Houston Skyline in 2016

Houston Skyline in 2016

Guest Blog Post By AbdulAhed Farooqi


Before moving to Toronto I used to live in Houston for almost 10 1/2 years both as a student and as a working professional.

I was very active in student organizations at the University of Houston and was an officer at the U of H MSA.

As the university was a commuter school, students from all over the greater Houston area attended the main campus and I was able to make lots of friends and contacts across the city and its numerous suburbs.

In Ramadan I used to attend the different Masjid for Iftaars; it was a nice way to see my friends as well.

I actually was inspired by one of my friend’s brother, Bassam Tariq, who at the time was going around the US in 30 days to visit 30 Masjids in 30 different states.

I wanted to try to do the same in Houston but was only able to visit 17 masjids for Ramadan, I think this was back in 2009.

My Local Masjid in Houston : Masjid ElFarouq

My Local Masjid in Houston : Masjid ElFarouq

What’s interesting and unique about Houston’s Masjid communities is that they are based around work places.

For example, if someone’s parents worked in the oil and gas industry, they would tend to buy a house in the energy corridor and attend the local masjid there.

If someone’s parent worked at NASA, they would live in the clear lake area.

In this sense each different neighborhood had its own experience as it was mainly divided by professionals, at least for the 1st generation Americans.

I also got to live how each different community developed over the years: when there was no masjid, to funding an entire masjid with a school and community center, for example.

I ended up leaving the US and moving to Canada due to Immigration reasons back in 2017, however, I still consider Houston to be home away from home.

“In a way Houston is like my Makkah and Toronto is like my Madinah.”

– AbdulAhed Farooqi

The Muslim community in Houston, from my own personal experience, is far more organized with many different organizations providing services to Texans and many of the great scholars and Islamic teachers are based around Texas as well.

I don’t travel around the Greater Toronto Area as much as I should, but I have seen some similarities at some of the suburban masjids for example in Mississauga that reminded me of the communities in Houston.

It’s also very hard to be social in Toronto, with meeting new people in general as well, however I do think that had I went to University in Toronto instead things would be a lot more easier from a social standpoint.

From my experience, I highly recommend people to join any organization to volunteer and meet people, especially at your MSA or masjid.

It is a great way to connect with others and to give back to the community as well.

* * *

Abdulahed Farooqi stands next to Synott Mosque. Inspired by our project last year (2009), Abdulahed is visiting 30 mosques in 30 days in Houston. – Bassam Tariq

Abdulahed Farooqi stands next to Synott Mosque. Inspired by our project last year [2009], Abdulahed is visiting 30 mosques in 30 days in Houston. – Bassam Tariq

Guest Blog Post By Jen Hodge

This is a masjid inside the Albanian Muslim society on Annette Street in Toronto.

It was part of a Jane’s Walk on the History of Muslims in Canada – led by volunteer HiMY SYeD who shared his deep insights about roots of Muslim community in Toronto and the need to combat Islamophobia and other forms of racism.

In front of the Albanian Muslim Society is the ONLY Muslim heritage plaque in Toronto – which is dedicated to the memory of Regep Assim.

He was a founder of first Islamic Centre and masjid on 3047 Dundas Street West; a humble storefront.

It was created in the memory of Sami Kerim.

The Kerim brothers owned series of nightclubs in the mid 20th century and as well-respected as their cousin Regep Assim.

The 60-odd Muslims in Toronto at that time were mostly Albanian or Bosnian.

Every Muslim was welcome and there was a good fellowship.

The tour included a stop at the city’s oldest synagogue,

And several plaques around the Junction.

By 1969 there was a flood of immigrants-about 5000 Muslims and they needed a bigger space.

A Presbyterian church in high park was purchased and converted.

Known as the Jami mosque.

Simple conversion, some small embellishments.

Jami is noted on a local sign.

There are now 120 mosques in Toronto and about 424,000 Muslims.

Many groups have splintered off due to varied practices and politics.

We were also shown the location of the first spice store and halal meat shops in Toronto – important additions to the culture of the city.

Understanding and acceptance of different cultures and beliefs is what makes Toronto a great place and Jane’s Walks let you discover more about your community!

“Cities have the capability of providing Something for Everybody,

Only because,

And only when,

They are created by Everybody.”

— Jane Jacobs

* * *


Thank you for joining my Jane’s Walk,

Walking and staying all the way til the very very very very end and our final walk stop.

I am beyond Grateful for your Kind and Generous Acknowledgement.

Thank you,


Eid Mubarak to Everyone From Gaza - Palestine

“This year’s Eidul Fitr feels different for many, me included.

“It’s not the usual joyous occasion I’ve come to expect.

“In fact,

I feel a sense of guilt celebrating,

even after a month of fasting.”

Guest Blog Post By Faisal Kutty

The ongoing violence and loss of innocent lives at the hands of Israeli forces have left countless individuals worldwide, particularly Muslims, in a state of shock and mourning.

