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					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
        Future          Care
                                                                                                                         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
       Inside This
                                         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-
                                                                                                                                                                                  lished unedited

    Give Islam a chance to
    Giv          chance
                                                                                                                                                                                  regardless of the
                                                                             In Response to Our                             Muhammad’s                                            paper's policy. We
                                                                                                                                                                                  entertain all letters

         adicate pov
      er adicate pover ty!
                                                                              Reader’s Concern                              Date of Birth                                         except ones with
                                                                                                                                                                                  impolite language.
                                                                                 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
                                                                                                                                                                                  telephone number.
                                                                                                                                                                                  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
                                                                                                                      lated issues.
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 steve.kowch@cfrb.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-
                                                                                                                                                                      Prophet (pbuh)
(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
                                                                                                                                   Department Editors
 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-          editors@theambition.com                       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
                                                                                  Learning Disabilities
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

Soldier s
                                           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
                                                                                                                                                                   than Sword.
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        isna@isnacanada.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
                                                                                                                                                            in welcome,
                                                                                                                                                         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
                                                                                                                                                            (pbuh) spent
                                                                                                                                                         A day or two with you,
                                                                                                                                                         Would you go doing the things
                                                                                                                                                         You always do?

                                                                                                                                                         Would you go right on and say
                                                                                                                                                            the things
                                                                                                                                                         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
                                                                                                                                                            every prayer?
                                                                                                                                                         Without putting on a frown?
                                                                                                                                                         And would you always jump up
                                                                                                                                                         For Fajr at dawn?

                                                                                                                                                         Would you sing the songs you
                                                                                                                                                            always sing?
                                                                                                                                                         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
                                                               Paul enger
                                                          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

             Newsroom                                                                                                         Obituary
                                         Khalid Ghait Released                                                           Maulana Muhammad Yusuf
Halal Food
                                                                                                                         Ludhianwi shot to death
Bill Passed                                  (Toronto: June 23, 2000): The
                                         Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties
                                                                                1995 for his religious practices,
                                                                                including associating with people
in New
                                                                                                                         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.
     Manufacturers, slaughter-
                                         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
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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:
                                                       erting                    Past
                                                    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       islamhcchat@yahoo.com.
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
                                                                                                                            riday                                  said.
                                                                                                                                                                       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
                                                                                     Brampton, Burlington,
                                                                                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
                                                                                          Aff          Strikes
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
             Paraplegic person
     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
          Annual Conference
                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                    Canada Trust.
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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