Eid ul-Fitr 2021

Page 1

Eid ul-Fitr 2021

The Legacy of Ramadan Dr. Munir El-Kassem

Adapting to Eid in 2021 Zeba Hashmi

Hope and Optimism in Islam Diana Suleiman


ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

Do we still feel the pain and grief of a mother who just lost her family in Syria? The hunger of countless families in Yemen who have nothing to eat tonight? loneliness of an orphaned child? With a world full of tragedy, we can become paralyzed by sadness. Yet, we each have the power to answer the call of someone in need. Whether your Zakat or Sadaqa, imagine the feeling of relief when someone This Ramadan, don’t stop feeling. Channel your sadness into action. Help us respond as one body to those who are desperately in need.

Show them that We are One DONATE TODAY

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can sponsor an orphan for an entire year

CONTACT OUR REGIONAL REP Saimah Sarwar Regional Fundraising Coordinator - Southwestern Ontario Saimah.sarwar@islamicreliefcanada.org (226) 926-8438

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Inside 1 Editor's Letter 2 Message from Mayor Ed Holder 3

The Legacy of Ramadan

Dr. Munir El-Kassem

5 Adapting to Eid in 2021

Zeba Hashmi

6 Stop Talking About Other People (Backbiting), Really.

12 Hope And Optimism In Islam

Diana Suleiman

14 After Ramadan

Sara Elsadik

15 On Anxiety Omar Rajeh 18 My Ramadan, My Eid

Lila Tarek Soufan

Ridah Asghar

19 St. Thomas Islamic Center



20 Eid Reminders

Maurice Lacerte


Virtual Interfaith Iftar 2021

22 Interview with Dawud Wharnsby

9 Kindness and Respect For Parents

Michael Vader

10 Palestine…

Ali Abdul Rahim Chahbar

Imam Dr. Jamal Taleb

25 Recipe 20 In Memoriam 28 Forest City Islamic Organizations 29 Eid Events

In the spirit of unity and collaboration, leaders from the London Muslim Mosque, Islamic Center of Southwestern Ontario, Muslim Association of Canada London Chapter, Muslim Youth Association of London, Bosnian Canadian Islamic Centre London, North London Islamic Center, Hyatt Mosque and AlTaqwa Academy formed a City-wide COVID-19 Muslim Organization Task Force. The mandate of this Task Force was to establish evidence based guidance and coordination of a unified response among all Muslim organizations in light of the evolving situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue in a provincial lockdown, with hospitals still operating at full capacity in terms of caring for Covid patients, we must continue to stay vigilant and follow public health guidelines to ensure our safety, the safety of our community, and the safety of those on the front lines of health care, who are risking their lives to keep us safe


Haris Iftikhar Ali D. Chahbar EDITING

Ali A Chahbar Darwish A. Chahbar Nawaz Tahir Michael Vader Sahar Zimmo Thanks to all our contributors.

and healthy. Yes, we feel upset the more we are away from our Mosques and each other, but it also gives us time to self-reflect, self-study and work on our iman in person. There are many online resources to use for this, and our Institutions are putting a lot of programming online. Please focus on medical best practices, and not what might be sent to you through social media. There is a lot of disinformation out there and we cannot afford to be distracted by those whispers. Muslim Health Care experts and scholars from across Canada and North America have confirmed that the vaccines are halal, safe and effective. If you are concerned about any side effects, please speak to your doctor, who will know your personal situation the best. The Canadian Muslims Covid-19 Task Force (cmcovidtf.com) reminds us that it is the collective duty of Muslims towards those who are vulnerable and to protect our community - that is the Prophetic way. May Allah swt bless us with His bounty and mercy and give us the strength to stay united and to stay safe. Jazaka Allah Khairan, Br. Nawaz Tahir Chair, London Muslims Covid-19 Task Force.

If you have any questions/comments, please email us at


Also available online at:


© 2021 Under The Sun. For permission to reproduce any article or content in this magazine, contact forestcitymuslim@gmail.com

Editor's Letter Last year, when we celebrated Eid during a lockdown, never could we have imagined that one year later, we would spend another eid in lockdown. It is something we can never get used to, but with each test that comes to us we iron out the wrinkles and get another chance to find a way to get closer to Allah (swt). So, InshaAllah, we use our experiences from the past year to make things easier and less inconvenient and try to build on what we are doing. This Eid comes to us with another element. It is not just the anguish of the pandemic, but also the stories of tragedy and atrocities being committed against our Brothers and Sisters in the sacred land and in particular at Al Aqsa Mosque. So, Eid becomes a reminder of our faith and a time to remember our Brothers and Sisters, also in places like Yemen, Myanmar, Syria, Kashmir and our Uyghur Brothers and Sisters too. Our faith tells us to be generous - with our duas, our hearts, our wallets and our advocacy. Doing this allows us to let the legacy of the month of Ramadan continue and stay close to us. Your generosity and continued and sustained awareness and support will be rewarded. We are pleased to bring you this edition which relates to Eid, but also takes a glance at other issues that relate to us on a personal level and to our collective. Issues that we hopefully worked on during Ramadan that we can continue to work or maybe start addressing through self-reflection. Eid is a celebration. So, let's celebrate what we have accomplished over the last 30 days and let us try to make this Eid as enjoyable as possible for our kids. Eid is a well earned reward for all of us, but in particular it is the kind of event that should infuse great pride and faith in our kids. On behalf of Forest City Muslim, Eid ul-Fitr Mubarak. Ali D. Chahbar


www.forestcitymuslim.ca Eid ul-Fitr 2020 Eid ul-Adha 2020

Ramadan 1441 AH / April 2020


Beyond Ramadan: A River of Hope

Sh Aarij Anwer

So This Is Eid And What Have We Done?

Reflections on Ramadan Past

Lena Hassan

Zeba Hashmi

Eid Reflections

Filling The Void

Yasin Dwyer

Zoltan Kiss

Faith Into Action

Youth Have A Unique Edge With Ramadan

Faisal Joseph

Omar Sallam

An Interview With Nazem Kadri ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Adha 2020

Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim



May 2020

Assalamu Alaikum,

Dear Friends,

Thank you for inviting me to share in this wonderful celebration with you. A very blessed and Happy May 2020

On behalf of London City Council, it’s my sincere pleasure to extend my warmest greetings to everyone celebrating Eid-elDear Friends, Fitr. As Ramadan comes to an end, it’s a time when Muslims in It is wellour earned and so richly deserved. I believe thatcelebrate this time next year we’ll beof able to gather and community come together and the fasting On behalf of London City Council, it’s my sincere pleasure Ramadan. is seen spiritual celebration of Allah’s provision celebrate together in It person. I had theagreat pleasure of Eid-elspeaking late last month at your virtual to extend my warmest greetings toas everyone celebrating strength and endurance. Fitr. As of Ramadan to an end, it’sto a join timeyou when interfaith iftar, so comes it’s an honour again on Muslims this veryinspecial occasion. Eid Mubarak.

our community come together and celebrate the fasting of Ramadan. It is seen as a spiritual celebration of Allah’s provision Ramadan is a month of spiritual renewal and recommitment to the of strength and endurance. Beyond discipline, Ramadan instills a sense of heartfelt empathy and we extend that empathy to our

values of gratitude, charity, and compassion. As you rejoice to

brothers and sisters in India who are now facing unimaginable pain and heartache as a result of this Ramadan is a monththe of spiritual renewalIand recommitment to the delight welcome new moon, hope you find much awful virus. I know that Ramadan teaches how strengthen values of gratitude, charity, and compassion. Asto you rejoice toour brotherhood and that brotherhood and fulfillment in this sacred celebration. welcome the new moon, I hope you find much delight teaches how to be welcoming to all who share this land. Those traits are needed now more than and fulfillment in this sacred celebration. ever. With heartfelt enthusiasm and pride, I applaud you for your With heartfelt enthusiasmtoand pride, I applaud for your commitment preserving the you significance of Eid-el-Fitr. A time to commitment to preserving the significance of Eid-el-Fitr. A time to appreciate the freedom we have to and celebrate cultural andanother religious Ramadan is a month of mercy bonding. Muslims all over the world help one and help appreciate the freedom we haveand to celebrate cultural religious tradition in Canada. tradition in Canada. those outside their community, spreading that spirit of mercy and love to others. The same is true right here. London Ontario all community of us know and love would Diversity is The our greatest strengththat - your initiatives and simply not be the city today it Diversity is our greatest strength your community initiatives and cultural outreach have madecommunity a tremendously impact in is without you. Our Muslim feedspositive the hungry, generously supports those in need and cultural outreach have made a tremendously positive impact in our community. there’s no greater gift than to give freely of oneself. our community. Let me also thank you for diligently working and finding ways during this pandemic to maintain fasting, spiritual reflection and To you,Let letthose me say how personally grateful I am, and on behalf ofand London City Council, me also thank you for diligently working finding ways I am honoured service to less fortunate.

during this pandemic tosisters, maintain reflection to join you, my Muslim brothers and as wefasting, celebrate spiritual this most holy occasionand together. I wish Best wishes for continued peaceful prosperity, and Eid Mubarak. service to those less fortunate. you all a very happy Eid Mubarak. Shukran.

