reaction of the Makkans. He (pbuh) and his devotional prayers Muslims to do so. Those who spend
Mus‘ab ibn Umayr was a child also witnessed the persecution to Allah (swt) were noticed and This resulted in abject poverty. their wealth in the
of a very rich family. From child- and abuse to which the Muslims his Islam was known. When con- So much so that the young man
who was famous for his elegant
way of Allah and
hood, he lived in the lap of luxury were subjected. However, he fronted by his mother and the
dress, costly shoes, and the best then do not follow
all of his life. Being an especially wanted to personally explore what elders of his family, he confessed
handsome young man, he was lav- Islam was all about. He ventured the faith and even invited them to fragrance was seen in the same up what they have
ished with special love and atten- to meet the Prophet (pbuh) in the accept it. The reaction was as ex- streets of Makkah in tattered, spent with
tion. In his luxurious tastes, he was House of Arqam where Muslims pected. He was tied up and impris- coarse clothes. However, he did not reminders [of it] or
unique! He wore the most costly used to privately gather, learn from oned in a corner at home¾well even complain. He had found the
greatest wealth of all: the love of
[other] injury will
clothes and changed them twice a the Prophet (pbuh), and pray. guarded so that he would not get
Allah (swt) and the truth of Islam. have their reward
day. His shoes used to be the most When he met the Prophet (pbuh) a chance to escape or to visit the
expensive available at that time. and listened to the Holy Qur’an, Prophet (pbuh). When some Mus- He knew that the temporary life of with their Lord, and
He was also fond of wearing fra- he was touched by its beauty and lims were ready to emigrate to this world would quickly pass. there will be no
grance. The scent of his fragrance truth. The Prophet (pbuh) put his Abyssinia, he was able to escape Then he would have all the wealth, fear concerning
was unique that as he moved hand on his chest and Mus‘ab felt and join the emigrants. As the first better luxuries, and everything he
would desire forever in the eternal
them, nor will they
around, the odour would alert peo- a strange peace and tranquillity emigration to Abyssinia did not
life of the Hereafter. His keen, in- grieve.
ple that Mus‘ab was passing by. deep in his soul. He immediately last long, he came back with the
Together with his luxurious life- accepted Islam! rest of the Muslims. When in telligent mind had unveiled and
style, he was very intelligent, had Mus‘ab was well aware of the Makkah, his mother tried to im- accepted the religion of Islam by (Qur’an 2:262)
an elegant personality, keen mind, dangers to which he was expos- prison him again, but he was able trading in the temporary pleasures
and a mastery of language and ing himself by becoming a Mus- to resist. His mother then dis- of this world for the permanent luxu-
speech of such depth that he was lim. Nevertheless, he was not owned him. Before parting com- ries of the Hereafter. Moreover, the
greatest luxury of all was that he
Fr om the
exceptionally eloquent when he scared or worried about the per- pany, Mus‘ab lovingly invited his
spoke. Because of these qualities, secution from the chiefs of mother to Islam again, but she would enjoy the pleasure of Allah
he was able to participate in the Quraysh. However, his mother would not budge. (swt), his Lord and Master.
deliberations of the influential cir- whom he loved very much was a Mus‘ab had to sacrifice his life Although his attire had dete-
riorated, the beauty of his person- Abu Huraira (ra)
cles of chiefs of the Quraysh at a very tough, domineering and hard- of luxury for the sake of the truth
young age. willed woman. He was scared to of Islam. For his love of Islam, he ality became more polished and narrated that the
shining. The elegance of his per-
When Prophet Muhammad confront his mother, so he decided was deprived of every penny of
sonality matured with his knowl-
(pbuh) started inviting people to to keep his Islam secret. his wealth. After losing everything
the Islamic message of peace and The secret did not last long. he had, he himself devoted all his edge of Islam, his eloquence was said: “Every day,
submission to Allah (swt), Mus‘ab His eagerness to learn the Qur’an time and energies in acquiring Is- enhanced with the beauty of the two angels
heard about it and noticed the vio- and wisdom from the Prophet lamic knowledge and being in the Qur’an, and his service to Allah
(swt) bestowed him with serenity come down from
and a collected calmness regard- Heaven and one
less of circumstances. These quali-
ties were especially demonstrated
of them says, ‘O
when the Prophet (pbuh) selected Allah!
this young man over many of the Compensate
elder Muslims to send him to
Madinah to call those people to every person
Islam and to educate them in Is- who spends in
lamic behaviour and the Qur’an.
The way he handled the situation
Your cause,’ and
there and the way his mission suc- the other (angel)
ceeded is a prime example of how says, ‘O Allah!
the Islamic message was given and
Islam was spread. Destroy every
When he reached Madinah, miser.’”
many people listened to his call and
became Muslim. This created some
concern among the leaders of that (Al-Bukhari 2:522)
area. One of the leaders, Usayd ibn
Hudhayr, upset and fuming, came
with a spear in his hand and was impressed with the teachings
shouted, “Why have you come to and was touched by the Qur’an.
us to corrupt our young and weak? He accepted Islam. Within a short
Keep away from us if you want to period, other leaders also came,
stay alive!” Mus`ab kept his cool listened to Mus`ab, and accepted
and in a calm, collected manner re- Islam. Through Mus`ab’s positive
plied to him with a warm smile, attitude, calm responses, and elo-
“Please have a seat and listen to quent speech, Islam spread
our point of view. You are a wise quickly in Madinah.
man. If you like what you hear from Islam was always spread by
us, accept it. If you dislike it, we winning the hearts and minds of
will stop and leave your neighbour- people through selfless sacrifices
hood.” Finding the proposition rea- and shining characters of the
sonable, Usayd sat down to listen. Muslims, superb behaviour, logi-
Mus`ab told him about Islam and cal approach, appealing message,
recited the Qur’an to him. Usayd and beauty of the Qur’an.
The Ambition is published bi-monthly. Five thousand copies are being pub- The Ambition Publisher Co-ordinator and Staff Reporter
lished at the moment. It is a free, non-profit publication and does not have the Visit us at
financial support of any group or organization; foreign or domestic. It is sup- Asma Warsi Sister Wilma
ported by Muslim businesses and individuals. http://www.theambition.com/ Editors
Asma Warsi Committee Members
All submissions are subject to editing for the purpose of clarity or space. 7224 Harwick Drive Muhammad Basil Ahmad Amina Bhimla
The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors and do not Mississauga, Ont. L4T 3A4 Munawar Merchant
necessarily reflect those of the editors or the publisher. Tel & Fax: (905) 673-2181 Ahmed Mian
Aneesa Lakhi Abdullah Sabree
The articles may only be reproduced with the written consent of the pub- firstname.lastname@example.org Ayub A. Hamid Muhammad Saleem Shaikh
lisher. The Ambition must be accredited and a copy of the publication must be This Journal is dedicated to:
submitted for our records. Professor Syed Aley Ahmad Abdi, Former Principal, Government Education College, Multan, Pakistan
The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 4. The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
Young just cannot believe it! This sounds
so impossible, but it is really hap- Lear ning Disabilities and You
Reader pening! My heart cries out to hear
about such innocent Chechen chil- This is an invisible disability which affects so many people.
Outraged At dren whose ribs and fingers are
broken by the cruel Russian sol- by Sister Wilma, Staff Reporter “Tomas, the Tom Cat,” he sees ture has led her to a life on the
diers. Did you know that approxi- “samoT, eht moT taC.” streets of Toronto, an object of
I am just a useless person, who mately 10% of our population is In a halting voice, sinking pity or to some people, disdain.
will try as much as possible to stop learning disabled? They are the lower and lower into his seat, he With the proper training, she
this nonsense and will not be able, invisibly disabled. You cannot tell tries his best to please the teacher. could have had a better life and
I just finished reading an arti- because I am only one person out just by looking at them. As he struggles, the other kids contributed to society. Instead,
cle [in the previous issue] about of millions, but all I know is these The learning disabled are of- snicker and point at him. His at- she has become a faceless one,
the torturing of the Chechens. I innocent Chechens will enjoy ten times creative people who ex- tempt was not successful, just wandering the streets, looking for
always wondered if these Russian themselves in Paradise, Insha-Al- cel in the creative fields. Winston another blow to his self-esteem. her next meal.
soldiers ever stopped and thought lah. The Russian soldiers will come Churchill and Albert Einstein both At recess, the children call him Our last person is Hafsa. She
for a minute about what they are before Allah (swt) and He will likely had LD. Yet what a contribution names and laugh at him. Fortu- is a victim of downsizing. No mat-
doing [torturing the Chechens]. be angry with them. they made to humanity! nately for Ahmad, he is a student ter how much she tried, she could
Some girls as young as 13 are be- All I have to say to my There are many types of learn- in the year 2000, and has good not learn to use the computer. The
ing tortured, raped, and killed. Chechen friends is to wait and ing disabilities. Some people may parents and a teacher who recog- complexities and ever changing
These young girls are so innocent. keep being patient, because Allah have several of them, some peo- nises his problem. programs proved too much for her
My dream, that I always (swt) is with those who are patient. ple may have only one of them. The next person we meet is with her visual perception disabili-
thought about is having a chance Also, hang on as tight as you can, Your medical professional can as- Patricia whose sixty-five years of ties and her slow speed of infor-
to save one or more of those inno- because there will come a time sist you to learn more about this life on this planet has not been mation processing. She also could
cent girls from being raped and when we all as Muslims will have invisible disability which affects very easy. In the days when she not see how things fit together,
killed and those young boys from our happy time in Allah’s Jannah so many people, or you may wish was in school, there was not much which was a definite handicap for
being tortured everyday. forever, Insha-Allah. Don’t think to contact the Learning Disability information on learning disabili- her.