Families in Palestine are grieving the loss of their loved ones, while others are barely surviving amidst makeshift hospitals and homes.

Indeed, when we consider the crises unfolding in places like Ukraine, Myanmar (Burma), Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Somalia, Mexico, Brazil, Syria, and beyond, it becomes difficult to find cause for celebration.

As human beings, and as Muslims in particular, it is our moral obligation to stand in solidarity with those who are suffering.

The month-long exercise of fasting was meant to instill empathy for the less fortunate within us. Have we truly learned anything from this experience?

While I’m not qualified to issue religious decrees, I firmly believe that this Eid – more than ever – should be observed with simplicity, deep reflection, compassion, and support for those affected by the atrocities committed by various regimes and groups.

While celebration is a part of Eid, Islam places great emphasis on caring for our fellow human beings, who as Ali, the fourth Caliph of Islam, pointed out are either brothers/sisters in faith or in humanity.

Let us use this Eid to embody the principles of Islam by showing solidarity with the oppressed and suffering around the world, as well as those in our own communities.

While we acknowledge the suffering of all, we must recognize the unique plight of the Palestinians.

Too many world powers, including those we call home, are either enabling, supporting, or standing by silently while offering mere lip service.

In memory of the 35,000 plus innocent lives taken by Israeli forces, and the hundreds taken by Hamas, let us dedicate this Eid to the departed souls, those still trapped under rubble, those enduring suffering, those orphaned, those being held hostage in Gaza and Israel, and those displaced by these war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Our show of solidarity may not bring them back, but it will convey a message of love, support, and empathy.

While foregoing or toning down our celebrations won’t directly change their circumstances, our solidarity and prayers can offer hope to those who still believe in humanity and strive for their basic human dignity.

Let us pray to ease the suffering all people who are oppressed.

Let us pray for an end to oppression and killings.

Let us pray for a Free Palestine.

Let us not back down from calling for and working to end killings of innocents wherever or whoever they may be.

Let us pray and work for peace.

Eid Mubarak to all who observe this occasion.

Feel free to like, comment and share for broader reach.

“The moon has been sighted in multiple places across the globe.

Wed April 10 is the 1st of Shawwal!

Please note our Eid Salat timings in the image below”

Sayeda Khadija Centre

Salaat Al Kusouf – Prayer of The Solar Eclipse

After Dhuhr – Monday April 8 2024

2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Bramalea Islamic Cultural CentreBICC

25 Kings Cross Road,

Brampton, Ontario

Join us in reviving the Sunnah of the Eclipse Prayer (Salaatul Kusuf) on Monday from 2:00 -3:00 PM at IIT.

The prayer is a special prayer during an eclipse,

consisting of two rakaats,

with each rakaat having two Rukis and two recitations.

Be prepared for two long rakaats!

Imam : AbdulFatah Jahedar

Salaatul Kusuf – how to perform it.

How to pray eclipse prayer

1. The worshipper recites the opening Takbir and the opening supplication, then he seeks refuge with Allah (from the devil).

2. Then he recites Al-Fatihah, followed by a lengthy recitation.

3. Then he bows, making it lengthy.

4. Then he rises from bowing and says: Sami`a Allahu liman hamidah, Rabbana wa laka Al-hamd.

5. Then he recites Al-Fatihah again, followed by another lengthy recitation, but shorter than the first recitation.

6. Then he bows again, making it lengthy but shorter than the first time.

7. Then he rises from bowing and says: Sami`a Allahu liman hamidah, Rabbana wa laka Al-hamd, and stands for a long time.

8. Then he prostrates twice, making each prostration lengthy, and sits for a long time between the two prostrations.

7. Then he gets up for the second Rak`ah, and does the same as he did in the first Rak`ah.

8. Then he completes the final sitting with Tashhud, Du’a Ibrahim and a Du’a and ends with the Salaam.”

ReBlogged from Islamic Institute of Toronto.

“Join us tonight as we complete the recitation of the Qur’an and make Du’a for the acceptance of our fasting and good deeds during the blessed month, and as we anticipate Laylatul Qadr.

Our program begins with Salaatul Esha, followed by an update about IIT after the first 4 Rakaats of Tarawih.

Qari AbdulFatah Jahedar will lead us in the Du’a of Khatam and our Shuyukh will provide some inspiration on keeping up the spirit of Ramadan and supporting IIT.

Sweet boxes will be distributed after the Du’a.”

“The Solar Eclipse: A Sign From Allah

The Resilient Hour: Friday Edition

Shaikh Abdool Hamid”

How online Ramadan content has brought Muslim ideas around faith, worship and community into the mainstream

London’s Ramadan Lights in 2024.
Alexey Fedorenko|Shutterstock

Khadijah Elshayyal, The University of Edinburgh and Laura Jones, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a time of increased personal spirituality and introspection. The hope is to draw closer to God.