Kind regards, Best

wishes for continued peaceful prosperity, and Eid Mubarak.

Kind regards,

Ed Holder Mayor, City of London Ed Holder

Mayor, City of London

Ed Holder Mayor, City of London


ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

The Legacy of Ramadan Dr. Munir El-Kassem with Allah Subhanahu Wat’ala.

Prophetic Sunnah, fasting during Ramadan should develop in us the

Yahya Ben Abi Katheer mentioned

tendency to do all acts of worship

that among the most popular

close to perfection.

supplications of early Muslims was: “O Allah deliver me unto Ramadan,

The Prophet (s) taught us that

and deliver Ramadan unto me,

fasting was one of the three

One of the most common

and receive it from me having

gateways of goodness (Abwaab Al-

admonitions delivered by Imams

accepted my worship therein.” Our

Khair) that should be kept wide open

during the Eid-ul-Fitr Khutbah is

predecessors used to understand

throughout the year, not only during

reminding the congregants not to

the value and unmatched status

Ramadan. That is why fasting was

waste the legacy of Ramadan. To

of Ramadan. They used to wait for

prescribed as a penance (Kaffara)

revert to a lifestyle that does not

its advent with excitement. They

for committing undesirable deeds

conform with Islamic teachings after

would get ready not by packing

by mistake. It is also recommended

spending an entire month trying to

special food items and scanning

on certain days of the week and

fix that lifestyle is certainly a waste of

television entertainment lists for

the lunar months, as well as during

valuable energy. Thus, Imams remind

the programs they would watch,

certain seasons of specialized

us not to limit our acts of worship

but rather by extra prayers, fasting,

worship like the ninth and tenth

only to Ramadan (Ramadaniyyin),

and charity especially during the

of Muharram and the ninth of Zul-

but rather spread it throughout the

pre-Ramadan months of Rajab and

Hijjah. These Prophetic recipes were

year and qualify to be categorized

Sha’aban. My words are meant as

made to keep the spirit of Ramadan

as consistently God conscious

a sincere reminder to emulate the

alive throughout the year.


example of those early luminaries (As-Salaf As-Saleh) and rediscover

At-Tirmithi reported on the authority

Al-Mu’alla Bin Al-Fadl narrated that

the divine bounties within the month

of Ma’ath Ben Jabal that he had

early Muslims used to implore Allah

of Ramadan. Such bounties need to

asked the Messenger of Allah (s)

Subhananu Wat’ala for six months

be enjoyed throughout the year.

to tell him of a deed that would grant him entry into Jannah and

to favour them with Ramadan, and they used to maintain its legacy for

Ramadan is meant to be an annual

keep him away from the Fire. The

the following five months before they

training camp that ends up placing

Messenger answered by saying: “You

would repeat the cycle all over again.

us firmly on the Straight Path (As-

have asked a very serious question

It is clear from this narration that

Sirat Al-Mustaqeem) leading toward

whose answer could be made easy

Ramadan used to be the focal point

Jannah. Psychologists maintain that

for someone blessed by Allah: You

for early Muslims. There is no reason

doing something consistently for

should worship none but Allah

why it should not be the same in

21 days or more will lead to habit

without associating any partners

modern times, especially that we are

formation. Based on this scientific

with Him, and you should establish

more than ever in need to reconcile

fact, if done properly as per our

daily prayers and give obligatory Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim


charity and fast during the month

predict what comfort to the eyes

death befalls you.” The hint

of Ramadan and make pilgrimage

has been concealed from them (by

here is that we shouldn’t worship

to the House of Allah in Makkah if

Allah) as a reward for their good

Allah intermittently but rather

you are capable of undertaking the


continuously. And in the authentic

trip. Then the Prophet (s) went on

Hadeeth reported by Bukhari

to say: “Shall I guide you to the

There is a beautiful hint in the

through the authority of ‘Aisha: “…

gateways of goodness?: Fasting

Qur’an (Surat Al-Sharh: 7,8) that

and the most beloved deeds to

is a shield (from evil), and charity

Allah Subhanahu Wata’la does not

Allah are those that are consistent

extinguishes sins similar to water

only avail of Himself during certain

even if they are few in number.”

extinguishing a flame and one’s

seasons, but He is permanently

prayer in the middle of the night.”

available for us to reach out to Him:

So, let us not waste the legacy of

Then he recited from the Qur’an:

“So once you have fulfilled your

Ramadan, after Ramadan has left us,

“They do not rest on their sides (in

duty, strive in devotion and turn to

but instead keep the spirit and flame

sleeping) as they are engaged in

your Lord with hope.”

of this blessed time of year burning

calling their Lord out of fear and

within us, long enough for it to reach

hope. Such are those who spend

Also, in Surat Al-Hijr (99): “Worship

out of our sustenance. No soul can

your Lord continuously until

us once again, inshaAllah.

Eid Mubarak from our family at Siskinds to yours.

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ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021


Adapting to Eid in 2021 Zeba Hashmi

SubhanAllah, another month of

over time that we could adapt. Work

handed candy and other delights

and schooling tailored themselves to

by friends and family members is

remote methods of operating, even

no longer a vision to be seen. We

though it has not been optimal. We

have re-organized our abodes as

are still in the process of customizing

the venue for daily prayers, Jumu’ah

our lives differently as to how we

prayers, and Eid prayer. We have

knew it and working with the new

created beautiful prayer spaces and


nooks for our children to read in, and we have embellished our homes

Ramadan in isolation has come to an end. Once again, we have obtained

Ramadan is a time known to be

with meaningful décor to bring a

a renewed understanding of our

structured and disciplined but also

somewhat semblance to the old

priorities and an improved spiritual

a time of jubilant gatherings when



we break our fasts. Throughout these difficult times, when the health

Our adaptation requires imagination

As time continues to progress with

and safety of everyone is of utmost

at times. A simple item such as

the limitations of the pandemic, we

importance, we have adapted to

a gift bag is no longer available

have had to adapt. Through Allah’s

remaining in the company of our

due to provincial mandates on

(swt) will we have been able to

immediate family within our four

restricting all party related items to

continue throughout the challenges.

walls for mandated durations.

the public. However, upon perusing the stationary isle (still permitted)

Some of us have had to experience illness, or witness suffering of loved

As we celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, we do so

and using a little imagination, an

ones, or a more difficult experience

knowing that we cannot gather for

alternative method of gift packaging

of seeing loved ones pass away. The

prayers nor with extended family

was found. Whether we realize it or

pandemic has increased distance

members. We have experienced

not, we have the capability to adapt

between families and friends but

the challenges of Ramadan 2020

to the changes in our environment.

at the same time has increased the

and that has orientated us for the

We must adapt for the purpose

fondness for each other.

expectations of Ramadan 2021.

of, firstly, our health and survival.