I just do not understand why that these Russian will get away Association in Toronto for further ties. Children such as her were of- All these examples are fic-
these Russian soldiers don’t real- with their cruel actions. They might information. ten called “retarded” and “slow tional, but represent different
ise that these poor, innocent get away in this life, but in the In this short article, we will learners,” and were lost in the midst types of LD. They may be similar
Chechens have feelings of hurt Hereafter they won’t. peek into the lives of three mythi- of mainstream education. to people you know, or even re-
when they are beaten to death Just remember that Allah (swt) cal persons who will represent Patricia’s anger and lack of mind you of problems you may
with rubber batons. These 10- to is always watching and He sees people with LD. self-esteem have caused her to do have that have not been diag-
15-year-old children are being tor- everything that people are doing. Ahmad is a cute little fellow many destructive things both to nosed. Take heart, as today there
tured for no reason. I think the Allah (swt) will catch them and with curly black hair, beautiful herself and to others and her im- is help for people with LD.
Russian soldiers just torture them punish them in the worst of ways brown skin, and a smile that lights pulsive nature has led her into People with LD are often times
for fun. Now this is what I call anyone can imagine. Just wait and up his face. He goes to public many dangers. She has had trou- very creative, artistic people who
cruel. see, the time will come . . . the time school and is in the lower grades. ble weighing the consequences of bring a fresh perspective to prob-
I am 14 years old, and I still will come. His teacher, Ms. Hawthorne, asks her actions and made many wrong lem solving and who know how to
cannot understand what is the Tahira Pirkhan him to read out loud a page from decisions, which have adversely overcome insurmountable odds
matter with the Russian soldiers. I Editor's Note: This is a letter the story of Tomas, the Tom Cat. affected her life. and thus are valuable members of
just cannot picture myself in the that was meant to go on page 2, Ahmad wishes he were any- She is a person who cries out society willing and able to work
situation of the Chechens and if I but due to limited space, we are where else but school, as he for understanding. She has tried and contribute to the Canadian
were, I have no idea what I would putting it on this page. As for lit- squirms in his seat trying to figure her best to learn, but every failure scene.
do! tle Tahira's concerns, we appre- out the words on the page. With has made her feel more and more [Sister Wilma has been the Co-
There is one thing that I can- ciate and advice you to pray to his learning disability, which has inadequate and has alienated her ordinator for a province-wide LD group
not imagine, which is an innocent Allah to help all the human be- not as yet been discovered, he further from society. Her lack of for employees of the Government of
girl at the age of 13 being raped! I ings in the world. sees things differently. Instead of education and her impulsive na- Ontario and was a member of the Ad-
visory Committee for Disabled People
which advised the former government
ISNA Canada long-time Mayor of Mississauga,
told the audience that “all religions
ties with their children: “Everyone
has creativity, so let’s get in-
on disability issues.]
Continued from page 12 are welcomed in Mississauga.” volved.” He also noted that the
plained the concept of Hijab and campaign platform. He said he She went on to say that religious conference “began with a White, Pen is Mightier
what it entailed, defining many would work to subsidise religious wars have divided us, so instead, former musician (Yusuf Islam) and
terms specifically, such as Khimar schools, support tax policies that let us work together for peace: “If also ended with one.”
and Jilbab. encourage traditional families, and you want peace in the world, it has Besides the speakers men- So why not write?
Both days of the conference support diversity and open immi- to start with you and with me.” Br. tioned above, others included We invite writers,
included surprise guests from the gration (with the goal of family Mohammad Ashraf, ISNA-Cana- Syed Imtiaz Ahmad, Abdullah Idris interviewers, community
political arena. On Saturday, reunification). He claimed to have da’s Director General, then pre- Ali, Shafia Baig, Jeewan Chanicka,
Stockwell Day, Canadian Alliance supported similar policies in Al- sented Mayor McCallion with a Muneer El-Kassem, Omar Fisher, news reporters,
leadership candidate, addressed berta with much success. copy of the Qur’an. Hussein Hamdani, Abdool Hamid, story writers for children,
conference attendees with his On Sunday, Hazel McCallion, An important aspect to most Nader Khan, Shariq Khan, Harry etc. to send us their
conferences is a bazaar. ISNA- J. Kits, Ahmad Kutty, Faisal Kutty, contributions.
Canada’s conference bazaar had Rania Lawendy, Abdur Rahman
many vendors from across North Malik, Ruqayyah Waris Maqsood, Please send your
America, with a variety of prod- Parvez Naseem, Len Rudner, articles by
ucts ranging from prayer rugs and Muzammil Siddiqi, Anwaar Syed,
clothing to books and computer Ahmad Totonji, Wahida Valiante,
August 3ist, 2000
software. The bazaar was always Siraj Wahhaj, and Rehan Zaidi. to be included in
abuzz with activity, but came to a According to Br. Shamim Haq, Sept. 2000 issue.
halt during prayer times. Conference Director, this year’s
On Sunday afternoon, MYNA ISNA-Canada conference had the
Articles should not be
displayed a beautiful PowerPoint highest attendance so far, with more than about 1500
slideshow on mosques from close to 2,000 people over the words.
around the world. Br. Jawad Jafry, weekend. Altogether, the confer- Include your full name, address,
and phone number. You can send
from Sound Vision, emphasised ence was a success. If you would your picture
the importance of media in teach- like to order video or audio tapes and a little introduction about
ing everyone about Islam. He of the conference, please e-mail yourself if you wish.
showed off clips from the latest email@example.com or call
Sound Vision productions and ISNA-Canada at (905) 403-8406.
everyone loved it.
The conference ended with Support the Advertisers
storytelling to the adults by Sr.
Rukhsana Khan and a Nasheed by
in this paper.
Br. Dawud Wharnsby-Ali. Br. Use their services and products.
Dawud encouraged all parents to Tell them you saw their ad in
T he Ambition!
sing or do similar teaching activi-
The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 5 The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
At the Crossroads
Continued from page 1 ancient Iran, there was no differ-
discussed separately but collec- ence between mother and wife,
tively. The Qur’an addresses us and in Rome, a man could even
as “Ya Ayyuhan Nas,” meaning, marry his mother after his father’s
“O human race.” The Qur’an tells death. In India, one woman could
us about human rights and it goes be the sexual partner of many
without saying that they are meant brothers. She had no dignity. She
both for men and women. was only a means to satisfy the
If Muslim women have the male lust and longing. In the case
same status and rights in Islam as of her husband’s death, she was
men do, then why do we see so burned alive at the pyre of her
much disparity in our society be- husband. If she somehow lived
tween the two genders? We after him, her life used to be even
preach equality and Islamic teach- worse. She was expected to bring
ings but in practicality, women are dowry when married and was not
considered second class, even expected to see her parents or fam-
third class citizens. ily again. She was responsible to
No doubt, Muslims have the do all the housework, serve her
best record for respecting their husband and his family, and yet
mothers, sisters, and daughters. be the last one to eat. She had no
However, in case of their wives, say in family affairs and did not
they are totally ignorant of her own any money or property. The
position in Islam, or so they por- list goes on.
tray. To be honest, some Muslim The local culture and custom Copyright by Khalil Bendib and The iviews.com. Reproduced with permission.
men are so unjust toward their fe- seeped into the Islamic traditions
male counterparts that they have and the hold of true Islamic teach- came unaware of their own rights. cies created by men involved or her what was right for her and what
become notorious for female ings and the Qur’anic injunctions Partially educated Maulwis (cler- killed in the wars. This gave was wrong.
abuse. The situation is upsetting became clumsy. As people became ics) aggravated this ignorance by women some economic freedom. How will the freedom come to
to the extent that a few young girls out of touch from the Sunnah of lecturing them only about their She became worth the money she Muslim women? The Western-
I have talked to do not even want the Prophet (pbuh), they started responsibilities and not even men- earned. With economic freedom styled liberation is not the answer.
to get married. losing their Islamic character. tioning a word about their rights. came the sexual revolution and it The Muslim woman does not have
What is the reason of this sorry During the colonial period, They incorporated cultural ideas gave way to feminism. In the West, to fight for anything. She does not
state? To analyse it, we will have Muslim states were seized by into the religious doctrines and a woman saw her salvation in los- have to behave like a man to get
to look back at the cultural influ- Western powers. Among these presented them to people as di- ing her femininity and acquiring respect. Neither does she have to
ences our society has gone were the English, Dutch, French, vine laws. Women were rendered male characteristics. She fought give up her modesty. Islam gave
through. Italians, etc. They too, did not limited to their homes. They were ferociously to gain the right to her all the human rights fourteen
In the pre-Islamic era, Arabs have any code of conduct about banned from going to school or work, to education, to economic centuries ago. All she has to do is
as a nation used to treat women male-female relations. In the 16th even mosques. The only activity security, to vote, to marry the man to reclaim them. Islamic education
as chattel and they were supposed and 17th centuries, many women they were supposed to get in- of her choice, and to divorce. and practising Islam is the answer.
