Bismillahi Rahmanir Rahheem. Ash-hadu anlla ilaha ila-lahu,wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan (pbuh) Rasulu-llah
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
On a bright Sunday afternoon of January 22nd, 1995, a group of 7 men and 4 women got together in the apartment of one of them to organize what they called the “first organizing committee” of the “Nigerian Muslim Association of Canada”. This group of immigrants of Nigerian extinction had been concerned about the absence of a place of organized worship for the religion which they profess to, Islam. They were even more concerned that one of the prime injunctions of the religion itself prescribes that congregational prayer is more beneficial, and more glorious, than praying individually.
Words quickly spread to other Muslims in the Toronto area of this epoch and trail-blazing event and more people immediately started showing interest in becoming part of this happy and God-seeking group. The next meeting, one week after, witnessed 15 attendees, 20 attended the following week, and the figure has been growing ever since. Thus was born the Nigerian Canadian Muslim Association (NCMA), Canada’s premier and largest concentration of Muslims of Nigerian birth, ancestry or heritage.
At the initial stages, organized were held in shifts at individual members’ apartments or houses. Then, to a rented office on 777 King Street, Toronto, from where activities moved to 86, Rivalda Road, North York at Talim-Ul-Islam mosque. It is with grace of Allah that the association purchased its own property, Ansar ul-Islam Mosque on Milvan Drive, Unit 7 North York, in June 2003. Plans are now on-going to purchase a bigger, more spacious and befitting place that will accommodate our ever-growing membership, children and youths who run into hundreds. Our fundraising efforts to that effect continue both locally and abroad.
WHAT WE STAND FOR AT NCMA
The Nigerian Canadian Muslim Association (NCMA) seeks to be a community in which all Muslims can come together on a common platform to worship ALLAH, where the Qur’an, the Hadith; the teaching and practice of Prophet Muhammad; (P .B. U .H.), is the fundamental principle of our faith. In fact, the “Shahaadah” is the fundamental essence of our being Muslims, and is stated hereunder:
DECLARATION OF ISLAMIC FAITH (Shahaadah or kalima)
There is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger
LA ILAHA ILLA’LLAH, MUHAMMADAN RASULU’ALLAH
We desire to be good Muslims seeking the kingdom without neglecting the Mosque; exulting in the beauty, the joy and the privileges of life without condoning the evils; serving the mosque without overlooking the law, loving Canada without forgetting the world; magnifying the Holy Qur’an without discrediting the research, continuing being a believer and living our lives according to the guiding principle of the Qur’an, Hadith; the teaching of our Prophet Muhammad, (P .B. U .H.),
Who is Allah?
Allah is the proper name for Almighty God, and is often translated merely as “God.” Allah has other names that are used to describe His characteristics: the Creator, the Sustainer, the Merciful, the Compassionate, etc.
We at NCMA believe, as all other Muslims, that since Allah alone is the Creator, it is He alone that deserves our devout love and worship. Islam holds to a strict monotheism. Any worship and prayers directed at saints, prophets, other human beings or nature is considered idolatry.
What do Muslims believe about God, prophets, the afterlife, etc.?
The basic beliefs of Muslims fall into six main categories, which are known as the “Articles of Faith”:
- Faith in the unity of God
- Faith in the angels
- Faith in the prophets
- Faith in the books of revelation
- Faith in an afterlife
- Faith in destiny/divine decree
The “five pillars” of Islam:
In Islam, faith and good works go hand-in-hand. A mere verbal declaration of faith is not enough, for belief in Allah makes obedience to Him a duty.
The Muslim concept of worship is very broad. Muslims consider everything they do in life to be an act of worship, if it is done according to Allah’s guidance. There are also five formal acts of worship which help strengthen a Muslim’s faith and obedience. They are often called the “Five Pillars of Islam.”
Daily Life as a Muslim:
While often seen as a radical or extreme religion, Muslims consider Islam to be the middle road. Muslims do not live life with complete disregard for God or religious matters, nor do they neglect the world to devote themselves solely to worship and prayer. Muslims strike a balance by fulfilling the obligations of, and enjoying this life, while always mindful of their duties to Allah and to others.