The hardest aspects are not being

Secondly, we must adapt for the

When the pandemic began, we were

able to see hundreds of people

welfare of society; to continue to

insufficiently equipped with lack

gathering at a park, hall, or at the

educate our children, to continue

of personal protective equipment

masjid for the morning Eid prayer.

to provide services, to continue to

available. Overtime we were able to

Not being able to see the flurry of

offer hope and maintain a somewhat

acquire the masks and sanitizers to

worshippers dressed in their best

normal routine.

assist in our daily tasks and protect

attires or the radiant smiles, the

us. Initially, the concept of distancing

hugs, and greetings after the Eid

Despite the limitations, this Eid-al-

and isolating appeared to be an

prayer are no longer a reality this

Fitr 2021 will inshaAllah still bring us

arduous task, however, we realized

year once again. The children being

joy and sensations of gratefulness, Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim


thankfulness, appreciation, and a

any situation that is presented. For

resilience and ability to support

heightened sense of value for the

those of us who can adapt it is also

others, we can continue to adjust

most important aspects in life.

incumbent upon us to reach out

ourselves and navigate through

With this shift in expectations and

to those facing difficulties. Firstly,

these times.

attitude, we can, inshaAllah, tackle

with Allah’s Mercy, then with our

Stop Talking About Other People (Backbiting), Really. Ridah Asghar We’ve just fasted the blessed

you mention that which is not in

about people, you become

month of Ramadan and the lessons

him, then you have slandered him.”

suspicious of their every behaviour

and principles we’ve learned and

[Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasai'l al-Shi`ah,

and this brings you down the path

practiced cannot be forgotten.

vol. 8, hadith no. 16312]

of evil that Satan wants. We all know

Hopefully one of the lessons we’ve

how hard it is to keep a secret, so

learned and will continue working on

Gheebah is the term that is used in

when information about someone

is not to talk about people behind

Islam to refer to backbiting. Whether

we are having a problem with is

their backs, or backbiting.

this person portrays the qualities

discovered, imagine how hard it

that you accuse him of or not, the

would be to keep this ‘secret’ to

We’ve all had those moments when

very act of engaging in this behaviour


we are upset at a friend or family

causes damage to this person’s

member and want to complain about

reputation and humiliates them.

Cleanse your Heart

them to someone that we confide

Rather than spreading peace the way

When we understand that Allah is

in. While it may not seem like it

Islam has intended for you to, you are

all-knowing and that we will be held

wouldn’t cause any damage to the

increasing hatred in the world and

accountable for every sin that we

person since they are not present,

creating room for hostility.

commit, we will then begin to realize the consequences of our actions.

the implications of engaging in these conversations are damaging more

Allah has emphasized the severity

While backbiting is so widespread

than we think. Following are a few

of this sin and outlined heavy

and has become a part of people’s

areas I felt are important to cover

punishments for this distasteful act.

daily conversations, here are a few

pertaining to this topic.

The words that come from a person’s

ways you can free yourself from this

mouth can be just as destructive as



the actions they take. These words

“It is to mention about your

can cause blood relationships to end

brother that which he detests.”

and turn friends into enemies.

“Know that when you mention that which is in him, you have committed his gheebah, and when


ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

The Problem with Assumptions When you start assuming things

Avoid surrounding yourself with people that validate this kind of behaviour and encourage you to continue gossiping about others. As they say, the company you

keep defines you. Make friends

Make it a daily habit to take some

recommend that you do your own

who bring you closer to the path

time out for yourself and focus

research to learn more about the

of Islam rather than deter you

on what you are grateful for. You

Islamic rulings that govern this nasty

from your destination.

can write these down or take

act. The more we know, the less

note mentally. Focusing on the

tempted we are to engage in it!

Master the art of patience through remaining silent when you have negative opinions about someone. The Prophet Muhammad (s) said “whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should speak what is good or keep silent” [Sahih al-Bukhari 6136, vol. 8, hadith no.163]

good in our life helps us replace our negative thoughts and stops

Wishing you and your families a

us from comparing ourselves to

blessed and healthy Ramadan



These are just a few tips that can

“Indeed, Allah is accepting of

help you on this journey of personal

repentance and merciful.”

and spiritual development. I highly

[Surah Al Hujurat, Ayah 12]

aware of any Muslims anywhere in

have made it my business to attend

the city.

(virtually, since COVID) various

Greetings Maurice Lacerte

houses of prayers, of diverse However, during my lifetime, I have

denominations, and to meet some

had the privilege to study and

of those in attendance. As a result,

work closely in communities with

I have learned to appreciate and

individuals of various races, cultures

celebrate the common heritage of

and religious beliefs. Furthermore,

the three Abrahamic Faith Traditions:

Let there be peace on earth and let it

today my neighbourhood is also

Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. And

begin with us working together

highly diversified; a richness to be

today, many of those individuals are


now highly valued friends. We share

I was born in Manchester, N.H. of

a deep sense of gratitude for the

white French-Canadian parents and

I firmly believe that every individual

many blessings received, as well as, a

raised as a Roman Catholic; to this

on this planet has been created by

common interest to work together to

date, I remain a faithful practicing

God. As such, we are all brothers and

assist less fortunate individuals and

Roman Catholic.

sisters deserving to be respected.

families in our community.

Furthermore, God has taught me to Back then, 99.9% of my friends and

love God and to love my neighbours.

Let there be peace on earth and let it

acquaintances where decedents of

God did not tell me only to love my

begin with us working together.

white French-Canadian Catholics. I

white Catholic neighbours.

knew the one black family that lived


nearby and one Jewish family that

While firmly rooted in my Roman

was very kind to my father. I was not

Catholic Faith, for many years, I Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim


Virtual Interfaith Iftar 2021 Ramadan 2021 has brought forth another year of worship, discipline, and giving, all done in isolation. For the second time, the virtual inter-faith iftar provided an opportunity to engage, connect, and share, with our beloved community friends and leaders in London, Ontario. Community, faith, and political representatives joined together to share greetings and reflections. The hour-long event prior to the breaking of the fast or Iftar provided an opportunity for the panelists to connect. Thoughts on the spirit of Ramadan, on the pandemic, and hope for the future were shared throughout the evening. Guests of the event were presented with iftar meals delivered to their doors by volunteers. The event was a community collaborative event primarily organized by Ali D. Chahbar and Forest City Magazine. The event consisted of an extensive line-up of twenty-three panelists with Ali A. Chahbar, LLB (cousin to Ali D. Chahbar) as host. A live athan (call to prayer) by Br Omar Ghathban was broadcasted from the MAC Westmount Center at sunset time. We thank our friends who participated in the fast, such as MPP Peggy Sattler and Diversity Officer Anthe Fordyce. We were truly blessed to be in the surrounding of friends at the virtual iftar. Please see our list below: •

Dr Munir El-Kassem (Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario)

Mayor Ed Holder

Canon Kevin George (St.Aidan's Anglican Church)

Diversity Officer (Diversity Officer, London Police Service) Anthe Fordyce

Sr Sally Kaloti (Taqwa Academy)

Sheikh Aarij Anwer (London Muslim Mosque)


ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

Imam Abd Alfatah Twakkal (Muslim Community Faith Leader)

MP Peter Fragiskatos

Dr. John Dool (St. Peter's Seminary)

Rabbi Debra Dressler (Temple Israel of London)

Sr. Saimah Sarwar (Islamic Relief Canada)

MPP Peggy Sattler

Sr Zeba Hashmi (Muslim Outreach Committee)

Mr Maurice Lacerte

Br. Nawaz Tahir (HIKMAH)

Imam Avdija Ramic (Bosnian Canadian Islamic Centre)

MPP Teresa Armstrong

Br. Samer Abusweid (Muslim Association of Canada)

MPP Terence Kernaghan

MP Lindsay Mathyssen

Br. Omar Ghadban (Athan)

MP Kate Young

Kindness and Respect For Parents Michael Vader

For your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And honour your parents. If one or both of them reach old age in your care, never say to them even ‘ugh,’ nor yell at them. Rather, address them respectfully.And be humble with them out of mercy, and pray, “My Lord! Be merciful to them as they raised me when I was young.” (Surah 17 Ayah 23-24) Disclaimer: I will be discussing parents in Islam from an ideal perspective. If your living conditions are legitimately abusive/toxic, I encourage you to seek out supports that are available within our community and city. I feel that I have a unique perspective on the topic of parents, which I will be sharing. My mother died when I was a young child. Subanallah, it made me ponder existential questions and think about the afterlife from a young age. It sparked a spiritual journey within me, which then led me to converting to Islam when I was 19 years old.

