The inaugural Western Indian Ocean Studies workshop entitled 'Rahe Najat (The Path of Salvation): Religious and social dynamics amongst mercantile communities of the western Indian Ocean' was hosted by the department of religious studies from 12-13 November 2015 at the Florida International University in Miami.
1. WF Awards Presentation
2. Question Time with The World Federation and Regional Federations
WF Awards Presentation
On Thursday 20th June 2019, The World Federation presented five awards to members of the local Toronto community.
Al Qamr Award: Award for Length of Service to the Community or Humanity
The Al Qamr Award was presented to Maulana Syed Muhammad Rizvi, who has been an inspiration to so many during his life due to his patience, understanding and above all, his knowledge.
Since July 1996, he has been the resident ‘Ãlim of the Ja’ffari Islamic Centre of the Islamic Shi‘a Ithna-‘Ashari Jamaat of Toronto, committing his time to helping the local community in Toronto. Beyond this, he has also spent considerable time devoted to the local and global Shi’a community through various facets, whether it is individual or family counselling, interfaith initiatives, awareness programs with public schools and the police, advisory roles for countless other communities, publishing books, delivering keynote addresses, and much more.
He is recognised for his unique approach to important topics that affect the Shi’a community at large. This includes medical ethics, khums, business ethics, practical marriage issues, end-of-life matters, & many more. These, and other topics, have led to the creation of countless seminars and the publication of over 50 books & informative articles.
He is revered by many including our marja, Ayatullah Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani. We are indeed very fortunate to have had his services, guidance and leadership for over 20 years in Toronto and around the world. He is one of the authorities on Moonsighting and as a result he is consulted across North America for his knowledge on the same. We pray to the Almighty to grant him a long healthy life and that he Insha’Allah continues to provide valuable services to the community for many years to come. Ameen.
Al Najm Award: Award for Youth Voluntary Contribution to the Community and Humanity
The Al Najm award was presented to Sakina Rashid, who is 20 years old and has been actively involved in the community for many years. Some of her many work includes teaching in Madrasah, being an executive member of the Jaffari Islamic Youth for two years and being an active member of the Kanize-Fatema Volunteer team. She is currently part of the organising committee for the Al Wahda Tournament. She is described as having a skill of taking things to the next level and adding fresh ideas to whatever she is a part of.
Al Shams Award: Award for Contribution to Wider Society
The Al Shams Award was presented to Hussein Walji, who has been an active volunteer in the KSI community for many years. He was the project leader of the building of the Anjuman-e-Asghari centre and the Madrasah building and multipurpose centre that followed. He was also President of NASIMCO for two terms, 11,000 members across North America. These are just some of the ways in which Hussein Walji has contributed to his local and wider community.
Al Nur Award: Award for Contributions (within the KSI Community) either voluntary efforts or philanthropy
There were two recipients of this award, the first of these was Sabira Kermalli, who has been a dedicated volunteer at ISIJ of Toronto for over 30 years. As well as being a Madrasah teacher and Qur'an coordinator, she also organised a Thursday night program, whereby parents could drop their children to classes each week during the evening programme. She also organised the Zainabiyya Workshop – a space for women of all ages to come together on Monday mornings to further their knowledge with Maulana Rizvi, and share their learnings.
The second recipient was Shirin Sumar, who has been a dedicated volunteer for over 40 years, and a strong advocate for women’s rights who is constantly striving to raise the level of women’s involvement in the community. She is dedicated in her work with senior citizens, helping to improve their quality of life and has also been actively involved with the Out of the Cold program for the homeless for 15 years. Her contributions have touched the lives of many both within and outside the community, and include everything from marriage counseling, managing funeral/burial activities, volunteering with a local homeless shelter, and founding the highly active Jaffari Islamic Seniors Group in Richmond Hill.
Award for Voluntary Contribution to the KSI Community
This award was posthumously awarded to Marhum Aunali Moledina, for his services to the KSI community. The award was collected by his son, Sarfrazali Moledina.
Question Time with The World Federation and Regional Federations
On Thursday 20th June 2019, The World Federation and Regional Federation leadership teams took part in a Question and Answer event in Toronto, Canada.
This was an opportunity for the local community in Toronto to quiz the leaders of our community on the issues which matter most to them. It was also an opportunity for the leadership teams to speak to the grassroots community members first-hand and learn more about what they want and what they think of the work being done by WF and Regional Federations.
The panel consisted of:
Anwarali Dharamsi - President, The World Federation
Shan E Abbas Hassam - Secretary General, The World Federation
Ali Akbar Shroff - Secretary General, KSI Jamaats of India
Shabir Najafi - Chairman, Africa Federation
Anver Rajpar - President, KSI Jamaats of Pakistan
Dr Akbar Mohamedali - President, Council of European Jamaats (CoEJ)
Gulamabbas Najafi - Vice President, North American Shia Ithna Asheri Muslim Communities (NASIMCO)
Abbas Aly - Secretary General, Federation of Australasian Communities (FAC)
The event, which was hosted by ISIJ of Toronto, was very well attended alhamdulilah and the panel were very happy to see such a large number of the community showing their interest and wanting to be involved.
The panel received a number of questions on various topics. These included engagement of youth volunteers on a regional and jamaat level, the priorities of The World Federation over the next few years and ways to improve engagement and attendance of youth at jamaats.
One of the questions posed to the team was from a 15-year-old boy, who wanted to know if any of the leaders had plans on how they could increase youth attendance and engagement in Jamaats. Most members of the panel agreed that this was a concern for them and that more needs to be done to encourage attendance amongst the youth. They also said it's important for the youth to take advantage of events like this, where they have the chance to have their say and voice their opinions.
We will be sharing all of the questions and answers in full detail in the coming weeks inshallah.
WF Secretary General, Shan E Abbas Hassam, said 'it was fantastic to see so many people get involved. It's so important for people to voice their opinions and to question us, the community leaders, on things they care about. Equally, it's key for us to listen to this feedback and take it on board so we can keep serving our community inshallah'.
મારા વહાલા જમાતની સમાજ
The President of The World Federation, Dr Asgar Moledina, and the Secretary General, Kumail Manji, visited our community in India last month along with our active social worker & philanthropist Gulambhai Virjee.