Saeeda Khanem, Regional Tabligh Co-ordinator, Lajna Imaillah Prairie, Canada
Lajna Imaillah Prairie Region in Canada organised its first in-person interfaith symposia in the cities of Regina and Saskatoon under the theme “The Empowerment of Women Through My Faith.”
The first of the two interfaith symposia was held on 13 May 2023 at the Mehmood Mosque in Regina.
The event started with the recitation from the Holy Quran and its translation. An introduction to the centenary celebrations of Lajna Imaillah was presented to the guests by Faiqa Naz Sahiba. The first speaker, Karen Jelinski, represented the Lighthouse at the All Nations Church of Regina. She was followed by Gurdeep Kaur, who spoke on behalf of the Sikh faith. Judy Mazur represented Judaism, and Winna Martin, from Saint Paul’s Cathedral, represented the Christian faith. Elder Lorna spoke on behalf of the Indigenous Community.
Sadr Lajna Imaillah Regina, Madiha Musawar Sahiba represented Islam. Towards the end of the presentation, a few dignitaries also addressed the attendees and gave their viewpoints. The event concluded with a silent prayer.
Lajna Imaillah Regina also received written greeting messages and acknowledgement of the contribution of Lajna Imaillah Regina from the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan on behalf of His Majesty King Charles III, the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, and the Mayor of Regina. An in-person greeting was also received from Laura Ross on behalf of the Saskatchewan Premier, MLA Nicole Sarauer on behalf of NDP Leader Carla Beck, Regina School Board Trustees, and Nancy MacKenzie, Executive Director, Customer Experience, Regina Public Library.
Guests attending the symposium also included members from Luther College, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Mary of Magdala inclusive Catholic, the Holy Child Roman Catholic Church, Living Hope Alliance Church, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, the Regina Multi-faith Forum, and the Regina Immigrant Women’s Centre.
The symposium was attended by 68 guests, who were shown around the mosque and visited various stalls.
The second symposium was held at the Bait-ur-Rahmat Mosque in Saskatoon on 29 May 2023. The purpose of the event was to introduce the beautiful and peaceful teachings of Islam to different schools of thought.
The event started with the recitation from the Holy Quran, followed by its translation. Nuur Anwar Sahiba welcomed the guests and presented the history of Lajna Imaillah. The subsequent event consisted of five speeches by different faith speakers, including Pastor Fran of the Christian faith, Malvina Repko of Judaism, Dr Harjeet Kaur belonging to the Sikh faith, Dr Vasundha Eraguntala of the Hindu faith, and lastly, Dr Sadaf Baloch Sahiba, who presented the view of Islam Ahmadiyyat.
Councillor Bev Dubois also spoke to the attendees and gave a short address thanking everyone for the event. The presentation ended with the Regional Sadr Lajna Imaillah, Bushra Nazeer Aftab Sahiba, speaking about the achievements of Lajna Imaillah. She thanked all the speakers and guests and appreciated the tireless efforts of the volunteers to make this event successful.
Overall, the event was attended by 72 guests, which included the Board of Trustees, doctors, scientists, educators, lawyers, engineers, and politicians. Nearly 80 Lajna members attended the event. The event concluded with a silent prayer.
After the event, the guests visited various exhibitions and expressed their gratitude for the warm hospitality exhibited by Lajna Imaillah. The evening concluded with Lajna members and guests having dinner together.
The Premier of Saskatchewan, Scott Moe, sent a written message congratulating Lajna Imaillah on its centenary. Similar messages were also received from other government officials.
In Saskatoon and Regina altogether, 140 non-Ahmadi guests, 120 Lajna members, and 10 nasirat attended the two interfaith symposia.