There were some trying times initially

a wide range of emotions you go

after my conversion. My family was

through when you have a child. One

hesitant about whether I was making

emotion that kept recurring for me

a good decision by becoming Muslim

when I first became a parent was

and they wondered if this would

regret and shame. Regret and shame

be a phase or truly a part of my

because you quickly learn parenting

identity. Frankly, I don’t blame them

is hard work and it made me reflect

for their hesitation because based

and feel terrible about how I treated

on previous poor decisions I made

my father growing up, not always

throughout my teenage years; it was

making the wisest choices, nor

reasonable to question my decision-


making when I converted to Islam. For any young people reading It can be awkward and challenging

this, I hope you can learn from my

living in a house with parent(s) who

mistakes. As someone who lost a

have a different faith than yours. I

parent at a young age, cherish your

remember my first Ramadan and

parents and always be kind to them

how it showed the differences in

– you never know how much more

lifestyle between my father and I. I

time you’ll have with them. Whether

would wake up by myself for suhoor

you are a convert or a born Muslim,

and would not have dinner with my

or you are growing up in a different

family as I waited until iftar. It felt

country than your parents grew up

rude not partaking in dinner with my

in: always be respectful! Especially,


if your lifestyle differs from your parents, try to get them to accept

As a result of lifestyle differences

your decisions by being dutiful to

due to faith between my father and

them. Complete chores as soon as

I, I tried to be a very dutiful son in an

you’re asked, or better yet, try to be

attempt to show Islam in a positive

proactive and identify what needs to

light. Alhumdullilah, I preserved and

be done in the house without being

have remained steadfast in the faith.

asked. Lastly, be kind to your parents

Further, I am grateful to have been

now so you don’t end up feeling

able to marry an amazing woman

guilty before it’s too late.

who has been an incredible model of Islam for my family to witness.

Remember how revered parents are in Islam. Be merciful to them as they

Now, recently, I have become a father

raised you when you were young.

myself for the first time. There is Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim


Palestine… Ali Abdul Rahim Chahbar We will fight. We will awake. The tyranny of our occupier Until we are free or we are no more For oppression is worse than death And subjugation is worse than extinction We will fight and never concede We will raise. Our voices in defiance Against those who seek to silence us And speak aloud the words that our muted leaders Who cower, like cowards, refuse to utter And raise a new generation to carry our banner We will raise a new tomorrow and never forget We will educate. The unlettered and scholars alike About the theft of our land and identity Our culture appropriated along with our homes Our existence denied as an inconvenient truth We will educate and never stop teaching We will endure. Despite the attempts of our colonizers to erase us To deny our existence and our history To dehumanize our humanity and disconnect us One checkpoint at a time They can evict us from our homes but can never evict Our homes from our hearts and our history We will endure and never relent. We will pray Masses amassed prostrating at the launch point of ascension The noble sanctuary our pulsating and beating core The furthest mosque most near to our hearts We ask the All Mighty for faith and strength So that we may rise and resist We will pray and never lose faith. 10

ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

From our collective slumber And cast off our fragmented identities Artificial lines creating imagined borders A secret agreement to foment divide of a united people Across a Sykes-Picot line. We will awake and never sleep again. We will laugh. In the face of our oppressors As they arrest and brutalize us We will smile as they carry us away For we know what they do not That we will never be broken That we will never forget That we will never kneel We will laugh and never despair We will not equivocate. As our elected members do We will mass, mobilize & vote For leaders who are not silent For politicians who do not pander For representatives who don’t succumb We will vote and never not matter We will stand. Tall and strong despite the weight of occupation And carry the burden of history and mass of injustice On our backs and shoulders and never buckle We will stand and will never kneel. We will triumph Over the forces of tyranny and cruelty Casting off the shackles of occupation and oppression And shall remain steadfast and resolute in our faith In both God and our humanity

That justice shall prevail We shall triumph and never surrender. We will imagine A world without a separation wall A contiguous nation connected and bound Devoid of checkpoints and roadblocks And soldiers with guns drawn We will imagine and never stop dreaming

A future where our freedom is secured And occupation is no more When we can return to our homes And live in peace and freedom once more We will envision and never stop believing. We will Fight Raise Educate Endure

We will never forget. The names of our erased villages and The silence of our so called ‘leaders’ Bought and sold like chattel We will never forget our uprooted olive groves And the addresses on our titles and deeds. We will remember and never forget. We will envision.

Pray Awake Laugh Equivocate (never) Stand Triumph Imagine Never forget Envision

Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim


Hope And Optimism In Islam Diana Suleiman hardship and the powerful mentions

think that this verse meant that

of the stories of the Prophets,

after every hardship follows relief,

highlighting their patience in times

but was surprised to learn that it

of difficulty and their unwavering

actually meant that ease comes

hope in Allah’s relief. Allah constantly

paired with every hardship, so no

reminds the believers of His mercy

matter how dark times get, there is

in the Qur’an and a Merciful God

always a silver lining underneath.

would never test His servants with

Our minds and hearts just need to

something that is not good for

be open to understand this. Lastly,

them, even if we might not always

Allah narrates the stories of the

understand the wisdom behind

Prophets in the Qur’an, as a reminder

life’s trials. Firstly, Allah begins all

that each difficulty will come to

the chapters in the Qur’an with

pass eventually, regardless of how

the words, “In the name of Allah,

hopeless the situation might seem.

the Most Compassionate, Most

Whether it involves loss, illness

Merciful”, which alone should

or isolation, the Prophets have all

inspire hope in the believer. He then

patiently endured through these

continues to give us hope through

trials and as a result, Allah rewarded

multiple verses in the book, such

them with the ultimate relief for their

as “…My mercy encompasses

perseverance. Among such stories

everything…” (7:156) and “Truly

of hope, Prophet Jacob (as) was

God is compassionate and gentle

eventually reunited with His son after

to mankind” (2:143). Having said

a long period of separation, Prophet

this, it is important to mention here

Ayoub (as) was relieved from his

that hope in Allah’s mercy should

illness after years of suffering and his

be always balanced by fear of His

blessings were multiplied as a result,

punishment, like the two wings

and Prophet Yunus (as) was released

of a bird, where one should never

from the belly of the whale after days

overpower the other or we would

of isolation and uncertainty. All of

lose balance in our faith. One of

these stories serve as a reminder,

Some of the most powerful

my personal favorite verses of

that if God tested His most beloved

messages of hope and optimism in

hope in the Qur’an is when Allah

servants with such trials, then we are

Islam are found in the book of Allah.

comforts His Messenger (s) in a

even more bound to be tested and

These messages encompass the

time of difficulty by repeating twice,

our main task is to remain hopeful

scope of Allah’s mercy, as well as

“for indeed, with Hardship will

and to never despair in Allah’s mercy!

the glad tidings of relief with every

be ease; indeed, with hardship

Hope is a universal concept among different nations, but it is especially synonymous with the teachings of Islam. During times of uncertainty, fear and challenges, hope is the only thing that keeps us going in life. Coupled with faith, it becomes a powerful force that can guide us through the darkest of times. In Islam, the messages of hope and optimism are continually instilled in us through the words of Allah in the Qur’an and the Prophetic example of His Messenger (s). Perhaps, it is only fitting now, to be reminded of these beautiful messages as many of us are struggling to stay positive during these difficult, isolated and uncertain times in our lives.

The Qur’an as a beacon of hope

will be ease” (94:5-6). I used to 12

ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

Prophet Muhammad (s) as a Messenger of hope

and is more lovable to Allah than a

is bound to follow and even in the

weak believer, and there is good in

midst of struggle we are rewarded

The Prophet (s) was sent by Allah

everyone, (but) cherish that which

with goodness and blessings from

not only to spread the message

gives you benefit (in the Hereafter)

Allah through His infinite wisdom.

of Islam and to warn of Allah’s

and seek help from Allah and do

Allah says in the Qur’an: “Or do you

punishment, but also to instill hope

not lose heart, and if anything (in

think that you will enter Paradise

and optimism in the believers.

the form of trouble) comes to you,

while such [trial] has not yet

Through his own example and

don't say: If I had not done that, it

come to you as came to those who

cheerful demeanor, the Prophet (s)

would not have happened so and

passed on before you? They were

embodied the concepts of hope and

so, but say: Allah did that what He

touched by poverty and hardship

optimism for the believers, despite

had ordained to do and your "if"

and were shaken until [even their]

his many struggles and challenges

opens the (gate) for the Satan”

Messenger and those who believed

in life. He also instilled hope in us

(Sahih Muslim). In this hadith, the

with him said, ‘When is the help of

through his Prophetic sayings,

Prophet (s) connects hope and

Allah?’ Unquestionably, the help of

as in one of his authentic hadiths

optimism in difficult times to a

Allah is near" (2:214).

were he says, “Wondrous is the

strong belief in Allah and reaffirms

affair of the believer for there is

the fact that everything that happens

Thus, by reflecting upon Allah’s

good for him in every matter and

to us is part of Allah’s ultimate plan

words in the Qur’an and the example

this is not the case with anyone

and wisdom.

of His Messenger (s), a true believer

except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him” (Sahih Muslim). This hadith gives glad tidings to the believers in both good and difficult times and shines light on the significance of hope in a Muslim’s life. The Prophet (s) also said, “A strong believer is better

should never despair or lose hope in

Eid as a symbol of hope and optimism With Eid Al-Fitr upon us, it is perhaps beneficial to reflect on the deeper meaning and significance of this joyful occasion. After a month of fasting, patience, and physical struggle, we are rewarded with relief, ease and happiness through Allah’s blessings upon us. Just like that, with every struggle in life, relief

difficult times. Instead, we should be always reaching towards the beam of light at the end of the tunnel, until it overpowers the darkness in our struggles. May this joyous occasion be full of blessings for the Muslim community and may it instill in us hope that better days are coming, regardless of how many challenges we might face!