to be a possession of their male were brutally burned alive after volved in was related to the She had to pay a very heavy Fear of Allah (swt) is the answer.
relatives. People used to bury their being suspected of practising kitchen or housework. The fact price, though. She had to give up Obedience to the Creator is the
female children alive and used to witchcraft. The ruling eras of Al- that in the days of the Prophet her modesty. She became an ob- answer. One who submits to Al-
mourn the birth of a baby girl. A exander VI, Luis X, and Adrian VI (pbuh), women were fully involved ject, a showpiece, a model, a sales lah (swt) and fears Him has no-
woman did not have any share in are a living proof of this. In Eng- in all sort of activities, became a pitch. They made her believe that body else to fear and has nothing
the wealth of her father or hus- land, a special committee was de- myth. this was the apex of her liberation else to worry about.
band. She was kept uneducated signed to make laws regarding Knowledge is power. The and she believed. She was told that Today, Muslim parents have to
and the only purpose of her life women and they were subjected knowledge was gone and so was her modesty was an obstacle in take it upon themselves to edu-
was considered to be pleasing her to very harsh punishments upon power. Now, Muslim women be- her progress and she said good- cate their daughters and more so,
husband. Men used to marry as any little offence. In the Christian came totally dependent on men to bye to it. She was told that it is their sons, about the human rights
many women as they wanted and Church, it was debatable whether guide them. The source of guid- good to be scantily dressed and in Islam that encircle both men and
then let them suffer emotionally a woman had a soul or not! ance, the Holy Qur’an, was taken she posed herself in string biki- women and guarantee a pleasant
and otherwise. There were no laws All these societies left their away from them and they had been nis. Man, for his own benefit, life for both in this world, and the
governing the male and female re- mark on Muslims and they became left at the mercy of the men in their fooled her into satisfying his lust pleasure of Allah (swt) in the
lationship. ignorant of their duties toward their lives. Men used them, abused without taking the responsibility Akhirah (Hereafter). If the parents
Islam gave women a very high households. Consequently, girls them, and enslaved them. of marriage and raising a family, of this generation start the cam-
place in society. We are all aware and women were denied of their Then came the French and the and she presented herself to him paign today, we can surely expect
of this and I do not want to em- human right to have an education Industrial revolution. Women in on the plate. And in doing so she the next generation to be liberated
phasise it repeatedly. The history and economic security. Illiteracy the Western world were “liber- was made to believe that it was all and more satisfied with their lives.
of early Muslim societies tells us became common among Muslim ated” so that they could go and for her freedom and she even be- May Allah (swt) help us find
that woman had always been very women and slowly they even be- work in factories to fill the vacan- lieved that. She had to. She had the true path and grant us the de-
well respected and they achieved no divine guidance or rules telling sire to follow it. Ameen.
high positions as thinkers,
Muhaddiths, teachers, writers,
warriors, nurses, etc. In her home
she was the in-charge of her fam-
ily and worked shoulder to shoul-
der with her husband. She was
equipped with Islamic education
and this education gave her the
power to be on equal footing with
her male partner.
Islam expanded very quickly to
all corners of the world. Islam
spread so fast that many civilisa-
tions accepted the new religion
but most of them did not have a
chance to fully adapt to the teach-
ings of Islam. These societies did
not have an exemplary past in
terms of dealings with women.
They considered women as the
source of evil and treated them as
In addition, women did not
have any respect or honour in
these societies. For instance, in
The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 6. The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
Pr ofile of a Community Or ganization:
Profile Community Organization: A VISIT FROM
Camp Al-Mu-Mee-Neen THE
by Ahmad Muinuddin North America. A special “Lead- Halal food is served. The highlight carefully interviewed and several (Peace Be Upon Him)
Camp Al-Mu-Mee-Neen is a ership in Training” program is of- of the fun-filled week is Jumu‘ah staff meetings and training ses-
volunteer organisation that has fered and designed for campers prayer and Olympic Day on Fri- sions are held between May and If Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
been serving the Muslim commu- aged 16-18. It helps them to de- day. August to ensure their highest visited you
nity in Canada for over 26 years. velop the interpersonal, organisa- This year, Camp Al-Mu-Mee- level of performance. The Just for a day or two,
The aim of Camp Al-Mu-Mee- tional, and leadership skills that Neen will be held at the Muslim- camper:staff member ratio is 4:1. If he came unexpectedly,
Neen is to instil in campers an are needed to become the future owned Long Bay Campgrounds, The amount of time each staff I wonder what you would do?
awareness of the basics of Islam, leaders of camps, the Muslim com- located near Perth, Ontario. The member is required to invest in the
a sense of pride in being Muslim, munity, and the larger Canadian grounds have a dining hall and camp is great compared to the fact Oh I know you would give him
and the motivation to work for the society. Islamic songs, skits, kitchen well equipped to serve that the camping program is only your nicest room,
entire Ummah. Over 1000 campers cheers, and games are used meals for over 100 campers and one week long. However, this To such an honoured guest,
have participated in this worth- throughout the program to rein- staff. Campers will be accommo- serves to ensure the quality of the And you would serve him
while program. force the Islamic environment at dated in modern cabins complete Camp Al-Mu-Mee-Neen program. your very best.
The Islamic sessions that are camp. with electricity and heating. Wash- Contact Ahmad at (416) 512-
provided for the younger camp- Campers also enjoy a variety room facilities include hot and cold 2106 or Nadine (416) 283-8649 to You would be the very best,
ers usually involve the memorisa- of other activities during the week. running water, flush toilets, and find out more about the camping Cause you’re glad to have him
tion of Surahs, the instruction in These activities include swim- showers. The Imam and other adult program. Please visit the camp’s there,
the basics of Islam and stories ming, canoeing, arts and crafts, volunteers provide supervision. website at http:// That serving him in your home
from the Qur’an. For older camp- camp crafts, nature and environ- Qualified lifeguards and a camp www.muslimcamp.com/. Would be a joy without
ers, the sessions focus largely on mental studies, and a wide range nurse will be on site for the dura- Ahmad is a Graduate Student compare.
discussions regarding issues a of outings. Of course, all daily tion of the camp. at Playfair Neurosciences Unit,
young Muslim faces today in prayers are performed and only All staff and counsellors are University Health Network But ...when you see him coming,
Would you meet him at the door
With your arms outstretched
To your visitor?
Or . . . would you have to
change your clothes
Before you let him in?
Or hide some magazines and put
The Qur’an where they had been?
Would you still watch those
Or your TV set?
Or would you switch it off
Before he gets upset?
Would you turn off the radio
And hope he had not heard?
And wish that you did not utter
your last loud hasty word?
Would you hide your worldly
And instead take out Hadith
Could you let him walk right in
Or would you rush about?
And I wonder . . . if the Prophet
A day or two with you,
Would you go doing the things
You always do?
Would you go right on and say
You always say?
Would life for you continue
As it does from day to day?
Would your family conversations,
Keep up their usual pace?
And would you find it hard each
To say a table grace?
Would you keep up each and
Without putting on a frown?
And would you always jump up
For Fajr at dawn?
Would you sing the songs you
And read the book you read?
And let him know the things with
Your mind and spirit feed?
Continued on page10
The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 7 The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
Journey to Islam
Eric Paul Wenger On His
with snowstorm after snowstorm
Highlighting the experiences of new Muslims and severely cold temperatures.
For most residents, it was a diffi-
Way to Islam, Finall y.
by Anisah David cult time, but not for the neigh-
Looking across the men’s bourhood children. They had dis-
prayer area at the end of a Jumu‘ah covered that Eric’s buried trailer
prayer may very well bring your “When you walk along the river valley, especially in the spring, it house was an ideal sledding hill,
attention to someone who has a becomes hard to believe that it was created by accident.” in a geographical area that was
striking look, unique from many of pretty flat. It was the sound of
his fellow Brothers. Amidst all the “I really didn’t think I believed in his father passed away. This trag- manifested itself physically in the these children that had awoken
Brothers sitting shoulder to shoul- God at that point”, he recalls. edy in his life caused Eric to once form of sheer exhaustion. Eric.
der, with their heads bowed in He believed that intellect was again look at spirituality. He said Through the help of one of his As he came out of the house
Du‘a, protrudes the upper torso the answer to human chaos and that the effect of evaluating his father’s friends, he obtained a new to discover what the unusual
of one rather tall, ruddy-complex- strife. “I had faith in man’s intel- father’s life and death made him job that helped him somewhat in sound was, he discovered a small
ioned, Norwegian-American lect, but the older you get you recognise that there had to be more pulling out of the depression. crowd of children all poised on the
named Eric Paul Wenger. Raised come to realise man doesn’t know than the struggle for material Within six months, he was blessed top of the newly created hill, snow
as a Lutheran (Christian) in a pre- anything,” he explained. During goods and living life. In the end, with a job opportunity at Murphy’s sleds in hand. They all stopped
dominately Lutheran area of south- this period in his life, he witnessed despite his Yale education and Landing, an open-air museum near and looked at him, certain that he’d
east Minnesota, Eric embraced Is- radical religious movements such business success as an engineer, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The job get mad at them. Instead he began
lam after a long and arduous path as the Moral Majority, which was Eric said his father didn’t have was that of a historical blacksmith laughing, as he considered how
to Islam. a fundamentalist Christian group much happiness. Eric added that and gunsmith’s apprentice. fun the idea of sledding down that
Eric grew up in a family of three led by Evangelist Jerry Faldwell. his father “constantly struggled to During his time at Murphy’s hill looked. With this being the ini-
boys. He admits that organised The evolution in Eric’s spirituality prepare for tomorrow and never Landing, he was exposed to peo- tial encounter and the children re-
religion was something that was created a problem for him in his enjoyed today. Basically,” he said, ple who professed to practice Eu- alising that Eric wasn’t so scary
celebrated only on holidays, in his field of study. “All the technical “my Dad worked himself to ropean style pagan religions. after all, two of the boys began to
childhood home. It didn’t start out expertise in the world doesn’t death.” Though encouraged to try it, Eric visit Eric regularly. The visits were
that way, but as the years pro- mean much in art, if you have noth- Eric continued his academic never did. However, this exposure fun for the boys since Eric always
gressed, the family went to church ing to say,” Eric points outs. So program for another year, after his helped him to recognise the con- seemed to have pop and snacks
less often, until finally they just he was encouraged by his Japa- father’s death, but finally decided cept of the unseen world as being around, which he gladly shared
went for holidays and funerals. nese painting teacher to explore to leave the university. He once an integral part of our daily lives. with them.
