A Fortnightly Newsletter
October 01, 2014 
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Islam in the News
Toronto Welcomes Ismaili Center and Museum


Two new Muslim attractions opening soon should help dispel negative stereotypes of Islam, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.


The country's first museum of Islamic art is scheduled to open Thursday (Sept. 18) in the heart of Canada's largest city, Toronto. An adjacent Ismaili center is expected to follow. Harper and the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims, attended a ceremony last week inaugurating the $300 million complex, which sits on 17 acres of lush gardens and parkland.


The Aga Khan Museum will house some 1,000 artifacts spanning a millennium of Islamic history. The adjacent Ismaili Centre, Toronto, will include a prayer space and rooms for social, educational and cultural events.


"The center creates an understanding of the values, ethics, culture and heritage of Ismaili Muslims," a statement from Canada's 90,000-strong Ismaili community said.


Ismailis are an offshoot of Shiite Islam. They are spread across 25 countries but united in their allegiance to Prince Karim Aga Khan.

 In opening the museum, Harper praised the Aga Khan, who "has greatly contributed to demystifying Islam, throughout the world, by stressing its social traditions of peace, of tolerance and of pluralism."


In his remarks, the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary imam (spiritual leader) of Ismaili Muslims, lauded Canada for having accepted thousands of Ismailis who fled persecution in Africa and Asia.


When the Aga Khan set out more than a decade ago to build a landmark museum to house his family's collection of Islamic art, he wanted to locate it in London. When those plans fell through, he chose Toronto because of the city's large Ismaili population and his strong ties to Canada.

The connection grew stronger, and in 2010, the Aga Khan was named an honorary Canadian citizen, one of just six people on whom the honor has been bestowed.


The Ismaili Centre, Toronto, which is winning kudos for its modernist architecture, is the sixth in a network of such facilities in Vancouver, Canada; London; Lisbon, Portugal; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.


To read more, click here. 


Muslim Personalities
Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Founder of Pakistan 

Jinnah was an Indian politician who successfully campaigned for an independent Pakistan and became its first leader. He is known there as 'Quaid-I Azam' or 'Great Leader'. 


Mohammed Ali Jinnah was born on 25 December 1876 in Karachi, now in Pakistan, but then part of British-controlled India. His father was a prosperous Muslim merchant. 


Jinnah studied at Bombay University and at Lincoln's Inn in London. He then ran a successful legal practice in Bombay. He was already a member of the Indian National Congress, which was working for autonomy from British rule, when he joined the Muslim League in 1913. The league had formed a few years earlier to represent the interests of Indian Muslims in a predominantly Hindu country, and by 1916 he was elected its president. 


In 1920, the Indian National Congress launched a movement of non-cooperation to boycott all aspects of British rule. Jinnah opposed this policy and resigned from the congress. There were by now profound differences between the congress and the Muslim League.


After provincial elections in 1937, the congress refused to form coalition administrations with the Muslim League in mixed areas. Relations between Hindus and Muslims began to deteriorate. In 1940, at a Muslim League session in Lahore, the first official demand was made for the partition of India and the creation of a Muslim state of Pakistan. Jinnah had always believed that Hindu-Muslim unity was possible, but reluctantly came to the view that partition was necessary to safeguard the rights of Indian Muslims.


To read more, click here. 


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As part of its vision and mission, the NASIMCO Post serves as a tool by which to bind our community together and promote a unified and caring environment for all. If you have anything you would like to include in this newsletter, contact us at  


Pakistan Flood Relief 

Heavy monsoon rains and floods across Pakistan, particularly in northern areas like Azad Jammu and Kashmir, during the first week of September have caused loss of lives and destruction. Hundreds have been killed and injured while others left homeless. Roughly 1.84 million people across Pakistan have been affected by floods triggered by the heavy monsoon rains.