Loy's Boutique Ramadan, Eid and Special Occasions Decor



Eid Mubarak!

After Ramadan Sara Elsadik

As we come to the end of the blessed

to maintain a level of mindfulness

us to pause, to return back to

and continue to contemplate on

ourselves, and notice our feelings

matters of importance. For instance,

and thoughts about things that are

in the midst of our happiness and

happening around us. In today’s

celebration, we must also remember

world, the constant onslaught of

those who are less fortunate than we

new information makes it harder to

are by giving ‘sadaqah’/charity in the

take time to go inwards, for much

form of gifts or monetary means.

needed moments of seclusion and meditation. Pausing gives us time to

month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world will engage in the

One thing to point out is that in over

think about our purpose in the world,

celebration of Eid ul-Fitr, the holiday

750 places in the Quran, Allah tells us

and whether we feel like we are

that marks the beginning of Shawwal

to think, reflect, and observe in order

headed in the direction of actualizing

and the end of obligatory fasting. It is

to use our intellect. Our brains are


a time when Muslims come together

remarkable organs, with capabilities

for Eid prayer, festive gatherings, and

that still remain a mystery to

Thus, Islam reminds us of the

food to commemorate the previous

medical and research experts today.

importance of balance in all of our

month of worship.

Modern psychology points out that

actions. It reminds us that even

mindfulness is a powerful tool that

when we are told to celebrate, we

Although the month of Ramadan has

not only unlocks creativity, but also

should still strive to maintain a level

ended, it’s important to remember

plays an important role in one’s

of mindfulness. So, as we embark

that our worship and connection to

mental health. As such, when Allah

on the remainder of the year, post

Allah (swt) is not something that

tells us to reflect and ponder on the

our Ramadan spiritual cleanse,

should end, but something that we

universe so that we may find signs of

let us pray that Allah gives us the

should strive to maintain. In the

his being and our purpose – we do

wisdom and patience to pause, and

midst of celebrations, we should

so knowing that there is benefit in it

to engage in necessary moments

challenge ourselves to remain

for us.

of contemplation. To ponder on meanings, check our intentions, and

cognizant of what is permissible and non-permissible. In that, we strive


ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

The very act of reflection causes

to set ourselves anew.

On Anxiety Omar Rajeh personal freedom one begins to

all along.

realize that the line between freedom and disorientation is a thin one, as

The heart is simply unsettled while

well as the emergence of a dilemma

the brain constantly analyzes

called opportunity cost.

thoughts in search of an antidote. If I dare define anxiety, that would be

One form of anxiety is feeling

it. Furthermore, we are so detached

Anxiety is not a millennial invention.

constantly bombarded by questions.

from nature’s beauty residing in

It is rather innate and inherited.

Such as, which field should I study

concrete jungles our eyes yearn

Perhaps anxiety is as complex

or work in? Do I follow my passion

for colors. The world is crumbling

as love in terms of ascribing it

or walk a secured path? Am I living

to pollution and bloodshed with

a suitable definition. The world

my best life, or could there be more?

consistent bitter news. Can

is technologically advancing at

These questions are not new or

millennials be blamed for a situation

an unprecedented rate whereby

exclusive to millennials, however,

they were not prepared for mentally?

everything is becoming automated,

the options available have become

Everything millennials touch is metal

smaller, and faster with nature

overwhelming so much so that

or glass. One fears the hearts are

fading into the background. Such

FOMO - a new word - was invented.

adopting the same properties of

speeds have given rise to unforeseen

FOMO stands for Fear of Missing

rigidity, bitterness, and brittleness.

emotional turmoil. Along with

Out. How can one feel secure in their

technological trends, what were once

choice when the choice was made

Where does Islam fit into this jungle

pragmatic issues of life have become

out of a hundred other choices?

of words, thoughts and questions?

chip-sized mental processing issues.

What’s behind the other doors

The modern metropolitan life spurs

and am I getting the best return

Islam came to calm the

a lot of leisure time to be spent in

on investment? Is there such a

mental diaspora of the human

one’s own head. With thoughts and

thing as the right choice? The fear

consciousness. I recall being in

questions for no one else to be aware

that the wrong choice was made

awe as a child when I learned that

of their crossing.

is debilitating and is often tagged

Prophet Mohammad (s) withdrew

with regret and guilt. So, is anxiety

to a cave high-up in the mountain to

When early man was consumed by

real? I believe we are beyond passed

seek seclusion and contemplation.

the struggle for survival - note my

that point now. As teens, we might

Was he too overwhelmed by the

acknowledgment of the struggle

have truly believed that we were the

magnificence and potential of

– there was little time to think life

only ones experiencing anxiety until

life? What was on his mind that

over a thousand times. Options were

we became adults and recognized

he took such extreme measures

thin and energy was even thinner

that anxiety simply took a different

to find peace? Could it have

to contemplate much beyond a

form in adolescence. We can easily

been anxiety in a different form

secure dinner table or a roof over

observe it in our own parents and

from what it is today? I wonder

one’s head. However, with increased

mentors now, Indeed, it’s been there

if our intergenerational struggles Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim


crossed his mind. It’s assuring

you to your expectations for you have

expectation from the choices you

and heartwarming to know that he

learned a great deal. Simply, retrace


thought of our struggles alongside

your steps and make another. Where

his own.

one chapter ends, another can begin.

Recall that Islam came to empower

No one was given a plan for what

us not to be a power over us. It came

Islam, the message of reminder,

choices to make in this life, otherwise

to empower our choices not to

came to verify your right to freedom

there would be nothing worth living

dictate our way of life.

of choice.

for. Recognize this anxiety within is

1)٥٥( ‫) فمن شاء ذكره‬٥٤( ‫كال إنه تذكرة‬

Indeed, this [Quran] is a reminder

(54). So let whoever wills be mindful of it. (55)

‫) لست عليهم‬٢١( ‫فذكر إمنا أنت مذكر‬ 1)٢٢( ‫مبسيطر‬

the blessing of personal freedom

If you have read this far and do not

and calling for a greater purpose.

seem to understand other’s anxiety.

Trust in God that not only can you

It is okay to say, “I don’t understand,

handle these choices and the current

and I can’t relate” Because after all

situation you find yourself in, but that

we may not, and that’s absolutely

you will also make the best of it.

allowed. However, the appropriate response is to be receptive and

So, continue to remind all, O Prophet,

Do not pay mind to those who shame

supportive. Give those struggling

for your duty is only to remind (21).

you for your choices for they are in

with anxiety the option to speak their

You are not there to compel them to

fact shaming the mental capacity

mind, to be aided and empowered

believe (22).

and courageous heart given to you by

to make their own choices, rather

your Lord. Do not await permission to

than making choices for them or

So long as your choices do not

be unique and follow your heart, after

criticizing them. Do not rob them of

qualify as harmful, sinful and are the

all, has it not already been given to

the opportunity to become confident

best choices you have arrived at then

you by the highest of Powers and the


they are the right choices.

only Power? If you are struggling with anxiety,

So long as you have arrived at your

Anxiety is not a weakness but rather

recall that Islam has affirmed your

choices after due diligent research,

an affirmation of personal freedom

freedom but does not grant you

I say to you, without equivocation,

and an innate calling for movement

the right to play the role of victim.

do not shy away from following

in the direction the pure heart calls

Rather, it expects you to utilize your

you heart, for that is the purpose it


resources to make informed choices


and lead with your heart. If you live Make a choice. When you lose, learn

in anxiety, it is your responsibility to

After consultation and research, rest

from your mistakes and start again.

actively pursue a resolution. Reach

assured that your own opinion of

Most often than not, the worst that

out to a parent, sibling, life coach,

your choices is what matters most.

could happen is that you get to make

guru, or medical professional if you

Your choices will impact you directly

a different choice in due time. Live

need to. Seize your freedom and

and stay with you forever. Do not

life with confidence in your ability

trust your heart.

despair if your choices do not lead

to overcome any failure or unmet


ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

Charbel & Maren Trad ___________

Westmount Shopping Center Unit J16 785 Wonderland Rd. S London ON N6K 1M6 Email trad1@hotmail.com

Eid Mubarak!

