Annual Islamic History Month Celebrations 2014

Sailan Muslim Foundation of Canada (SMFC) in association with Canada Sri Lanka Muslim Association (CSMA), Sri Lanka Islamic Foundation (SLIFO), Masjid Ut-Taqwa, Quran and Hadees Society of Canada (QHSC), Sri Lanka Malay Association (SLAMAT) & Zahira Old Boys Association of Canada (ZACOBA) celebrated the 2nd annual Islamic History Month of Canada onSaturday the 25th October 2014 at the Islamic Institute of Toronto (IIT) located at 1630 Neilson Road in Scarborough.

The program for the event was as follows

  • 5:30pm – Qirath followed by Translation
  • 5:40pm – Opening address by the President of Sailan Muslim Foundation of Canada
  • 6:00pm – Speech by Sheikh Yusuf Badaat
  • 6:20pm – Mahgrib Salah
  • 6:40pm – Muslim contributions & Islamic History by Brother Habeen Ali
  • 7:00pm – Speech by Dr. Abdullah Hakeen Quick
  • 8:00pm – Vote of thanks by Sailan Muslim Foundation of Canada  followed by Dinner









Sailan Muslim Foundation of Canada (SMFC) celebrated for the second year in succession, the Islamic History Month in Canada (IHMC), at the Islamic Institute of Toronto (IIT) on Saturday, the 25th of October, 2014.

IHMC was proclaimed through a motion in the Parliament by Hon. Mauril Belanger, initiated by the Canadian Islamic Congress in 2007. Since then it has been adopted by the Muslim Community throughout Canada, giving a golden opportunity to share the rich heritage of the Muslim world, contributions made by Muslim scholars and inventors.


The success of the event was mainly due to the unity displayed by all the Sri Lankan Muslim organizations in Toronto and the GTA coming together. Over 700 people participated in the event and the Islamic Institute of Toronto auditorium was filled to the capacity.


The Master of the ceremonies role was played by Mr. Rimzy Kuthubdeen who welcomed the guests to the event, wishing them the best for the Islamic New year and commenced the event, at 5.30 pm, with the recital of a part of the Sura Ar-Rahman from the Holy Quran by Taib Ibnu Zubair and translated by Yakoob Farzan.


The national anthem of Canada was sung by a group of young children and joined by the guests.

First row, left to right are Yoosuf Farzan, Mushfiq Farook, Abdurrahman Jahankeer, Aisha Shiraz, Arib Ikram, Rimaz Farook and Abdullah Hassan.

Second row, left to right are Hannah Hassen, Aaliyah Jaleel, Dhanish Azam, Shaadia Rimzy and Umar Hassen.


The president of Sailan Muslim Foundation of Canada (SMFC) Mr. Ifthikhar Hassan highlighted the role of “building bridges” within and outside the community and the need for a new language of collaboration, consultation, balance and openness. He also emphasized on the need for relevant and contextual knowledge and institutions within the community that fills this role.


Imaam Yusuf Badaat, the chief Imaam of Islamic Foundation of Toronto made a very relevant speech on today’s situations and recalled how calamities were handled by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) during his life time. He recalled incidents of love, peace and leadership.

Imaam Yusuf Badat emphasized that acts of violence by radicals has no place or part in Islam and that Muslims should show by deeds of compassion and consideration.

A token of appreciation was presented to Imaam Yusuf Badat by Mr. Dilano Sally the president of the Sri Lanka Malay Association of Toronto (SLAMAT).


Over 700 people attended the function and this is the first time a Sri Lankan Muslim community had a gathering of this nature in an inside facility.


Hon. Chris Alexander PC MP the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, commenced his address by wishing the crowd ‘Happy New Year’ as the function coincided with Islamic New Year.  Hon. Chris Alexander in his speech impressed upon the fact that although Canadians were saddened by the recent tragic incidents in Ottawa and Montreal, it has also brought them together. He emphasized the fact that isolated incidents of violence by crazed individuals acting alone cannot tarnish the image of Canadian Muslims in general. A token of appreciation was presented to Hon. Chris Alexander by Mr. Seyad Mubarak, the president of Masjid-Ut-Taqwa (TAQWA).