Exposure to other religions, in spirituality so that he might find again entered the labour field as a While living as a historical inter- One of these boys was a
his limited experience, during his his spiritual voice. blue-collar worker. During this preter at the open-air museum, Eric young Muslim-American, named
early life was relegated to interact- Eric worked at a variety of jobs, phase of his life, it was a hand-to- learned to appreciate the simple Hussayn, of about twelve years
ing with Catholics in the commu- “almost able to scrape by, but mouth existence, even though he pleasures of a warm place to sleep of age. Eric spent hours just talk-
nity. It wasn’t until Eric reached never quite making enough.” This worked fifty hours per week. and having enough to eat. While ing to the boys. Eric described it
high school that he had any real slump lasted four years, during In an effort to change his earn- at the museum, Eric came to ap- as “talking about things of inter-
exposure to other religions. It was which time, he spent his weekends ing possibilities, he started a preciate the simple joy of walking est, but of little importance.” They
during a short study of history in at the Renaissance Festival as an wooden toy business with a cou- along a tree-lined river and wit- spoke about a broad range of top-
which Eric got his first glimpse of interpreter and actor. He admits ple of other men. Unfortunately for nessing the beauty of life found ics, including blacksmithing, his-
Islam, though Eric recalls the sub- that he has little recollection of him, the partnership consisted of there. Eric states that it was a stark tory, philosophy, and even religion
ject was only a blip of information much of those years at the Ren- him supporting his partners. Af- difference from the urban concrete every once in a while. It was dur-
providing very little insight into aissance Festival, primarily due to ter only a year, the business col- and noise. It was during these ing one of these discussions that
the religion. his massive consumption of alco- lapsed. Eric said it was during this months, Eric said, that he “dis- the topic of Islam came up and Eric
When Eric was in college, in hol. He calls this period as being, time that he was struggling to find cussed topics of interest, but of asked Hussayn if he had a book
the 1980’s, he came to meet some “blissful drunkenness on week- a creative avenue through which little importance” and that he be- on the subject that he could bor-
Muslims. Eric attended the Univer- ends.” Later, he came to realise that to express his artistic drive. This gan to have a strong belief in God. row.
sity of Wisconsin in River Falls, this habit was, in part, an effort to was also a period in which he was “When you walk along the river Hussayn went home and re-
and was studying in the field of self-medicate and blot out the daily exposed to pseudo-intellectual valley, especially in the spring, it layed the request to his mother and
Fine Arts. It was during the Ira- grind that seemed to mean noth- spirituality through one of his busi- becomes hard to believe that it suggested that she should visit
nian hostage crisis and the college ing. ness partners. “I lived with this was created by accident.” the neighbour and discuss Islam
students he came to know were He decided to return to his aca- great big emptiness for a long time After approximately a year at with him. So after several months,
from Iran. Eric recalled the situa- demic studies once again. How- and it [pseudo-intellectual phi- Murphy’s Landing, an administra- she finally agreed to stop in and
tion when he said, “As you can ever, this time he didn’t come to losophy] filled the void,” Eric said. tive shake-up at the museum visit him. After a period of visits,
imagine, they kept a low profile.” the university as a young boy Once again he began to believe threatened the employment of Eric Umm Hussayn began to meet daily
Americans were pretty hostile to straight out of high school. He had in a God. He knew there was a and fellow interpreters. It was dur- with Eric in his shop to discuss
everything Middle Eastern and lived and struggled to make ends power of good, but still couldn’t ing this crisis that he was invited Islam and other topics while he
Islamic at that point in time. “So meet. He had come to realise that perceive that Good could be to relocate to South Dakota. He worked. During one such visit, he
they didn’t talk about Islam,” Eric people tend to take themselves stronger than Evil. This belief was agreed, very reluctantly, to move asked her for a copy of the Qur’an,
explained. way too seriously and had due in part to the personal experi- to South Dakota after his girlfriend so that he could read it before he
He had seen Christian fanati- adopted an attitude that mani- ences he had. “With people at the time persuaded him to do slept. Shortly thereafter, she
cism during this same period, so fested his own beliefs. This was around you who do harm to you so. brought him one. The initial book
he didn’t stereotype all Muslims in stark contrast to the academic solely because they see you as a Once moved to South Dakota, Umm Hussayn gave Eric to read
based on the actions of those he world around him. Although Eric tool and a means to an end,” Eric Eric experienced some of the harsh- was the Qur’an with an English
saw on television marching in the came to feel that pride and arro- said, “You can see why it would est treatment he had ever experi- translation and commentary.
streets of Tehran. gance was not the approach to use be hard to envision Evil overcom- enced from his supposed business “This was what I had been
During this rise of fundamen- in life, he felt the academic world ing Good.” partners and friends. He lost all looking for. I had been reading the
talism both in the Christian West had too many that very much em- The dark cloud of depression interest in human interaction, be- Bible before this, but it just seemed
and in Iran, Eric was travelling on braced that philosophy. and despair continued in Eric’s life. came even more reclusive, leaving so deluding. It [the Qur’an] was
his own journey; One that led Within a month or two of re- By this point in time, he was in a his home rarely, and began to clear and concise; very much to
down a completely different path. turning to his Fine Arts program, deep depression so acute, that it search inwardly for answers to the point.”
what he thought he was doing After several months of study,
wrong. Umm Hussayn asked him about
It was during this period of his beliefs. He acknowledged his
time that Eric was blessed with a belief in the Oneness of God and
new job with a secure income. the fact that he believed in
Working only twelve hours per Muhammad as being the Messen-
day, Eric felt that it was a relief. It ger of God. Yet Eric continued to
was the first time in a long time hesitate when it came to declaring
that Eric felt a sign of hope. his Shahadah. During the rest of
During the winter of 1994-1995, that summer, Eric spent time study-
he woke to the sound of clomping ing Islam and trying to understand
footsteps and giggling on his the regulations regarding the laws
roof. This was despite the fact that and commands about art and im-
it still appeared to be dark outside. ages. Finally, after several months
He was in fact buried, trailer house of study, Eric chose to declare his
and all, under a massive snowdrift Shahadah. Inviting several Mus-
that had engulfed his home. This lim Brothers from the surrounding
was one of the severest winters in area, Eric declared his Faith in
South Dakota’s written history. January of 1998 in Bushnell, South
The region had been pounded Dakota.
The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 8. The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
Khalid Ghait Released Maulana Muhammad Yusuf
Ludhianwi shot to death
Bill Passed (Toronto: June 23, 2000): The
Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties
1995 for his religious practices,
including associating with people
By Khalid Dhorat
Association (CMCLA) has been who attended mosques and grew
Maulana Yusuf Ludhianwi was gunned down in cold blood on the
Jer se y
informed that Alhamdulillah, by beards. The Libyan security serv-
morning of Thursday, May 18, 2000, on his way to the International
the Grace of God and the efforts ice released him after he de-
Khatm-e-Nubuwwat offices in Safirabad, one of the central districts
Reported by Roger M. Othman, of the Canadian Muslim commu- nounced his association with a
of Karachi. His driver, Maulana ‘Abdur Rahman was also killed,
Regional Director, IFANCA nity, Khalid Ghait’s deportation Muslim group.
and both his sons were wounded. The son, Maulana Muhammad
(314-276-9573) has been cancelled and he is now Ghait had gained support from
Yahya, critically wounded, died a day thereafter in the ‘Abbasi Shahid
(Chicago, Illinois: June 9, back in Edmonton. Ghait had faced the 700,000 strong Canadian Mus-
2000): New Jersey becomes the deportation from Canada amidst lim and Arab communities, many
It has come to light that Maulana was followed from his home,
first state to pass the “Halal Food claims he could face torture or ex- of whom turned out for a protest
and when he stopped to purchase some fruit from a vendor on MA
Consumer Protection Act,” also ecution for his religious practices. rally in Edmonton, calling on the
Jinnah Road, the terrorists took the opportunity of assassinating
known as the Halal Food Bill. Thirty-two year old Khalid Minister to reconsider Ghait’s
him. The fruit vendor, in an attempt at saving Maulana, was also
This legislation (Bill No. 1919, Ghait, a self-proclaimed devout case. Numerous other individuals
wounded. Maulana Yusuf Ludhianwi was 75 years old at the time.