Ph 519.675.1535 Fax 519.673.5509

Eid Mubarak to Our Muslim Friends!

Eid Mubarak!

37-699 Wilkins Street, London, Canada, N6C 5C8 www.valsbbq.com

519-601-5955 Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim


My Ramadan, My Eid I can’t believe that Ramadan will

remember Eid is not just about

soon be over. Even though It's hard

presents it's also about giving to

to fast, remember that you're getting

the poor.

a big good deed from Allah. When I fast, I like to not think of food or

I wrote a poem to remind you about

watch food shows because that

all the things that are important in

will make you hungry. I like to keep

Ramadan and I hope you like it.

myself busy by drawing, painting, helping around the house, and

Ramadan is a special month

reciting surahs from the Quran. I

Always be kind and help others

thought fasting would be hard, but I surprised myself and it was easy because I put my mind to it. I learned

Make sure you give to the poor And read Quran each night

I hope this beautiful day brings

Do good deeds

you peace and happiness always.

And fast and pray

that if you have a good intention

Never forget the things you learned

in your heart that Allah (swt) will

from this special month

help you and make it easy on you.

I hope you have a safe and happy

Some kids get presents for Eid, but


Wishing you and your family a blessed Eid ul-Fitr 18

ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

Happy Eid Mubarak 2021! By Lila Tarek Soufan, Grade 3 student at White Oaks P.S.

St. Thomas Islamic Center A building in St. Thomas started

and upkeep costs of the masjid.

daily prayers as well. There are

construction in 1877 as the Trinity

The St. Thomas Islamic Center

currently approximately 30 Muslim

Anglican Church. In 2021, 144 years

is a separate entity registered as

families residing in the St. Thomas

later, the building is called the St.

a non-profit corporation and has

area with diverse backgrounds.

Thomas Islamic Center. This building

applied to the Canada Revenue

Jumu’ah prayers in St. Thomas

is located at 55 Southwick St.

Agency for charity status. Day-to-

have previously been conducted

day management of the center is

at offices and church basements.

A group of philanthropists from the

being run by a committee of local St.

This center provides an opportunity

Al-Nadwa Center, Richmond Hill,

Thomas residents. The committee

to accommodate the needs of the

decided to purchase the building

includes Br. Hassib Zabian, former

Muslim population. The St. Thomas

when it came up for sale to the

Director of the London Muslim

Islamic Center hopes to serve the

public, due to increasing bills and

Mosque Board and President, Javaid

growing Muslim population of St.

insufficient revenue. The building was


Thomas. The Center hopes to serve

purchased in early 2021 at the cost

any resident of St. Thomas who is in

of $511,000 with a cash payment

The St. Thomas Islamic Center is

need by serving warm meals in the

and ‘qard-e-hasna’ loan (generous

situated close to downtown and

near future.

and interest-free loan). The Al-

has a spacious interior. Prior to the

Nadwa Center is currently taking

lockdown, the center was offering

More information can be obtained at:

responsibility for the maintenance

Friday prayers and will be offering


Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim


Eid Reminders Imam Dr. Jamal Taleb eternal abode, inshAllah. Prophet

by the door of any one of you, and

Muhammad (s) said: “A Muslim who

he bathed in it five times each day,

fasts has two joys: the joy of Eid

would there be any trace of dirt left

Al-Fitr and the joy of meeting his

on him?" They said: "No trace of

Lord.” So, ensure you visibly express

dirt would be left on him." He said:

your joy on this beautiful occasion

"That is the likeness of the five

and spread happiness around you,

daily prayers. By means of them

It is a blessing to have successfully

particularly to your family. Allah

Allah erases sins."

completed fasting during the blessed

(swt) says, "In the bounty of Allāh

month of Ramadan, as it is proof

and in His mercy - in that let them

5. Fulfill the requirements of your

that Allah (swt) loves us all to have

rejoice; it is better than what they

zakah and ensure that the poor get

enabled us to get through this busy


their due right. Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “the way to better your

yet rewarding month. 3. Spread happiness and love on

Islam is by giving your zakat.”

1. As a result, we must go above

this day to your parents, spouses,

and beyond to ensure that we

children, siblings, and neighbours,

6. Increase your nafl (non-

appreciate Allah’s (swt) love and

for today is a day of celebration!

obligatory) prayers to get closer

strive to achieve His approbation.

A man once came to Prophet

to Allah (swt) alongside other

Prophet Muhammad (s) said:

Muhammad (s) and asked, “Oh

acts of ibada like prayer, fasting,

“Whoever fasted the month of

messenger of Allah (swt), which

charity, pilgrimage. The purpose

Ramadan out of sincere faith

kind of people does Allah (swt)

of nafl prayers is to supplement

and hoping for a reward from

love the most? And which deeds

any shortcomings with obligatory

Allah, then all his past sins will be

are most beloved to Allah (swt)?

aspects of our religion. Prophet

forgiven, and whoever stood for

Prophet Muhammad (s) replied,

Muhammad (s) said, “The first of

the prayers in the night of Qadr

“the most beloved people to Allah

man's deeds for which he will be

out of sincere faith and hoping

(swt) are the ones who are most

called to account on the Day of

for a reward from Allah, then all

beneficial to people, and the most

Resurrection will be Salat. If it

his previous sins will be forgiven.”

beloved deeds to Allah (swt) are

is found to be perfect, he will be

This hadith emphasizes Allah’s

the deeds that cause happiness to

safe and successful; but if it is

(swt) infinite mercy and forgiveness

enter into the hearts of your fellow

incomplete, he will be unfortunate

and, our need to acknowledge this


and a loser. If any shortcomings are found in obligatory Salat, the

through our fasting and qiyam. 4. Continue fulfilling your five

Glorious and Exalted Lord will

2. Your joy and genuine happiness

daily prayers on time for it is a

command to see whether His slave

when Eid Al-Fitr arrives is an

link between you and your Lord.

has offered any voluntary Salat so

infinitesimal sample of the joy you

Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “Do

that the obligatory Salat may be

will receive when you enter His

you think that if there was a river

made up by it. Then, the rest of his


ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

9. Perfect your character so that

actions will be treated in the same 8. Increase your thikr as Allah

your Prophet (s) can make you

(swt) loves the one who praises

among his close companions on

7. Remember the advice and

Him. Prophet Muhammad (s)

the Day of Judgement. Prophet

warning given by our beloved

said, "The Mufarridun have gone

Muhammad (s) said, "Nothing is

Prophet Muhammad (s) to his

ahead." He was asked, "Who are the

heavier on the believer's scale on

Ummah. He said, “O people!

Mufarridun?" He (s) replied, "Those

the Day of Judgment than good

Spread (the greeting of) Salam,

men and women who frequently

character.” Prophet Muhammad

feed others, uphold the ties of

celebrate the remembrance of

(s) also said, “The most perfect

kinship, and pray during the night

Allah." Prophet Muhammad (s)

believer in respect of faith is he

when people are sleeping, and you

also said, “Two words which are

who is best of them in manners.”

will enter Paradise with Salam.”

light on the tongue and heavy in

Finally, Prophet Muhammad (s)

Prophet Muhammad (s) warned

the balance, and beloved to the

stated, "Indeed the most beloved

his companions, “Oh servant of

Most Merciful: Subhan-Allah wa

among you to me, and the nearest

Allah (swt), don't be like so and so

bi hamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-'Azim

to sit with me on the Day of

who observed prayer during the

(Glory and praise is to Allah, glory

Judgment is the best of you in

whole night and then abandoned it

is to Allah the Almighty)."




Eid Mubarak!

