By the grace of Allah, on Wednesday, 13 June 2018, Jamaat Ahmadiyya Ottawa West held a very successful Iftar program at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. The program was a part of the “Fast with Muslims” campaign that is launched each year in Ramadhan in Canada. The Iftar program was run by Awais Mehmood Sahib, Secretary Umur-e-Kharija Ottawa West.
Guests began to arrive at the Sir John A MacDonald Building at 7:00pm. Khuddam had already set everything up by that time and were ready to receive the guests. Time was given to the guests to socialise and inter-mingle, while engaging in inter-faith discussions. At 7:50pm, the formal program began with Tilawat of the Holy Quran and translation. The master of ceremony for the program was Faheem Affan Sahib (Assistant National Secretary Umur-e-Kharija).
Opening remarks were given by Hon. Judy Sgro, who is a member of Parliament in Canada and Director Parliamentary Friends Association, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Canada. I was honored to present the topic of “Islam and Fasting – An Introduction”, where the themes of Islam and peace, the purpose of fasting and an introduction to the Promised Messiahas and Khilafat were covered. This was followed by a presentation by Nabil Mirza Sahib (Missionary Ottawa West) in the French language, where he covered similar themes.
This was followed by remarks from the dignitaries, which included Hon. Deb Schulte (MP), Hon. Ramesh Sangha (MP), Hon. Yasmin Ratansi (MP) and Reverend Deacon Dr. Andrew Bennett. The fast ended at 8:55pm, following which the guests broke the fast with dates and water. Arrangements were made in an adjacent hall for prayers. After the Maghrib prayer, the concluding remarks and vote of thanks were given by Khamis Salam-Alada Sahib (Sadr Jamaat Ottawa West). The guests were then able to enjoy a delicious buffet meal.
A total of 110 external guests attended this event, including 5 Members of Parliament, two Shiite Imams, the Deputy High Commissioner of Afghanistan, Charge de affairs of Iraq and Burundi High Commissions, representatives from the department of Global Affairs Canada, a Rabbi, Director and representatives of the Religious Freedom Institute. There were also about 45 to 50 Ahmadi Muslims in attendance.
The program concluded by 10pm when Isha prayer was offered in congregation. It was truly a great blessing of Allah as He enabled members of Ottawa Jamaat to spread the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat to the dignitaries who reside in the capital of Canada.