Section 1-6) is a major step in pre- Muslim, arrived at the Northern and organisations including the
May Allah illuminate his resting-place with celestial light and grant
venting consumer fraud in the Alberta Institute of Technology in Canadian Islamic Centre, the Ca-
his family fortitude and perseverance in patience. Ameen.
preparation, distribution, and sale 1997 to further his studies. He re- nadian Islamic Congress (CIC)
Maulana Yusuf was a distinguished teacher of Hadith at Darul
of Halal food. Under the bill, Halal quested refugee status just one and the CMCLA had written pro-
‘Ulum Newtown and the editor of Al-Bayyinat and held a column
food “dealers” must disclose the month upon his arrival, on the test letters to their local MP’s and
advising on various issues of a religious nature in The Jang, a daily
basis for representing the food as grounds of religious persecution the Immigration Minister.
of Karachi. All these verdicts have been compiled in about eight
Halal. The bill defines “Halal” as by Colonel Muammar Ghaddafi’s Further details will be sent out,
volumes called Apke Masa’il Aur Unke Hal.
food prepared under and main- regime. as they become available. Please
Amongst his more famous publications are: Ikhtilaf-e-Ummat
tained in strict compliance with Ghait claims the Libyan au- check our website at
Aur Sirat-e-Mustaqin, Sunni-Shi’i Ikhtilafat Aur Sirat-e-Mustaqin,
the laws and customs of the Is- thorities arrested him in 1989 and http://www.cmcla.org/.
Sir Zafrullah Khan Ko Da’wat-e-Islam, and a plethora of books on
lamic religion. The Director of the
Division of Consumer Affairs will
Turkish Qadianism like Tuhfah Qadiani, Al-Mahdi al-Masih, Qadiani Aur
Dousre Ghair Muslaman Me Farq, Mirza Qadiani Apni Thariro Ki
determine the means of disclosure. Student Calling All Nazar Me, and many others. His knowledge on Islamic jurispru-
Sentenced New Muslims
Violating the disclosure require- dence and of the various deviant sects of Islam won him world-wide
ments will be unlawful under the acclaim. The Muslim Ummah will sorely miss this great and eru-
consumer fraud act.
Over Scarf Rasha Madkour and Maliha
Shaikh are, Insha-Allah, planning
dite scholar of Islam.
houses, wholesalers, stores, res- Recently, a Turkish court sen- to publish a compilation of con-
taurants, hotels, catering facilities, tenced Nuray Canan Bezirgan, a verts’ stories to be used primarily Links to Internet
butcher shops, summer camps, former medical student at Istanbul for Da‘wah purposes. They re-
bakeries, delicatessens, supermar- University, to six months in prison quest your help in this endeavour. News Bytes 3. Palestine Before and After
kets, and nursing homes are all for wearing an Islamic-style head- Please submit to them YOUR 1. Russian Federation Con- Occupation by Israel [video]
considered dealers under the bill. scarf to her exams three years ago, story: How, why, when, and where tinuing Torture and Rape in http://nteractive.hlf.org:19091/
This bill is a major legislative but commuted the sentence to a you converted to Islam. Please in- Chechnya ramgen/inthememory.rm
effort to curb fraud in the Halal $3 fine. clude any details and incidents http://www.amnesty.org/
trade. The sentence was the first in- that you deem important. news/2000/44603600.htm 4. Stories of Muslim Children
“Last year IFANCA provided volving jail time for a breach of Please write your story with from Occupied Palestine [video]
valuable assistance in formulating Turkey’s strict secular codes, the purpose of sharing your expe- 2. Mississauga Teacher Tells http://nteractive.hlf.org:19091/
the bill,” explained Dr. Muhammad which ban Islamic headscarves in riences on the path to Islam with Grade 4’s She’s A Lesbian ramgen/childrenstories.rm
Munir Chaudry, President of public schools and state offices. people who may have little or no http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/
IFANCA. Halal is a symbol of qual- The government regards head- prior knowledge about Islam. A 2000/june/000619.html#4
ity in defining the religiously man- scarves as political statements that glossary and explanative notes will All articles in The
dated requirements for Muslim threaten the secular regime. be added as needed. Ambition are well
food. It cannot be taken lightly. In
New Jersey, the passage of the
“I didn’t wear the headscarf to
obstruct education,” Aksam news-
Rasha and Maliha will edit the
stories, typeset them, and submit
Free Muslim researched and
Halal Food Bill has acknowledged paper quoted Bezirgan as telling them for publication. E-Mail checked by
this fact. Authentic Halal certifi- the court. “I wear it because it’s As of this time, no fixed dates the editors.
The Islaamic Network is proud
cation is the best way to demon- God’s will.” can be given for the publication to introduce a FREE web-based
strate compliance with the law. Several women, covering their of the book. However, we request e-mail service with the following Being human, we may
We applaud the New Jersey heads in the Islamic style, at- that you send your story as soon f e a t u r e s :
legislature and encourage other tended the hearing in a show of as is convenient for you. firstname.lastname@example.org for- overlook something.
states to follow suit. support. Please realise that the reward mat, permanent, globally accessi-
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The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 9 The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
World Affairs Brazilian Muslims:
Rever ting To T heir Islamic Past
by Maria Moreira nese immigrant who came to Bra- ever, Brazilians are the only Portu- slaves brought from Africa, we can ing or at least delaying such tasks.
Brazil is the largest country in zil several years ago. Mainly his guese speakers among Latinos easily identify the influence of the Let us hope and pray to Allah that
Latin America. Although there are relatives and close friends com- and this fact increases their diffi- Islamic culture, although greatly faithful Muslims of the present
no official statistics, the Muslim pose the Centre’s staff. In an in- culties. distorted nowadays. This is espe- could “rediscover” Brazil and give
population in Brazil is estimated terview with “Isto” magazine, one The Centre of Divulgation of cially evident in the north-east re- to its people the chance to know
to be approximately one million of the most important magazines Islam to Latin America provides gion of the country. the beauty and wisdom of Islam.
people, with a total population of in the country, Shaikh Khalil Saifi the few books available. The All of this proves that Islam is Maria Moreira is a Brazilian revert
more than 170 million. said: “Our main concern is to at- books that have been chosen for not alien to the Brazilian culture. now living in Egypt. She has worked
This number includes reverts tend to the Muslims who de- translation are often of poor con- It’s indeed an important part of it. with the Muslim Beneficent Society of
Rio de Janeiro, giving speeches about
to Islam, Arab immigrants, and scended from Arabs to help them tent quality. When a good book Presenting Islam to the Brazilian Islamic teachings, women and family.
their descendants. Brazilian re- preserve their link to their lan- choice is made, a bad translation people in a comprehensive man- She also taught an extension course
verts make up for no more than guage and culture.” And, continu- often destroys the work of its au- ner is important not just to preach entitled “The Changing Situation of
1% of this number, about 10,000 ing in his statement: “The Brazil- thor. And even these few and one religion; it is also to help them Women in Arabic Society Through the
people. Therefore, within a popu- ians who come to us come through badly translated books are diffi- to restore their original culture, Qur’an,” at the State University of
Rio de Janeiro. You can visit her
lation of over 170 million, the small the contact with Muslims out cult to find. carefully erased due to political website at http://www.geocities.com/
number that make up Brazilian re- there.” The lack of interest in spread- and religious interests in the past. islamicchat/ or e-mail her directly at
verts to Islam have very little Based on such statements, we ing Islam is quite clear when one Unfortunately, political and firstname.lastname@example.org.
power. are led to conclude that a group of observes that the institution personal interests in the present, This article was reported by
Islam is the fastest growing persons, who are supposed to which is responsible for “Da`wah” coming this time from Muslims (Islam Online, Egypt)
religion in the world. However, in make “Da`wah,” have decided who not only in Brazil, but in all Latin themselves, seem to be prevent- http://www.islam-online.net/
Latin America and specifically in has the right to be Muslim or not. America, doesn’t maintain a
Brazil, this is not the case. Why? When a Brazilian decides to go website about Islam. When such
One could argue that this is against their “plans,” he or she is a resource is available nearly for Frida y
As the Imam spoke from a pul-
due to the strong influence of the treated as an intruder in the Arab- free to everyone and day-by-day
Catholic Church. Brazil is consid- Muslim community. All his/her more and more Muslim individu- Ser mons No pit, Friday, about the good deeds
ered to be the largest Catholic misbehaviours concerning reli- als and institutions are using the of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad
country in the world. However, a gious teachings are highlighted Internet to inform about the Islamic (pbuh), hundreds of people
closer look proves that this is not and pointed out, even if the same teachings, this attitude is undoubt- watched as Alaa Eddine El-Sayyed
true. Despite its strong presence, mistake is occurring among the edly proof that the Centre fails to delivered the Shaikh’s remarks in
Catholicism has been losing fol-
lowers in Brazil to other religions.
Arab-Muslims. Normal mistakes
due to lack of experience in the
fulfil its most vital function.