The sacred month is also a time when Muslims in non-majority Muslim spaces become more visible to the wider public through collective activity such as fasting, communal prayer and breaking the fast together.

For a long time, discussions about these Ramadan practices in the UK were largely confined to mosques and community gatherings in person. They were also confined to Muslim online spaces, such as what people refer to as “Muslim Twitter”.

Increasingly though, Ramadan content online has shifted towards the mainstream. This increased visibility allows Muslim ideas around faith, worship and community to be heard and more widely engaged with.

A close-up of an open Quran with a tasbeeh on it.
Ramadan is a time of individual and communal practice.
GR Stocks|Unsplash

Everyday interactions

Research suggests that during Ramadan, Muslims are more frequently questioned about their religion and practices. Non-Muslims asking those who are fasting if it means “not even water” is such a common trope that the phrase has been satirised into a meme.

But the question speaks profoundly to the curiosity that Ramadan practices often elicit in everyday interactions that people who are not Muslim have with those who are. For the past three years, the BBC has run an eponymous podcast, Not Even Water, which explores experiences of Ramadan and debunks misconceptions. The 2024 season has covered people’s first time fasting and their journey to faith as well as the many ways in which Eid festivities can vary.

Increased focus on equality and diversity in UK public institutions suggests this curiosity is to be expected. It is also spurred by local residents noting the heightened buzz of activity in mosques on Ramadan evenings and on social media.

Individual Muslims and organisations alike might welcome Ramadan by posting duas (words of prayer). The Welsh organisation, Now in a Minute Media, devises a short video each year. Its 2024 offering, titled The Son and the Moon, tells a story of intergenerational values through the theme of moonsighting and the Welsh countryside.

Mainstream venues and retail outlets are also, increasingly, developing sophisticated social media campaigns. They are eager to tap into the business potential Ramadan provides.

In 2024, the It’s Not Ramadan Without campaign, led by Muslim media outlet Amaliah in partnership with Sainsbury’s, has centred Muslim women foodies and content-creators. The fact that the retailer has chosen to financially support such a campaign suggests it sees value in the content Amaliah is producing and indeed value in promoting Ramadan to its customer base.

Many non-Muslim public figures, particularly politicians, now routinely share Ramadan greetings. This is often taken as an opportunity to showcase good relations with Muslim communities or to acknowledge their “contributions”.

Digital tools

In some cases, as the evolution of the Ramadan Tent Project shows, online activity has been instrumental in bringing a project into the mainstream. Founded in 2013, this grassroots campaign has grown from a student-organised evening meal in central London to a nationwide bridge-building community project with an international presence.

During COVID lockdowns, social media users introduced the hashtag #myopeniftar to connect people breaking fast in isolation. This hashtag has continued to be used, even as the Ramadan Tent Project has shifted towards high-profile iftar events at landmark locations across the UK. Digital advertising, documentation and online streaming have allowed it to maintain its momentum and reach wider audiences. This, in turn, has fuelled attendance and engagement with in-person activities.

The Ramadan Lights display in central London, which was introduced in 2023, is another salient example of how digital tools have been central to a project’s growth, despite the tension and contestation it has also triggered.

Several right-wing commentators have expressed disquiet. Some have seen the lights as representing formal recognition of Islam from the London Mayor. Tim Dieppe, the head of public policy at the non-profit organisation, Christian Concern, has said they disrespect Christianity. As such, the project has been subjected to populist scaremongering and Islamophobic sentiment.

Ramadan prioritises personal spirituality and connection with God. It also inspires outreach to the wider community. Muslim-led platforms – such as Amaliah, Now in a Minute Media and the Ramadan Tent Project – function as what feminist sociologist Nancy Fraser calls “subaltern counterpublics”. These are spaces in which marginalised groups organise in order to increase their voice in the wider public sphere.

Digital tools and social media in particular have allowed these counterpublics to promote their Ramadan messages to a broader audience including non-Muslims. They have granted Muslim voices greater visibility and greater agency, enabling believers to speak for themselves and on their own terms.

Khadijah Elshayyal, Research Fellow, Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World, The University of Edinburgh and Laura Jones, Post-Doctoral Researcher (Digital British Islam), University of Wales Trinity Saint David

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Bayaan after Taraweeh about the recitation covered during the 24th night of Ramadan 1445.

Brother Ibrahim Hussain, NCCM’s Community Engagement Officer in Ontario,

Addressed the Congregation in-between Isha and start of Taraweeh Prayers inside Bramalea Islamic Cultural Centre :

Brother Ibrahim provided updates on recent advocacy and ongoing work being done by the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

  • NCCM.ca/donate

    “The Attitude of Gratitude

    Imam Zijad Delic

    The Resilient Hour live from the Islamic Institute of Toronto”