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Islamic Heritage Month Canada

According to the 2016 Census, there’s just over one million Muslims currently living in Canada, representing approximately 3% of the total population. Islam is one of the three fastest-growing non-Christian religions in the country, alongside Hinduism and Sikhism. With a total population of just over 38 million, that’s quite a bit.

The arrival of settlers in Canada has led to the population to be primarily of European descent and following Christian traditions. Millions from around the world have made Canada their home in the last several decades alone, but they remain a minority, often subject to discrimination. As a reason, the minority groups – cultural and religious – are celebrated throughout the year.   

Where are the Muslims making history in Canada?

They’re hiding in plain sight within our communities! They are the Shuyukh who are working day and night to uphold the Islamic values and keep our Masajid united. However, they are also the men and women in academia and in the media who are ensuring that our narrative is not hijacked and the diverse voices of the Muslim Ummah are amplified.   

This Islamic Heritage Month, we want to spotlight the achievements and voices of the gems in our society, so that our youth have role models who inspire them to embrace their Muslim identity while following their dreams.  

Check out NZF Instagram and Facebook for highlights of some of the brilliant figures in our community:  

Why is Islamic Heritage Month important? 

Canada is a decidedly multicultural country, with religious freedoms enshrined in the Charter. Although Canada boasts multiculturalism as its policy, minority communities have experienced immense marginalization and discrimination, especially after the September 11 attacks. Discrimination and violence against Muslims increased on this side of the border as well.  

Along with turning the tides against Islamophobia, this month celebrates the rich and diverse history of Muslims in Canada, highlighting their contributions and achievements to Canadian society. This month is not only beneficial for the non-Muslims in learning about Islam and the amazing Muslims that carry the torch of Islam in everything they do, but also for the Muslim youth in Canada who struggle to identify with mainstream figures or influencers.   

This month is a time for us to bring our non-Muslim friends and neighbors to our Masajid and our homes, giving them an example of Islamic lifestyle and values. The fear of Muslims in the hearts of many stems from not knowing or being shown a stereotypical image in the media. The mosque, while a place of worship, is also a place where the youth play basketball or a place the elders of the community meet up. Muslim homes have the same struggles, goals, and dynamics as a non-Muslim home. While we can go around countering our ‘otherness,’ the best way is to show, not tell.  

 When it comes to our image, Muslims are mainly identified by ritualistic actions such as praying, fasting, wearing a hijab, or pilgrimage. But never are we synonymized with our charitable actions and giving back to the community, which is one of the core values of our faith - the pillar of Zakat. Use this month as an opportunity to show that charitable acts are an integral part of being a Muslim, that to fulfill our duty as a good Muslim, we are obliged to share a part of our wealth with those in need and encouraged to practice constant charity in the form of Sadaqah. 

Although Islamic Heritage Month is just 31 days, we must remember that awareness around Islamic Heritage should not end with the month. Each one of us is a torch bearer of Islam and our actions convey the message of our faith.  

CLICK HERE for more information on how to pay your Zakat.

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