‫عيد مبارك‬

Questions? Concerns? Contact YOUR Member of Parliament

Peter Fragiskatos.ca 519.663.9777

Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim


Interview with Dawud Wharnsby Dawud Wharnsby--- is a Canadian

poetry in sacred sittings. We have

a “Muslim music market” and no

Universalist Muslim singer-

record of several poets who were

idea that, within a year or two, others

songwriter, poet, performer,

companions of the prophet, but even

would begin to turn the singing of

educator and television personality.

those individuals did not make their

anasheed into a “business”, akin to

A multi-instrumentalist, he is best

recitation of poetry or song into

the Christian pop music scene. In

known for his work in the musical/


fact, I thought Muslims would be far

poetic genre of English Language nasheed.

How Did You Get Into The Nasheed/Song Business? The very phrase “Nasheed/song business” is so painful and foreign to me! “Anasheed” are simply “spiritual hymns”, traditionally sung with little musical accompaniment or set to the rhythm of basic hand-drums. For over 1400 years anasheed have been written and sung by Muslims in numerous languages and regions. Like most religious music, anasheed have been predominantly sung in congregational gatherings. Historic documentation tells us that the companions of the prophet (s) sang while they worked, sang at times of celebration and sang their


ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

too classy to do that! Sadly, I was Almost thirty years ago, when I

wrong. Before I knew it, there were

began writing anasheed, they came

demands for more recordings and

to me very organically ~ simply

tours. It was very uncomfortable

as a means of expressing my faith

to watch unfold and even more

through song in my own, native

uncomfortable for me to be wrapped

English language. Having been a

up within.

musician for several years, I recorded a few of the hymns to share with

Now indeed, as you say there is a

children and families at my local

“Nasheed business” which I am

mosque in Waterloo, Ontario. Later,

no longer very familiar with or

I sent a copy to educational Muslim

connected to.

media pioneers Sound Vision, to see

speaking Muslim families across the

What’s The Hardest Part Of Writing And Recording A Song---And What’s The Easiest?

USA and Canada. They were happy to

To me, the hardest part of writing and

do so and suddenly the songs were

recording songs is when the pressure

spreading around the world through

to please others replaces the original

piracy. I had no intention of fostering

desire to write and sing out of sheer

if they would be interested in making the songs available to other English

love. Writing and singing have always

out” or “lead forth”. To me there is

became one of many valuable

been very emotional experiences for

a big difference. Lately I’ve heard

personal mentors to me.

me ~ arising out of a personal need

Sound Vision and others uses the

Over the years, I personally watched

to express my feelings, thoughts

phrase “Edutainment”, which is a

Brother Yusuf struggle with easing

or concerns. I’ve often said that,

cute hybrid.

back into mainstream music with the

the only reason I write is because

support of his family, close friends

I cannot afford a therapist! The

Over the past twenty-five years

and numerous scholars. It was a

word “amateur” means, “for the love

that a “Muslim pop music niche”

decision he didn’t make or take

of” and a “professional” is one who

has developed, we’ve not only


“professes” to be something. When

seen a growing number of Muslim

I do something out of love, it helps

artists, we also find a whole gamut

Given Brother Yusuf’s history and

my heart and hopefully, the hearts of

of managers, agents, music labels,

affluence, he naturally has a different

those who share it with me. Ideally,

publicists and PR firms! None of

set of opportunities to reach people

if we “profess” to be something we

that is my cup of tea.

than someone like myself, who takes

should also remain an “amateur”

a more grass-roots approach to

and do it “out of love”. Whenever

Though there are many wonderful

music. Yusuf’s circles of influence

I have felt that I am only writing,

new songs circulating by Muslim

enable him to inspire social change

recording or singing publicly to fulfill

singers, a few of those well intending

to a degree that most independent

some expected “role”, I’ve backed off

artists have been sadly taken

artists or writers never could. With

to reassess my intention and path

advantage by the “industry” building

that comes great pressure, great


up around them. In some cases their

responsibility and very difficult

creativity, their idealism and even


Has The Anasheed/Music Industry Changed A lot Since You Started? As I mentioned earlier, when I began sharing my songs with muslim families in the mid 1990’s, there was no commercial “nasheed industry”. There were just families hungry for new ways to help inspire their children spiritually. In those days I intentionally chose to have my songs distributed by Sound Vision because their media outreach was focussed on “education” and not “entertainment” and I respected that. The word “entertain” comes from the Latin, meaning “to hold” ie. to hold people’s attention. But the word “education” means to “lead

their faith has been crushed. That worries and saddens me.

Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens--his return to music was much talked about, mostly positively---would you like to comment

What Is some good advice to attract Muslims, especially the youth, to chose to listen to anasheed over listening to the questionable stuff out there ? My dear friend and teacher Abdul

As a teenager I was deeply moved

Malik Mujahid of Sound Vision often

by the music of Cat Stevens/Yusuf

says, “If it is haram to do, it is haram

Islam. What inspired me more than

to watch or listen to.” Simple advice,

his songs however, was learning that

but clear and true. It is important

he had left the commercial music

for us to be critical thinkers ~ not

business, embraced the Qur’an and

just take what we see or hear at face

shifted his focus toward establishing

value. I would advise music lovers ~

schools for Muslim children in

young or old ~ to really think about

the UK. Around 1993, when I too

what they are consuming with their

embraced the Qur'an, I met Yusuf

eyes, ears and hearts. There is

and within a couple of years he

indeed a lot of mainstream music

Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim


out there that is very destructive to

attention there. This special month

to sensory overload. Though I love

the soul, but there is also a lot that

was, therefore, an even more somber

people, crowds are very hard for me

is well crafted, inspirational and

and solitary time for me than last

to maneuver through. After public

motivational ~ being offered up by

year. But the quiet was beneficial and

events I require a great amount

people with great integrity and social

gave me much time for reflection.

of down-time alone to sleep and


My 85 year old father and I are in the

process all I have experienced.

same “bubble” and we’ve had some In like fashion, there is some

wonderful quality tome together

In addition to that, my musical

wonderful spiritual music available

during these past weeks as well.

tradition, as I have mentioned,

by muslim artists which is well

is rooted in Community Song ~

composed, rich in meaning and

Do You Have Any Eid Songs?

where people gather intimately

offered up with great dignity… AND

The only Eid song I’ve recorded was

to sing together. Being the centre

there are also a lot of commercial

one called “Days of Eid”, which was

of attention on a stage in front of

“nasheed” out there that aren’t

really just an English adaption of the

people is pretty contrary to that

so well done, being offered up by

traditional Takbirat often chanted

tradition. In order to find a balance,

individuals who should read the ayah

on Eid day. Many years ago (about

over the years, I have tried to

about “the poets” in the Qur’an.

2004) I also produced a full album

adopt the “sing-along” approach of

called “The Days of Eid” which

performers like Pete Seeger or Raffi

My recommendations: Subscribe

included the Eid songs of many

by getting audiences to sing along

your young children to wonderful

Muslim artists from around the world

with me instead of just performing to

sites like the Adam’s World App

~ including Irfan Makki, Zain Bhikha,

them ~ creating the atmosphere of a

and Muslim Kids TV, and get your

Qatrunada and others. That album

“Song Circle” instead of a concert.

family hooked on the programming

also included an Eid song written

of Muslim Network TV and Deen TV.

by my dear friend Saad Omar called

Balance those platforms with the

“Days of Joy”, which I also sang.

Are You Making A Big Plan For Post-Covid, Career-wise And Otherwise That You’d Like To Share

How Do You Deal With Performance/Stage Anxiety?

About a year before the pandemic

music of dignified artists ~ Muslim or otherwise ~ who put deep thought into their lyrics and melodies, while also speaking out for causes of great concern in our world.

