When I first learnt that I had been accepted into this course I felt joy, not only because I would have the opportunity to increase my knowledge of Islam, but also because I knew that Imam Ridha and Sayeda Masooma had accepted me so I could visit them.
The Mulla Asgher Memorial Library and Islamic Resource Centre (MARC) opened its doors on October 24 2009. It was the culmination of an idea initiated by the then World Federation President, Dr Hasnain Walji, whose vision was to set up centres of knowledge in the memory of Marhum Mulla Asgharali M. M. Jaffer.
The Centre's inauguration included a globally advertised and extremely popular Qur’an exhibition, which was open to the public for sixteen months. Displaying the “Word of God through the expression of Man” this exhibition was designed around the stunning thematic visuals to explore topics such as astronomy, embryology, nature, animals as well as the value of foods mentioned in the Qur’an.
The year 2012 marked the opening of the Hajj Exhibition. Over eight months in preparation, the exhibition was designed to convey the deeply personal experience of Hajj – a journey of a lifetime for Muslims.
In 2013 MARC hosted The Islamic Art and Calligraphy Exhibition by Ms. Salva Rasool. Visitors feasted their eyes on glorious words form the Quran and Asmaul Husna in the enigmatic and mystical scripts of Arabic calligraphy.
“From the Roots of Abraham” exhibition was inaugurated on September 13, 2014 with visitors from multiple faiths exploring the common values of Abrahamic Faiths. More than ever before, in these times of conflict and mistrust MARC aspires to build positive relationships amongst all people. Some of the harmonizing themes highlighted in the exhibition include the shared belief in monotheism and angels, virtues such as Justice and Compassion revered in all three religions, world cities that are important to the three faiths, places of worship and Holy Scriptures. To mark its 5th Anniversary, a town hall meeting will discuss the theme of “ Walking a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes”
In keeping with one of its aims of preserving and promoting the history and the heritage of the Khoja Shia IthnaAsheri Community, the first ever Khoja heritage resource was established at its inception. It houses hundreds of manuscripts, photographs and other historical records of the community since its establishment over 150 years ago. Soon after publishing The Endangered Species – A History of the Khoja Shia Ithnaasheri Community by Hassna Jaffer, under the direction oif Dr Hasnain Walji, MARC produced a full 2 hour documentary – The Khojas – A journey of Faith, which has received international acclaim as an insightful anthropological film.
The vision of MARC is 'to be a premier state-of-the-art Islamic resource centre in North America providing research and learning facilities to Muslims and non-Muslims'. Just five years in operation, been in operation MARC has already made a major impact and attracted a lot of people who visit the centre and take part in the events, exhibition and classes available. MARC has been and is continuing to become incredibly popular amongst members of the community who come to learn more about Islam as well as their cultural history. The Centre maintains its reputation by catering for all ages; it conducts children’s classes, workshops for adults and seminars on a regular basis, as well as housing books aimed at a diverse readership and to meet a variety of needs.
MARC has enjoyed the full support of the World Federation and the Hiridjee Family Foundation since its inception. The success of the project lies in the dedication of the outstanding team of volunteers.
For more information on MARC, please click here.
I pray this email finds you in the best of health and imaan. This month, we see Shan E Abbas Hassam, fondly known as Shan, step down from his role as the Secretary General of The World Federation.