Shaikh Habeeb Alli presented a slide show that showed the Muslims who had made contributions to the modern world including over 1000 gadgets that were brought over to North America by them and that due to slavery and the civil turmoil in USA they did not get patents to them. He also showed more recent Muslim personalities who have shown the way to freedom and peace and worked against violence and bigotry. A token of appreciation was presented to Shaikh Habeeb Alli by Mr Fouzdeen Salahudeen, the president of Quran and Hadees Society of Canada (QHSC).


Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick, Imaam and resident scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, has researched that among the native Inuits of Canada there were people who were monotheistic and stated that this was a testament to the verse in the Quran that says “there is no people or nation to whom we did not send a warner or messenger with our clear signs”

He also indicated that in the 1860s there were Muslim settlers in Alberta with western names but practicing Islam. They came from the early European settlers.

His presentation also traced the genealogy of Abraham which highlights that the lineage of Moses (Peace be upon him), Jesus (Peace be upon him) and Muhammad (Peace be upon him) came from his two sons Isaac (Peace be upon him) and Ishmail (Peace be upon him). He emphasized the need to build bridges among communities and faiths so that we better understand each other. A token of appreciation to Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick was presented by Mr. Zafran Hilur, the president of Canada Sri Lanka Muslim Association (CSMA).


The guests were enthralled by the content and depth of information and facts that were presented by Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick in highlighting the early presence of Muslims in North America and their rich contribution to the world in all fields of knowledge and progress.

A beautiful Nasheed (Islamic Song) was sung by our youth (Hasna Salahudeen, Sarah Zawahid, Muna Shiraz and Amal Iqram) in praise of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).


Hon. John Mckay in his speech narrated his personal experience on the Parliament Hill on the day of the tragic incident and how he advised Fox News to get the facts before they report and jump to conclusion. He reiterated on the theme of the event of building bridges between communities so that misconceptions and stereotypes are broken down. A token of appreciation was presented to Hon. John McKay by Mr. Shiraz Mohideen, the president of Sri Lanka Islamic Foundation of Ontario (SLIFO).


Hon. Rathika Sitsabaiesan spoke on all the Sri Lankan Muslim organizations joining hands forming a unified voice under Sailan Muslim Foundation of Canada, which is essential for the growth of the community. She also spoke in the Tamil Language which is one of the native languages of the Sri Lankan Muslim community.

On behalf of Hon. Thomas Mulcair PC MP, the leader of the official opposition in Canada, Hon. Rathika Sitsabaiesan presented a certificate of appreciation to Sailan Muslim Foundation of Canada, recalling the formation of Sailan Muslim Foundation of Canada in the year 2012. Hon. Rathika Sitsabaiesan was presented with a token of appreciation by Mr. Ackiel Ousman, the president of Zahira College Old Boys Association of Canada (ZACOBA).


The event culminated with the guests enjoying a delicious spread of food from various regions of Sri Lanka with an emphasis on Muslim culinary specialities.

The vice president of Sailan Muslim Foundation of Canada (SMFC), Mr. Sameem Mohamed delivered the vote of thanks.


Sailan Muslim Foundation of Canada would like to thank all our guests, volunteers, sponsors and all those who played a part in making this event a success. We hope to see you next year.

Board of Directors

Sailan Muslim Foundation of Canada

Presidents welcome address IHMC-2014

In the name of God most compassionate most merciful

Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahu

On behalf of Sailan Muslim Canada foundation and its associate organizations let me extend a warm welcome to all of you to this event that commemorates the Islamic history month in Canada. This month was declared by an act of parliament in 2007 to honour and celebrate the role of muslims and their faith within the  history and progress of this great land of ours, Canada.

Today also happens to be the 1st day of the Islamic calendar year 1436. A remarkable coincidence and of special historic significance in the light of this event. It was  one thousand four hundred and thirty six hijri years  or one thousand three hundred and ninety two Gregorian years ago that the Prophet Mohamed ,peace be upon him made his migration from the city of his birth Makkah to medina.