Brazil will soon celebrate 500
For Deaf sign language.
“I wasn’t able to sleep the past
The argument has also been religion are presented as “proof” years of its discovery, and a major “No one should get in two nights for being so excited
made that it is due to the Latin of an “incapacity” to practice and controversy is surrounding the and happy that I would be the first
the way of a person person to translate the Friday
culture, which encourages Brazil- understand the religion. Little at- event. In traditional Brazilian his-
ians to always be playing, danc- tention is given to the fact that the tory, the discovery of the country wanting to be closer to prayers,” said El-Sayyed, who
ing, and engaging in activities that right teachings are not easily avail- is attributed to a Portuguese navi- God.” works for the Egyptian rights
are not lawful in Islam. As such, it able to reverts. gator named Pedro Alvarez Cabral. (CAIRO - July 1, 2000) — Fri- group. “The happiness that I saw
is assumed that Brazilians simply The new reverts then have to New historical sources however, day prayers at Cairo’s Sayyeda in the faces of the deaf and mute
aren’t fit to be Muslims. fight alone against the criticism of seem to offer another fact: that the Zeinab Mosque were translated made me even happier.”
This is generally the excuse his/her family, friends, the Brazil- discoverer might have been a into sign language this week — a “I used to try desperately to
used by those responsible for ian society, and worst: fight Spanish navigator. first in an Egyptian mosque. Hun- follow the lips of the Imam, but he
Da‘wah work in Brazil for their fail- against the criticism of their own More and more historians, dreds of deaf Egyptian Muslims was too far away and I could never
ure. It is, of course, not true. Bra- fellow Muslim brothers and sis- both Muslim and non-Muslim, are were among those worshipping at see him clearly enough. When my
zilians are, by nature, very reli- ters. becoming aware of the strong the mosque, where a sign-lan- students read the news in the pa-
gious and have in the past been The feeling of isolation leads Muslim presence in the early guage interpreter is to be a regular pers, they were brimming with im-
an easy prey to all sorts of inno- some to abandon Islam after a Americas. Many evidences of the feature. Sign language translator patience,” said Ismail, who learnt
vative religious movements. So, while. Others keep insisting and Muslim presence in Brazil, includ- Alaa Eddine El-Sayyed, 28, stood sign language to be able to com-
what is really happening? all these difficulties just increase ing inscriptions with the name of at the foot of the preacher’s mina- municate with his two deaf and
Through the statement of their faith and search for knowl- Allah, have being found. In the ret gesturing to around 500 deaf mute brothers.
Shaikh Khalil Saifi, Co-ordinator of edge. language of the Native Americans, worshippers sitting cross-legged Thirty-year-old Hassan, an-
the Centre of Divulgation of Islam For those who persevere, they words of Arabic origin have been on the carpets of the Sayyeda other deaf Egyptian who sat amid
to Latin America, we can easily face another problem¾the lack of identified, and even the names of Zeinab Mosque as the voice of around 3,000 hearing Muslims
identify the real problem. The Cen- good books about Islam available some Brazilian cities which were the preacher resounded around with his eyes fixed on Ismail’s
tre is located in Sao Bernardo do in the Portuguese language. The supposed to be related with the the vaulted chamber. hands, said the experience made
Campo, in the most important state other Latin people are Spanish Native American language, seem Ahmed Yunes, head of the him “feel normal” for the first time
of Brazil: Sao Paulo. Its President speakers and can depend on good to have Arabic origins. Egyptian Organisation for Rights in his life.
is Mr. Mohammed Saifi, a Leba- works translated to Spanish. How- If all this information is con- of the Disabled, said no one The prayers took place in the
firmed and introduced officially as should get in the way of a person mosque of Cairo’s patron saint,
part of Brazilian history, it means wanting to be closer to God. “The Sayyeda Zeinab, the granddaugh-
that faithful Muslims were the first deaf and the mute, all over the ter of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh),
ones to discover Brazil more than world, are living in a prison of iso- who lived in Cairo for around a
500 years ago. lation,” he said. “We are opening year before she died here in 680
Also, through the Muslim the way, and we hope it will never CE.
be closed again.” “This is a positive step for us
Egypt’s ministry of religious on the long path towards a normal
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 affairs approved a recent proposal life,” said Hassan. “It’s through
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 from Yunes to improve the lives of simple improvements like this that
Egypt’s handicapped. we can begin to feel integrated into
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 Yunes, who is blind, said the daily life.”
of The Ambition are
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 Ministry of Religious Endow- Mohammed Abdel-Fattah,
distributed free of charge
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 ments gave his organisation ap- who is deaf, has attended Friday
every two months at
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 proval to start with sign-language prayers every week for decades.
several mosques in and
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 interpreters in three Cairo This Friday, he was finally able to
around Metro from as far
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 mosques and to expand in the fu- follow every word. “I used to get
as Ajax in the east to
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 ture. Some churches in Egypt also angry about attending the prayers
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 have started to provide sign-lan- and not being able to under-
and Kitchener-Waterloo in
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 guage interpreters at Sunday serv- stand,” Abdel-Fattah, 60, said
the west and as far as our
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 ices, he said. through a translator. “I am very
volunteers go. You can
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 “The important thing is that happy that something like this is
also pick up your copy at
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 the deaf and mute — no matter happening.”
many Muslim grocery
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 what their nationality, social class, Source: http://
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 wealth, position, colour or religion w w w. a k h b a r. c o m / a r t i c l e /
8765432121098765432109876543210987654321 — know their way to God,” Yunes 0,1690,ArabiaLife|24059,00.html
The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 10. The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
Who is a Canadian Muslim W hen Af f liction Strikes Us
Continued from page 1
by Khadijah Bintu Villarmil we pay for our deviant actions be- A visit from the
Christian tradition is false. bership in the larger Canadian Why is there so much suffer- cause of our lack of patience? Prophet (pbuh)
The Islamic influence on the community. This will reassure ing in the world? Why do we face When we Muslim suffer be- Continued from page 7
creation of a civilised Western non-Muslim doubters that Mus- so many problems in our life? cause of our wrongdoings, we
Europe has been great. Thus, lims are not just marginal actors Many people turn to drugs and should blame ourselves and Would you take the Prophet
Canada’s Muslims must forge in Western civilisation. Creating alcohol. Millions of people are straighten our course and weigh (pbuh) with you,
closer links with other religious a comfort zone called Islam by depressed, and more and more our actions: “Whatever misfor- Everywhere you plan to go?
groups. They, as Muslims have building Muslim ghettos, physi- people are committing suicide. tune befalls you is because of Or, would you maybe change your
always done, must share the cally, culturally, or socially, is Why? what your own hands have done, plans,
knowledge of their religion and Islamically unacceptable. Such Every day brings us an array yet for many He grants forgive- Just for a day or so?
their history with others. attitudes are against the teach- of things that try our patience. In ness” (Qur’an 42:30). Another
Where are the oldest churches ings of the Qur’an, against the the intricate paths of life when dif- verse mentions: “Whatever of Would you be glad to have him
of the world and where do Chris- practice of the Prophet (pbuh), ficulties and hardships confront a good comes to you, it is from Al- meet
tians, still to this day, pray in Ara- and against the history of Mus- man, and the darkness of adversi- lah, and whatever misfortune be- Your very closest friends?
maic, the mother tongue of Christ? lims. Such attitudes only give a ties and suffering becomes long, falls you, it is from your own Or, would you hope they stay
Not in Rome, nor Paris, nor To- false sense of security while oth- it is patience only that acts like a selves” (Qur’an 4:79). away,
ronto; it is in Muslim Syria. Who ers capture the political, moral, light for Muslims. The bounty of Allah (swt) is Until his visit ends?
saved millions of Jews from the and cultural high grounds. People want purpose and something He favoured and the
Spanish Inquisition and the Rus- We, Canada’s Muslims, are meaning in their lives, but they misfortune that strikes us is Would you be glad to have him
sian holocaust? Muslims. Which being watched, First, we are be- have not found it. caused by our own actions. Good stay
world religion makes it a religious ing watched by the Creator. Can You buy something that needs and bad, blessings and misfor- Forever on and on?
duty upon its adherents to toler- we be faithful? We are being to be assembled and the instruc- tunes are Allah’s grace and jus- Or would you sigh with great
ate and respect other peoples’ watched by our children. Can we tions don’t make sense; we are tice. relief,
faith, whatever that faith may be? be more Canadian and more Mus- quick to loose patience. Even Allah (swt) mentions to us: When he at last was gone?