According to the latest figures released by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), at least 346 people have been killed and 620 others have been injured in flood-related incidents. People in the flood-stricken areas are in urgent need of water, food, shelter and medical care. In addition, according to UN figures, over 660,000 people have been displaced from their homes and have nowhere to go.


NASIMCO has launched an appeal to raise funds to help the victims of this disaster. With your help, NASIMCO will be able to support the relief operations and provide aid to those affected by this flood. 


Ramadan Relief Collections 

The Ramadhan Relief Campaign brought in donations from near and far. These donations have enabled us to feed hungry families in different parts of the world. Contributions that have already been remitted by Jamaats, as well as individual donations to NASIMCO, are listed below. NASIMCO thanks member Jamaats for their efforts in promoting this appeal.



Youth Leadership Retreat


The NASIMCO 5th Annual Youth Leadership Retreat was held from August 29th to September 1st, 2014 this year. This retreat is part of the Capacity Building Program which aims to unlock the potential of participants to serve the community and humanity. The theme of this year's retreat was "Thinking Outside the Box: Making Your Voice Count". It was held in the scenic location in Pemberton, British Columbia and welcomed participants from Vancouver, Los Angeles and Edmonton.


The retreat held workshops that encouraged personal growth as well as social awareness, such as Strengths & Stressors, Power & Privilege, and Self-Deception & The Box. The participants were expected to work in groups using the information they learned to come up with a project that responded to a social issue they were passionate about and present it to the whole group. 



In addition, the participants engaged in outdoor activities such as a communal hiking trip, discussions over a bonfire, and they practiced their teamwork skills during a dragon boat race. Throughout the weekend a strong sense of community developed amongst the participants, mentors, and facilitators alike.

Each year, the NASIMCO Youth Leadership Retreat engages youth in critical thinking and self-empowerment, while helping youth build relationships with one another and network - this year was no exception. As this year's retreat has come to an end, the organizing team is already planning for the next one. If any youth are interested in hosting the 2015 retreat in their city, please email requests to no later than October 15th, 2014.

Election Results - Aza e Hussain Association of BC

The Aza e Hussain Association of BC recently held elections for their Executive Committee. The elected positions are as below:


President: Abbas Akbari

Vice President: Masoom Qazilbash

General Secretary: Ahmed Raza

Treasurer: Saeed Raza

Executive Secretary: Shahid Abbas Malik

Community Event - Orlando

Husseini Islamic Center (HIC) Academy of Orlando, in collaboration with Al Ilm Consultancy, hosted a Self Development Program which was facilitated by Sayyed Ali Naqvi of Birmingham. This program took place on Saturday, August 16, for new participants and Sunday, August 17, for returning  participants from April and the previous day.

The weekend was full of various group activities and presentations including active listening, a "My Blessings" activity, "An Animal I Admire", the life/work balance wheel, planning/receiving feedback, reflection circles, as well as appreciating your peers. 


Story Writing Contest 


The Mulla Asghar Memorial Library & Islamic Resource Centre is excited to present a Story Writing Contest.


Entries must be submitted to MARC or post-marked by Saturday, October 31, 2014 at 2:00 pm EST.

For contest forms and further details visit their website at

Hajj Guide Application

"And proclaim to the people the Hajj; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel from every deep and remote direction"

(Surah Hajj, ayat 27)


Islamic Mobile Apps has launched a unique mobile App on Hajj for Android users. Some of the App features include laws from four major Marjas (Ayatullah Khoei, Ayatullah Khomeini, Ayatullah Sistani and Ayatullah Khamenei), Surah Hajj in Arabic & English, step by step guidance for Umrah-e-Tamatto and Hajj-e-Tamatto, Ehram laws & prohibited acts in Ehram, Dua-e-Arafah of Imam Hussain (as) and Imam Sajjad (as) in Arabic and English with line by line translation, Tawaf and Sa'ee count with its Duas and video tutorials for Tawaf and Sa'ee.


To download the App click here.