- Morals and manners
- Business ethics
- Modesty in dress and behavior
- Dietary rules
- Care of children and elderly
- Racism and prejudice
- Relations with non-Muslims
NCMA AS A REGISTERED CANADIAN CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION
The Nigerian Canadian Muslim Association is a registered Charitable Organization by virtue of the statues of the Province of Ontario. We shall serve the best interest of Muslims and Islamic followers in accordance with the Holy Qura’n and the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H).
The main goal of the N.C.M.A is to serve the best interest of Muslims according to the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) and to render all the decisions of the Association, Board of Directors and Executive Council in accordance with the traditions and principles of Islamic belief.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
- To preach, promote and advance the spiritual teaching of Islamic faith by practicing the religious rites, tenets and doctrines of Islam. Towards achieving these objectives, the N.C.M.A shall;
- Maintain Missions and Missionaries to propagate the Islamic faith;
- Buy, sell, build, own, and let properties in furtherance of the aims and objectives of the Association;
- Have the power to accept donations, gifts, legacies and bequests from individuals, groups, governments and the general public;
- Support charitable and humanitarian causes
- Not to affiliate with, support or denounce any political organization(s) in Canada, Nigeria or elsewhere.
- To do every lawful thing that is incidental to the attainment of the above Aims and Objectives.
CHARITABLE AND HUMANITARIAN CAUSES
The Executive shall decide at its meeting after due deliberations on the form of assistance, that is, monetary or otherwise, and the amount to be given out and how to raise the finances for such project. The projects shall include but not limited to the following;
1. Provide general counseling functions in matters including, but not limited to, family, marriage, financial and employment matters;
2. Render assistance to Muslims and Newcomers to enable them settle down and integrate more quickly into the Canadian way of life through support counseling and referral services;
3. Provide skill acquisition training programs for newcomers to prepare them for the job market, as well as self employment preparation and access to micro-finance facilities;
4. Provide financial assistance/aid to immigrants and newcomers towards surviving the temporary moments of adversity and life’s hardships which they may initially face;
5. Provide Islamic training programs that would help mobilize Muslims and convince non-Muslims of the beauty of the Islamic religion and tenets;
6. Reduce social isolation by creating opportunities through Islamic teachings, for community involvement, interaction and serve as platform of good networking;
7. Provide services to Muslims and new immigrants aimed at improving their self-esteem through direct community involvement, outreach, networking, symposia and other organized forums;
8. Provide moral and financial support to the family of the deceased, who can either be a member or non-member
The policy makers at NCMA realize that many Muslims are unaware of the basics of Islam and therefore do not have the knowledge to practice their faith. Consequently, the power and confidence that comes from prayer and the remembrance of Allah is absent in their lives. Peace and serenity that is the promise of Allah to those who worship Him is unattainable, and stress, conflict, confusion, alcoholism, drug abuse and suicides become the alternatives.
ISLAMIC EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS
NCMA goal is to bring the simple, honest message of Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This means, stressing the importance of the five pillars of Islam encouraging Muslims to read the Qur’an, and to constantly practice dhikr (the remembrance of Allah). To accomplish this onerous task, NCMA recently entered into a working relationship with the reputable and influential organization called the Qur’an Institute of Toronto, towards running an educational training program for both the young and adult alike. Classes take place every Saturday and Sunday at the association’s premises, 190 Milvan Road, Unit 7, North York, Ontario.
MESSAGE TO ALL MUSLIMS
The message to Muslims, therefore, is enjoy the pleasures of the world within the boundaries placed on us by Allah while being grateful to Him for His bounties. Praise Him in Salaat, five times a day, seek His pleasure by doing anything which will benefit one’s family, one’s community and one’s environment, and remember Him always in our every word and action.
May almighty Allah be with us all.
President Executive Committee
This piece is taken from the website of the Nigerian Canadian Muslim Association.
See on-line at: http://www.nigeriancanadianmuslim.com/aboutus.php?:#