Islam. Who built a Western super- lims? We are being watched by though we constantly struggle “Never does Allah change the
power civilisation which did not our fellow Canadians. Can we and strive to be the best Muslim condition of a people, until they It might be interesting to know,
pose a threat to world peace and contribute culturally, socially, and that we can, we still get into this change themselves, but when Al- The things that you would you do.
justice? Muslims in Spain. spiritually to the well-being of our roller-coaster effect. lah wills punishment for a peo- If Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
Until Canadians get to know country? And we are being How often times do you hear a ple, then there can be no turning came,
that there are fellow Muslim citi- watched by our fellow Muslims Muslim saying: “Yes! I do believe it back, nor will they find besides To spend some time with you.
zens who are mirror opposites of world-wide. Can we contribute to in Allah and His Messenger Him any helper” (Qur’an 13:11).
the images portrayed by the me- world peace and justice? I believe (pbuh), but . . .” We need to repent and change. by Sr. Camalia Bedu
dia, the entertainment industries, that to all these questions, our “Yes! I try to be a good Mus- We may not change all at once,
evangelical preachers, and hate- answer is: YES, we can. lim, but . . .” but Allah, the Exalted, loves those
mongering groups, the distorted “Yes! I try to stay away from who seek Taubah (repentance)
image of Islam and Muslims will [Dr. Mohamed Elmasry, Professor of Haram things, but . . .” and practice the Sunnah. Bargain Galore
Electrical and Computer Lack of Sabr (patience) and
remain unchallenged. Thus, Mus- Engineering at the University of
We keep finding the most un-
lims must assert and reaffirm their Waterloo, is National President of the reasonable excuses to justify our being too hasty prevents us from A full size Washing
cultural, social, and political mem- Canadian Islamic Congress.] action at the expense of others. Tarbiyya (cultivation and culture)
machine and Dryer for
Don’t we? Again, we lose pa- Insha-Allah, let us all try to
tience. follow Allah’s advice: “So pa- sale. $200 each or
Taking Care of Our Elders When we were little and diso- tiently persevere . . . and let not best offer.
Continued from page 1
beyed our parents, we paid the those who have no Yaqeen (cer- Also, an apartment
of seniors’ residences or nursing ally, as the population ages, the price by being grounded. When tainty of faith) discourage you size dryer. Needs new
homes for some time — evaded ability of service providers to meet we cheat in our homework or test, from conveying Allah’s message”
belt. $99. or best offer.
this issue — based on our Islamic the needs of older persons, as we paid the price by getting sus- (Qur’an 30:60).
obligation to take care of our par- well as access to appropriate fa- pended. When we lied and were
ents and aged people in society. I cilities and housing become in- caught, we paid the price by Reprinted with permission Must Sell.
fully subscribed to this viewpoint, creasingly important. loosing our credibility. When we from :
but are we taking care of them or The dignity and worth of older break Allah’s Law, what is the price http://www.qsnetgroup.org/ Call (416) 677-7125
abandoning them to the existing persons are infringed by stere-
institutions? What about those otypes about ageing, and neglect The Community Sounding Board
who have no one to care for him and abuse of seniors in services sponsored by the Islamic Council tunities to develop new relation- one fortunate community because
or her? and facilities that have been re- of Imams Canada in October 1992 ships in the Muslim community a very high percentage of retirees
Then again, what is the defini- ported in several parts of the at Metro Hall, identified the follow- in order to decrease social isola- are highly skilled and qualified men
tion of “taking care of seniors”? It country. For example, elder abuse ing areas for seniors’ needs and tion, changes in family composi- and women. They have a lot to
is a generally accepted principle in institutionalised settings is the resources:* The breakdown of the tion and relationships, and the share with our youth. The ques-
that older folks can best be cared subject of an inquiry in the prov- extended family; the decrease of need to provide supports which tion is where?
for in our own homes. However, ince of Quebec. the size of the extended family re- would allow seniors to practice Is- Not all mosques are open to
let us ask ourselves, if this is the The Muslim senior population sulting from immigration patterns; lam as a way of life. permit the use of the facilities for
best solution for us. Our current can be categorised as follows: (1) the high rate of unemployment, Two things are urgently this purpose. My suggestion
lifestyle and lack of extended fam- Aged and retired, (2) Sponsored which has decreased the ability of needed: Seniors’ residences and would be to use any facility avail-
ily in this country, makes this even parents, and (3) Injured and disa- some families to respond fully to nursing homes. Some of the ad- able in your area, even your own
more difficult for us to provide the bled. the needs of their senior family vantages of seniors’ residence are basement. Start such activities, as
necessary care. Those of us who People that immigrated in the members; the increasing number of that seniors enjoy a sense of in- tutoring, organisational develop-
have had the experience of look- 60’s and 70’s have now retired or seniors who are forced to either re- dependence; they are in the com- ment, job search skills, career coun-
ing after disabled or sick elders at are approaching retirement. Their enter the work force or to extend pany of people of their own age; selling, and health matters. What-
home find that it is a very big chal- children have grown up and are their years of work in order to avoid they are safe from frequent abuse ever your expertise may be, please
lenge. It calls for a full-time per- living on their own, sometimes in poverty; the increasing use of in- from their family; families are not share it with others and guide our
son in attendance and sacrifice of other cities. Most are living by come maintenance programs; the burdened with their care or sup- community for some extra bless-
personal freedom. It calls for many themselves. There is no one to increasing incidence of elder abuse port; there is access to govern- ings. Volunteer in mosques, hospi-
adjustments, especially for work- look after them if they suffer health such as financial abuse (the hand- ment funding; recreational facili- tals, libraries, social services, etc.
ing class people. Many cannot problems. ing over of cheques from income ties/programs available; regular Recently a new organisation
afford a live-in caregiver. Home- Sponsored parents are some maintenance programs and employ- prayers can be offered; regular called the REH’MA Foundation
care and nurse visits are available, of the worst victims of abuse and ment to family members), physical lectures and educational programs was established primarily to ad-
but can never match the personal mistreatment by their families, not abuse, and emotional abuse; the geared towards them; and Islamic dress some of the seniors’ needs.
care necessary for them. just among Muslims, but among necessity of developing mental events can be celebrated as a com- They have successfully organised
Under the circumstances, sen- almost all ethnic communities as health programs to address the munity and an Islamic environ- two one-day forums at City Hall so
iors will be better off in seniors’ reported by numerous social needs generated by loss of iden- ment. far and I urge others to get in-
residences or nursing homes, for agencies. The abuse ranges from tity and a sense of alienation, bore- Islamic nursing homes are volved, to do more needs-assess-
the reasons outlined below. emotional and physical to black- dom, frustration; the need of lit- very important for religiously- and ment, and establish services.
At present, we are witnessing mail for old-age security cheques eracy programs; and the need to culturally-sensitive care and serv- REH’MA can be reached at 905-
an increase of Muslims in nursing or even for assets in home coun- recognise the scarcity of social and ices, which will put them at ease 737-7123 or http://www.rehma.org/
homes, seniors’ residences, and tries. Many cannot speak English community services and to de- and comfort. on the Internet.
even among the homeless roam- or French and are helpless. velop innovative responses to What role can Muslim seniors * Full report is available from
ing the streets of Toronto. Gener- What choices do we have? transportation difficulties, oppor- play in the community? We are the author (416-282-2642).
The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 11 The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
Free Inter net or is it?
By Sohail Tariq might have heard of and used it the Internet user to that compa- The other side of the story is browser and dial-up connection
There was a time when few too. ny’s web site and thus the com- related to the technological issues. but not portal software.)
people had access to the Internet. As the old saying goes, there pany hopes to attract the custom- You get the free Internet at the There is good news, though.
Today, it is different. Internet has is no free lunch in the world. So ers to their virtual shops (web site) cost of using your hard disk by There is a company that pro-
changed the life of millions. It has how come you can get the free and sell their products and serv- these companies. These ads are vides you the free service without
changed the way we live and we Internet? Well, there actually IS a ices. These ads work for these sitting on your hard disk and con- portal software and add banners.
interact with each other. Geo- price that you pay. companies and boost their sale. suming the hard disk space. You Smart World Technologies is
graphical boundaries have shrunk All those who provide you Companies, in return, advertise need a huge hard drive to store the only company in the whole
to the one click of the mouse. Vis- Free Internet Services are putting more and thus the cycle contin- these ads plus the browser soft- North America that provides you
iting the online merchant store, a banner (a rectangular box of ues and the end user keeps get- ware. The ads often change and a free internet service without any
doing e-mail, voice mail, fax, col- about an inch wide or little more) ting the free Internet services. The new ads are sent to the user’s hard ad banner and any portal software
laborating the business with the either on the top or bottom of your problem is that the moment you disk every now and then when you through its official dealer
intelligent documentation system, computer screen. Some of them are close the ad banner, the Internet log on to the Internet. The mo- A s s i s t N e t w o r k TM
video conferencing, are all done movable on the screen but you connection is terminated. Any ment you run out of your hard disk (www.assistnetwork.com.)
with the click of the mouse on the cannot avoid or close them. These program open while you are run- space, your account is disabled. As there is no portal software
Internet. banners run the advertisements of ning the Internet cannot overlap You must make room on your hard and there are no advertisements,
It was expensive to do all these other company’s products and the ad banners i.e. your Internet disk for more ads. You cannot de- there is no worry of running out
tasks but as the technology ad- services to generate the revenue Browser, word processor, lete the existing ads. The moment of disk space or having the con-
vanced the cost dropped. It has to support and run the operation spreadsheet etc. etc. This is a you delete them the whole system cerns of inappropriate ads.
dropped to a level that accessing of free Internet services. These nuisance. A typical ad banner to access the Internet is jeopard- AssistNetwork TM also pro-
the Internet is becoming free. You ads, if clicked with the mouse, take takes an inch or more space on ize. You need to uninstall and re- vides other free services too. Like
your screen in depth. Some of the install the software to access the having your own free fax number.
ad banners require you to click on Internet, provided you do have Any one can send you a fax or
the running ads in a certain enough disk space. voice mail on that telephone
amount of time or the Internet con- All these companies are run- number. This telephone number is
nection is dropped. The moment ning on this pattern to provide you assigned exclusive to you. You can
you click the ad, it will drive you the free Internet. They have their use it as a regular fax number for
to that particular Internet site Portal software. The portal soft- your personal or business use.
which is quite an interruption in ware is the one that you use to log The fax and voice messages sent
the middle of your personal & on to Internet with these services. by others will reach in your e-mail
business activities on the Internet. Using these free services you can- box. AssistNetworkTM will be pro-
Parents may have concerns for not directly log on to the Internet viding in future other services in
running ads in exchange for free with only clicking on your browser the area of web hosting, e-com-
Internet services. There are ads (like you do with your paid serv- merce, wireless internet, telephony
that may not be appropriate for ices.) You must log on through communication over the Internet
children i.e. adult ads or related these companies’ portal software to name a few.
products or services. The worth that runs the ad banners on your AssistNetworkTM can be vis-
of a free service is, thus, question- screen. (In the paid services the ited at their website
able. only requirement is to have the www.assistnetwork.com .
