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Were You Able To “Grasp The Light”?

16 Events. 3 Cities. 3 Weeks. 1 Scholar.

It was truly a jam-packed few weeks that kicked off the beginning of this year: January 2015- truly a month to remember. It all started with the idea that there were huge events happening at the beginning of the month (Generation Muslim Vancouver) and at the end (United Islam Awareness Week), but there was a gap in between that needed to bridge the momentum from one event to the next, a gap that left us with a great opportunity.

So how did we fill in this gap? With the help and commitment of Dr. Reda Bedeir, a renowned scholar and a PhD holder from Al-Azhar University in Applied Linguistics and Tafsir of Surat Yusuf, and through the will of Allah subhanau wa ta’ala, we were able to host an event almost every night for our three week run in January.

The first city in the line-up was Calgary. During the weekdays, we were able to visit all four quadrants of the city and visit the major Islamic Centres in those areas. This provided an opportunity for Muslims all over Calgary to be able to attend a Halaqa with Dr. Reda. The talks were based on improving ourselves as individuals with titles such as, “Now I Know What to Change”, and “Racing to the Forgiveness of Allah”.

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The Saturday of the weekend consisted of a tightly packed lecture hall at the University of Calgary where, in association with the Muslim Students’ Association, we hosted a marriage workshop titled, “Engagement before Encagement”. The workshop lived up to its title and engaged a diverse group of audience members who benefitted from learning about the “ABCs of Marriage” starting from how to go about selecting a spouse to maintaining a healthy relationship after years of marriage.

The next day, we hosted a mini-conference titled “Ummah Rising: Coming Together and Discovering Who We Are”. The goal of this conference was to increase unity in the Muslim community and tackle issues that affect the building blocks of our Ummah, which are our families. The talks were focused around the topics of raising righteous children, and at the same time helping children to deal with the generation gap that may lead to a loss of communication between them and their parents. With many families attending, the younger audience took full advantage of the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns to the older members of the community. Everyone was engaged and new deep understandings were discovered, as community members came together.

Moving on to the next city, Dr. Reda visited the major Islamic Centres in Edmonton throughout the week, and then held a professional Dawah Course on Friday night. The two focuses of this course were the characteristics of the Da’ee along with the linguistic and scientific miracles of the Qur’an. A community potluck and the “Ummah Rising” conference followed on Saturday, and then a second conference titled “A Big Deal: Answering Everyday Muslim Dilemmas” was held on the Sunday. The focus of this new conference was on the issues that Muslims face everyday living in a non-Muslim society and how to effectively overcome those challenges.

The first two weeks flew by as we headed into the final week in Saskatoon. The brothers and sisters of Saskatoon took full advantage of Dr. Reda’s expertise of the Arabic language and hosted a five day Arabic crash course at the University of Saskatchewan. As Muslims, we know the importance of learning Arabic and being familiar with it, but we were surprised when at the University of Saskatchewan, a large number of non-Muslims participated as well, so it also became a very important opportunity for Dawah.

In order to connect more with the Muslim community of Saskatoon, Dr. Reda also held Halaqat every night at the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan Masjid with a focus on the Tafsir of Surat Yusuf. The Saskatoon community was able to take advantage of Dr. Reda’s expertise on Surat Yusuf since he holds a PhD on the subject. Then, the tour was capped off with another “Engagement before Encagement” workshop along with an “Ummah Rising” conference.

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Alhamdulillah, the amount of people that were able to benefit in such a short amount of time was nothing short of a miracle and could not be accomplished without the blessings of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. NYM Ink would like to thank all of the different organizations that collaborated with us in the three cities to host Dr. Reda. Events like these help to bring together our Ummah and help us to remain united against the many challenges we face today. We hope that we will be able to continue on this tradition in the future and help protect the future of our Ummah.

And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers.” [Surat Adh-Dhariyat: 55]

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