Br. Sharaf Sharafeldine’s June Newsletter Address
Salam walaikum wa Rahmatullah,
I pray you, your families, and the communities around you are well and in good health. There is much to be grateful for over the past month. Alhamdulillah we completed a very unique month of worship in a quarantined Ramadan. As a community we came together and realized that it is through the Mercy of Allah(swt) and our collective resilience that we could engage in the special blessings of Ramadan and continue our worship, charity and fasting together, albeit in a physically-distanced way.
Whether it was regular online webinars that discussed fiqh-related issues; children’s competitions and games and storytimes; youth-specific programming that incorporated fun, learning and worship; virtual iftar gatherings; community-giving programs or our regular ½ hour before maghreb daily reminders – MAC was focussed on engaging our communities in a way that helped them feel that we as Canadian Muslims were in this together and could continue our worship in the shade of the Qur’an.
Our MAC Give Foodshare program led by youth across the country continued strong through Ramadan as nearly 10,000 food and grocery packages have been delivered to individuals and families across the country! The impact of this program was even recognized by our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his address to the community during our virtual Eid Celebration this year.
Our eid programs on the ground took form according to regional regulations and all 13 chapters were able to arrange eid gift distributions through our centers and mosques. Not only that, this Eid, we also brought out our students and their families for an eid celebration as we distributed eid packs to our students across the country. Ramadan and Eid at a time of social distancing was a blessing through which we as Muslims in Canada were still able to feel each other’s presence and rely on the blessing of community.
For over 20 years MAC has served the community by hosting Eid festivities. Currently, over 100,000 people gather across 10 major cities in the country. This year was a year of redefinition – one where MAC transformed the festival onto an online platform presenting A Coast to Coast Eid to Remember! By the grace of Allah (swt), this coast to coast production uniquely brought a Canadian Muslim Eid celebration into nearly 20,000 households (an estimate of 80,000 individual viewers) across the country.
MAC’s Coast to Coast: Eid to Remember cumulatively represented the voices of the Prime Minister and 12 major politicians across the country, 20 major charitable organizations, 25 religious scholars and leaders, and nearly 30 major mosques, centres and Islamic schools across the country. Multiple segments of the program catered to different age groups and closed off with an entertainment program. The program envisioned a fun day that celebrated the successful completion of 30 days of fasting, worship and charity.
Alhamdulillah, the current realities around us are pulling us together in ways we would not have imagined because we know what will help us get through all of this is turning to Allah(swt) and continuing to connect with one another. However, we are also at the crossroads of major events that are beckoning us to question our own moral and ethical stances. It is a time when the injustices faced by our brothers and sisters of the black community should push us to first of all understand more about the complexities of this reality, and secondly to act in some way.
عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيّ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ سَمِعْت رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم يَقُولُ: “مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ، وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَانِ” .
On the authority of Abu Sa`eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]
Reference: hadith #34, 40 Hadith of Imam Nawawi
In light of recent occurrences, we as an organization, renew our commitment to change this sad reality through what we specialize in: education. We will ensure that our schools and centres continue to teach and model compassion and inclusion as taught by the Prophet Muhammad (saw). We will also encourage our students to stand up against injustice as it manifests itself in many forms of racism and aggression.
MAC is committing to improving representation and diversity across our centres by increasing engagement and involvement in leadership and decision making. MAC extends its support to black community organizations in their struggle against ignorance and injustice through partnership and collaboration.
May Allah(swt) guide us to strive together to support our brothers and sisters from the Black community towards positive resolutions and healing from the struggles and pains they suffer. Ameen.