Not well. A Social Anxiety Disorder has plagued me for over three decades and at times has been

How Was Ramadan For You--And How Different Was It From Last Year’s Lockdown?

quite debilitating. Before it’s

This year Ramadan flew past faster

being on the road and in social

than any year I can ever recall. On

gatherings. What I have learned is

the first day of Ramadan, just before

that, as an introverted individual

the most recent COVID “Stay at

with very sensitive hearing, I am

Home” order, my wife and daughters

deeply impacted by what goes on

left Canada for the USA due to a

around me and highly susceptible

family circumstance that needed 24

ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

formal diagnoses, I had no idea why I was struggling so hard with

hit, I actually embarked upon personal hiatus from touring and performing, with the exception of occasional Abraham Jam events. The lock-downs and stay-at-home orders have not really impacted me emotionally very much as I was already preparing myself for some quiet time to assess my professional and personal path forward. These days I have been focussing on caring for my father, homeschooling may daughters and puttering with

my experiments in urban farming.

songs with me. She explained that,

along with me and pray for me from

Post pandemic ~ we’ll see where my

growing up with with Aspergers

afar. I do not take that lightly. The

heart and creativity take me. One

Syndrome she often felt (and feels)

songs connect us. Their prayers

thing I am certain of is that, I am

“different” from others ~ causing

and knowing that they are singing

embarking upon a new season of life.

anxiety and depression. She told me

along helps me with my anxiety and

That excites me and has me looking

that, somehow my little songs have

depression when life’s test get to be

forward to what rests ahead ~ insha

helped her over the years. I keep

too hard to handle sometimes. We’re


every note and letter that I’ve ever

all helping each other to change the

received over the years. They are

world for the better. . . one song at a

A Touching Fan Story?

treasures to me and I try my best


Oh, there are too many to share.

to respond to them all personally. . .

Just a few days ago I received a

It’s hard sometimes, but I try. These

lovely note from a young lady in

letters don’t come from “fans”, they

the UK who grew up sharing my

come from “friends”, folks who sing

Recipe Macarona Dessert ('Asabea' Zainab) Ingredients •

2 1/2 cups flour

1 diluted teaspoon of yeast

1 1/2 cups semolina

1 cup of oil

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup milk or yogurt

Instructions 1. Mix flour, semolina, baking powder, andyeast. 2. Add oil to make dry micture moist (you can add mazahar if you like) 3. Add milk to make like dough 4. Leave to rest, covered for at least 20 minutes. 5. Roll into balls A little bigger than the size of a crock. On the back of strainer, roll out balls and then gather back up. 6. Fry in olive oil and dip in syrup.

Eid Mubarak!

‫ﺭﻣﻀﺎﻥ ﻣﺒﺎﺭﻙ‬

We’ve got you covered for Hijabs, Rainbow Qurans & more! 



Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim houseofhijabs.co@gmail.com


In Memoriam After battling COVID-19 for five

and actions. When he immigrated

weeks, a brother and friend to me

to Canada in the 1980’s from

and others, Sami Kadri, passed away

Lebanon, it was through the love

on Friday April 23, 2021/11 Ramadan

of Allah and this religion that we

1442. His soul left this physical

were introduced in His house at the

world to a Merciful Lord, leaving us

London Muslim Mosque. It was the

with fond memories and images

only mosque in London, and the

of his beaming smile embedded in

community still had a small-town

our minds and hearts. I recall my

feel and innocence. It was easy

own memories and those of close

and common to introduce yourself

friends like Abdul Naser Tweel,

to others and connect socially

Jamal Aburawi, Salah Al-Ansari, Abu

and spiritually without formalities

Tarik Kadri and Ali Chahbar, which

or distraction from technology.

transport me back to my youth, when

Sami excelled in this space as he

Sami moved to London, ON, in the

was a soul that flowed through the

1980’s and early 1990’s. Borrowing

community and you felt his presence

from Br Abdul Naser’s words, ‘I teeter

and uncanny ability to shake and

between smiles and tears’.

wake people up and move them (sometimes even physically…I’ll leave

For those who do not know Sami,

the wrestling for another time).

upon himself to pick us up in his Taxi, after calling our homes to ensure we woke up and were ready to go. As there were no cell phones at the time, the whole household got the wakeup call. He built relationships with the young and old, including my parents (May Allah shower them and

he was a bundle of energy, with a courageous yet sincerely, brotherly

I remember his encouragements to

personality. His love for Islam was

meet up at Fajr prayers on weekends.

evident in his very being, words

Once we agreed, he would take it

Sami with His mercy). He would point to me and say to my father, ‘Kayf redaka ala hal-3ayntayn’ (roughly translated as ‘are you pleased with


ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

this guy’) and my dad would smile.

left a positive impact. He practiced

To Allah we belong and to Him is our

Sami broke artificial generational

what he believed, was not limited

return. May Allah shower you, my

boundaries and established lifelong

by formalities, and was a brother

brother Sami, with His mercy. Our

relationships. He encouraged

to many through his actions, rather

eyes are filled with tears, and hearts

people to do what is right and build

than words alone. He sacrificed

are filled with sorrow, but we only

themselves for the sake of Allah and

building worldly wealth in his early

say what pleases Him. We will miss

community. He knew Islam had a lot

years for the sake of Islam and

you, my dear brother and friend.

to offer and encouraged the young

sincere brotherhood. Later on, as he

You passed away struggling against

and the old to take their religion

established himself on a personal

a disease and left us during Allah’s

seriously. He motivated us to use this

level, he represented several Islamic

best month of Ramadan and on a

short life to improve our stations in

organizations like WAMY and MAC in

Friday, the best day of the week. May

front of Allah and to offer Islam to

different capacities. He realised their

these signs be an indication of Allah’s

our community in its comprehensive

true worth and purpose which is to

pleasure with you and may you be

and well-balanced view.

help develop people and be vehicles

accepted amongst the righteous

dedicated to improving the state of

and the martyrs. May your resting

our community and Ummah.

place be a garden from the gardens

Sami was not a scholar nor an Imam, but loved sacred knowledge. When

of paradise and May Allah gather

I would ride with him in his taxi, I

Later on in life, Sami and I moved

us again with our beloved Prophet

noticed it was always filled with

to different cities, but he never lost

Muhammed (s), with our families,

Islamic books and cassettes. Thirty

connection with me. In fact, he was

friends and the righteous, in the

years ago, he gifted me a ‘Seerah’

an example of ‘Silat Al-Rahim’ and

highest level of Heaven, Ameen.

book, written by Abu Hassan Al-

‘Silat Al-Ukhuwa’. Through him, I

Nadawi, written in simple Arabic

was introduced to many scholars,

My sincerest condolences to Sr.

that I still cherish and lend to my

teachers, and activists and regular

Mona, their children, the Kadri family

children to read. Sami was a genuine

good brothers; all solid people with

and the community at large.

human who interacted with people

the same concern and zeal for Islam

and invested in them with a sincere

and betterment of our community

heart, zeal, and dedication that truly

and nation.

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Eid Mubarak!

Forest City Islamic Organizations Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario 951 Pond Mills Rd London, ON, N6N 1C3 (519) 668-2269 info@islamiccentre.ca

Al-Taqwa Elementary School 1837 Churchill Ave. London ON, N5W 2L4 (519) 951-1414 www.altaqwa.org/elementary Head: Farouk Kaloti

President: Najey Mankal

London Muslim Mosque 151 Oxford Street W. London, ON, N6H 1S3 (519) 439-9451 londonmosque.ca secretary@londonmosque.ca

Bosnian Canadian Islamic Association 41 Holborn Ave London, ON, N6J 2P9 bkic.ca Imam: Avdija Ramic

Chairman: Bilal Rahhal

MAC London Chapter 312 Commissioners Rd W, London, ON, N6J 1Y3 macnoorgardens.ca Chapter Head: Saboor Khan

Hyatt Mosque and Centre 282 Hamilton Rd London ON , N5Z 1R3 https://www.eccoo.ca (519) 488 5299 info@eccoo.ca President: Ziyad Ali

North London Islamic Centre 23266 Nairn Road Komoka, ON, N0L 1R0 (519) 518-1938 admin@nlic.ca northlondonislamiccentre.com President: Mazhar Mustafa Siddiqi


ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021

MYAL 889 Wellingsboro Rd, London, ON, N6E 1N3 (519) 691-0002 President: Ahmid Turk


Eid ul-Fitr 2021 | ForestCityMuslim



ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021


Eid Mubarak! (1) 519 668-2841



279 Commissioners Road W










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Key dates Personal tax deadline - Individual 2019 taxation year filing due dates are moved to June 1, 2020 Trust - Trust 2019 taxation year end filing deadlines have been deferred to May 1, 2020 Payments owing on or after today and before Sep 2020 (personal and corporate) deferred until after August 31, 2020

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Eid Mubarak!

On this joyous occasion of Eid ul-fitr, best wishes from your London MPPs


ForestCityMuslim | Eid ul-Fitr 2021