Voice of a Destitue and
Please Help Javed
Iqbal, a legal Canadian en-
trant on a MINISTER'S
Permit, who became com-
pletely paraplegic in a bad
car accident. By the Grace
of God he survived after long
hospitalization. The insur-
ance company has exhaused
all the specified fund on his
Now he totally depends
on the community for help.
He does not have any ac-
cess to the Ontario Health
Insurance Pland and Serv- tion would be greatly appre-
ices Assistance until the ciated.
year 2003 (proof of docu- Please make cheques
ments can be sent on re- payable to Javed Iqbal,
quest). 403-180 Sheridan Ave.
Please come forward and Toronto, Ontario M6K
generously spare even a dol- 3C7. Phone (416) 588-
lar for this innocent person. 6667 or send it directly to
May God help you, bless his bank account no
you and reward you in this 3140340, transit no.
world and in the Hereafter. 16042-004 TD bank, St.
To those who have al- Clair and Oakwood
ready donated, my heartfelt branch, 948 St. Clair Ave.
thanks and any further dona- West, TO, Ont. M6C 1C8
The Ambition, Rabi-u-Thani - Jamadah Awwal 1421, July - August 2000 12. The First Journal for Young Muslims in Canada
ISN A-Canada’s 26th
A-Canada’s Success Stories An Honour Well
by Sister Wilma, Staff Reporter Deser ved
reported by M. Basil Ahmad easy to follow and notes were easy Eighteen-year-old Nosheen
Mian, daughter of Mr. Tanvir Nosheen Mian receives the biggest
ISNA-Canada’s 26th Annual to take. One of his other lectures
Conference was held at the To- was about Ihsan, which is “to Ahmed Mian and Mrs. Shamim scholarship of its kind in Canada from
Mian, who fast tracked her way
ronto Congress Centre on the worship Allah (swt) as if you see
through high school, has been
weekend of May 20-21, 2000 CE him, but if you do not see him, you
(Safar 15-16, 1421 AH). The theme know that he sees you.” honoured to receive the biggest
of the conference was “Living Is- Another keynote speaker was scholarship of its kind in Canada time as she devoted herself to her “Deadlines are fairly early on
lam: Family, Youth, Community” Dr. Ingrid Mattson, who was born from Canada Trust. studies and her family. in the year, sometimes in October,
and it examined the issues and and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo. This scholarship entitles her to When asked what the award so it would be wise to obtain one,
concerns facing Canadian Mus- Since embracing Islam over thir- full tuition for four years of under- means to her, Nosheen said that it early on in the school year or at
lims as they continue to build and teen years ago, Sr. Ingrid has vis- graduate studies at any accredited means “hard work, and the time summer’s end from any Canada
develop their community. ited many Muslim countries, in- Canadian university or college, a and effort I’ve devoted to these Trust branch. Also, type all infor-
The conference was divided cluding Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, $3,500 stipend per year for the worthy causes has been recog- mation. If more space is needed,
up into ISNA, MSA, and MYNA and Morocco. She is fluent in clas- duration of the scholarship, and a nised. Furthermore, it brings rec- type it on a separate sheet and in-
sessions, with topics geared to- sical Arabic and received her guaranteed offer of summer em- ognition for the Muslim commu- dicate that you have done so on
wards adults, university/college Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the ployment during her studies. nity due to the causes we have the application itself.”
students, and high school stu- University of Chicago. She is cur- Nosheen first learned of this helped. As well, it obviously lifts She feels that impressions
dents, respectively. There were rently a professor at the Hartford scholarship through her school a great financial burden from my mean a lot and that more Muslims
also plenary sessions for every- Seminary in Connecticut. guidance counsellor, Ms. Cynthia shoulders.” should apply for available schol-
one that included: Living Islam in Sr. Ingrid focused on under- Henry of Weston Collegiate Insti- When asked what affect this arships.
the 21st Century, Travelling Along standing the importance of gain- tute, who encouraged her to fill out award has had on her immediate Well done Nosheen, and con-
the Straight Path, Striving for Ex- ing Islamic knowledge in conjunc- the papers and apply. family, she replied: “Although my gratulations to you and your par-
cellence, and Recapturing the tion with secular learning. She She fit the criteria that Canada parents and family are obviously ents!
Minds of Muslim Children: Islamic emphasised the fact that Halaqas Trust was looking for: “A well happy for what has happened, Nosheen has also been an ac-
Alternatives to Video Games. The (study circles) must be an integral rounded individual with good aca- they’re mainly just very thankful tive member of The Ambition and
Children’s Program included arts part of every student’s life. An demic standing who shows initia- to Allah (swt), for verily, all praise has freely given us her time help-
and crafts, skits, movies, physical essential point was that some of tive and gives of themselves un- is due to Allah (swt).” ing in our annual picnic and other
exercises, storytelling with Sr. the Prophet’s companions de- selfishly to worthy causes which Nosheen has some sugges- activities. We are very proud to
Rukhsana Khan, and Nasheeds voted themselves only to study- benefit others.” tions to make for would-be schol- have her on our volunteer list and
with Br. Dawud Wharnsby-Ali. ing the Qur’an and the Sunnah, In Nosheen’s case, she has arship winners. wish her all the best in the future.
Starting Saturday morning off but most were not “scholars” in been active through the auspices
was Br. Yusuf Islam, formerly today’s sense of the word. How- of the Muslim Ummah of Weston
known as pop star Cat Stevens, ever, this did not prevent them (MUW). As many of our readers
who defined culture in the Islamic from applying Islam to all aspects will remember from a previous ar-
context. He then turned his focus of their lives and confidently ticle, Ahmed Rafi Mian, Nosheen’s
on to secular countries and their spreading the pure message of Is- brother started this organization
degradation of culture: “Look at lam throughout the world. Sr. in 1994 while a student at Weston
the pathetic and unfortunate situ- Ingrid also encouraged us not to Collegiate in order to meet the Is-
ation of Turkey! They have gone ignore the use of computer tech- lamic requirement of Jummah
very low in degrading their women, nology to help in the teaching of prayer. The organization blos-
by depriving our young Islam. somed under his hard work and
Muslimahs from wearing Hijab Interestingly, on Saturday, the guidance and is currently in-
and from continuing their educa- MSA and MYNA sessions were volved in helping others as well
tion in their own country. Where packed to capacity. In some cases, as holding prayers. Ahmad, (who
are the human rights activists? people had to be turned away. Per- had also won a similar, though not
While there was a time when, this haps this was due to the nature of quite lucrative, scholarship 2 years
very country, Turkey, used to be the topics presented in those ses- ago,) as her elder brother, has al-
known for its justice to non-Mus- sions. For example, Br. Altaf ways been an inspiration to her
lims, and for freedom of expression Hussein told a large crowd about throughout the years. Nosheen
and it was when Turkey had the his near-death experience in an has participated in T-shirt sales,
Islamic Khilafah! This is what hap- accident and how that made him food/clothing drives, selling
pens when you remove Islam from become an “intentional Muslim.” chocolates, sporting tournaments,
the culture!” He went on to tell the young Mus- dinners, coin collecting, etc., in
Br. Yusuf did not stop there. lims that Allah (swt) would ask order to aid the people of Bosnia,
He talked about the hypocrisy of them on the Day of Judgement Chechnya, Kosova, Kashmir, Pal-
Western nations in their treatment how they spent their youth. When estine, as well as the local
of Muslim nations: “What was it asked why the youth should carry mosques. She did this at the same
that Europe was trying to eradi- the banner of Islam, he responded,
cate by the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of “Because we have zeal.”
Bosnia? It was the culture of Mus- Fortunately, on Sunday, con-
lims, for example, the mosques, ference organisers realised the at-
their names, their heritage, etc., traction to the youth sessions and
that they were afraid of, despite decided to move them to the larger
the fact that majority of Bosnian room used by the ISNA sessions.
Muslims were not even much prac- This was a good idea, as a capac-
tising at that time.” ity crowd attended all of Br.
Later in the day, Dr. Jamal Abdullah Al-Adhami’s sessions.
Badawi spoke about raising right- His sessions tended to focus on
eous children and had a good pres- women and gender-relation issues
entation that made use of in Islam. In one session, he ex-
PowerPoint slides. Everything was continued on page 4
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