This migration, I believe will resonate with all muslims in Canada as we or our forefathers would have migrated to this land from our places of birth one time or another. Although history indicates that there were muslim settlers in North America before Columbus sailed to the New world and early muslim communities were settled in the Atlantic  provinces of Canada as early as before the turn of the 19th century, the first recoded Sri Lankan muslims came to Canada in the 1960s or just over 50 years ago.

The Sri Lankan muslims are now a vibrant community with 4 generations to show and have evolved in to a mature community of over 15,000 members in Ontario and with aspirations to share and be part of the great Canadian vision of being proud,free and strong.

Let us at this moment spare a thought and pray for muslims in other parts of the world where they face oppression, lack of freedom of expression , overt discrimination and worst of all fear for their lives.

May Allah grant them the strength and patience to tide through these difficult times of despair for surely as God promises there is ease with every difficulty.

Sailan Muslim Canada was formed 2 years ago to provide a common forum or platform to bring together all the organizations within the Sri Lankan muslim community with a view to unify and align our resources for the welfare and growth of the community along all dimensions.

In todays multipolar society learning to live in the spirit of diversity and inclusiveness is a key determinant of peaceful coexistence and progress both materially and spiritually. In order to develop grow and contribute communities must align and prioritize their resources with political and regulatory activism and social and environmental engagement.

Moreover to be credible and realizable these external goals and strategy need to be attuned with community vision and values. This could take the form of strategically embedded partnerships with govt, NGOs or other stakeholders or it may be looser temporary collaboration with other organizations.

Sailans vision is to build the bridges both within the community and outside the community to make this a reality and hence the key theme for this event “building bridges”. To build strong bridges we have realized the need for a paradigm shift in our thinking ,we have to replace the old vocabulary of words that harp on competition, duplication, redundancy ,parochialism and self centred action to a new vocabulary that impresses on collaboration,consultation,balance,prioritization and openness.

In this manner we can not only build bridges at a intra-community level but reach out to a wider inter –community level in the spirit of diversity and inclusiveness.


We are living in times where the cumulative history,knowledge and wisdom of man is at our fingertips, the mass dissemination of media into every home and palm of every hand is a reality, mass person to person communication and the ability to propagate ideology as a constant stream to individuals and mass populations is happening.

To place things in perspective, at the turn of the century  the estimated time for a person to search a random piece of information was calculated at a day , today the same task can be done under a second. Ten years ago the search engine google had a estimated 4 billion web pages ,today it searches over30 trillion Web pages 100 billion times a month. A supernova explosion of information that keeps growing every second.

So at two extremes we stand on the cusp of the age of diversity or age of dogma, the age of ideas or the age of propaganda, the age of networked society or the age of individualism, the age of higher consciousness or the age of the battle of ideologies and more critically the age of individual freedom or the age of ideological enslavement.

These multi-polar forces presents the biggest challenges to leaders of govt,communities , societies and organizations.These challenges threaten our ability to create peace,prosperity and freedom  at every level.  We also stand at the door of the greatest opportunity in history –to create an age of peace,prosperity, freedom and a higher consciousness.

Our success as humankind will come sooner if we put in place the institutions that will replace past irrelevant and anachronistic ones with ones that promote the building of bridges within ourselves,our families,our communities ,societies and nations. A necessary condition for this is the acquisition of knowledge , knowledge that transcends  the mindless performance of ritual and embraces life long learning and reflection that is both relevant and contextual.Knowledge devoid of dogma and bigotry, knowledge that bonds humanity with a higher consciousness.

It is indeed heartening to know that institutions like IIT where we are present today are forging ahead with a mission committed to the dissemination of such knowledge under their slogan education for virtuous living.

We will need to embrace a new language .This new language must come to change our minds. If we are successfull  we will redefine power to mean the enhancement of freedoms; purpose will come to mean the pursuit of peace; and principle will mean the pursuit of truth.


Once again a very warm welcome to all of you and we hope you enjoy and are inspired by the speakers who are here and wish you all a very peaceful and prosperous Hijri New year.

Ifthikar Hassen, President SMFC -2014