Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
“I shall cause thy message to reach the corners of the Earth”, was a grand prophecy given to the Promised Messiahas that is being fulfilled every day. In the same spirit, by the grace of Allah, Calgary Jamaat has been holding world religions conferences across Alberta (AB), British Columbia (BC) and Northwest Territories (NT) for over a decade. Every year, 20 to 25 members travel over 3,600 km to hold several events in remote towns of these areas.
The theme of this year’s events was, “Universal compassion: The core human value”. During the journey, the help and support of Allah was experienced more than ever.
This year an entourage of 26 members embarked on a 5-day journey on Friday 13 September. They held six events at Dawson Creek BC, Grande Prairie AB, Peace River AB, Hay River NT, K’at’lodeeche First Nation Reserve NT and Yellowknife NT – spanning two provinces and one territory.
After travelling 300 km, the first stop of the trip was Baitul Hadi Mosque, Edmonton, AB. The entourage stayed there for the night. The following morning, they were divided into three teams, each team was to visit one city and hold a conference.
Dawson Creek, British Columbia
The first team had to drive 590 km to get to Dawson Creek, BC. The 3rd world religions conference was held at Kiwanis, the Performing Arts Centre, from 1pm to 2:30pm. The conference was attended by 21 people including 14 non-Ahmadi guests. The event was moderated by a well-known local media personality. Representatives from Buddhism, Aboriginal Spirituality, and Islam expressed their views on the topic. The local newspaper, Dawson Creek Mirror also published articles before and after the event.
Grande Prairie, Alberta
The second team drove 460 km to get to Grande Prairie and held their 6th annual world religions conference at local public library. The event was held from 1pm to 2:30pm and was attended by 20 guests including 13 non-Ahmadi guests. Christian and Islamic perspectives were presented at the conference.
Peace River, Alberta
The third team set its sight on Peace River, at a distance of 500 km. Once there, they hosted the 6th world religions conference from 2pm to 3:30pm. The event was attended by 19 guests including 5 non-Ahmadis.
Later that afternoon, the three teams converged and continued their journey. After travelling 1300km in one day, they reached Hay River, NT. This was their stop for the night. The stay at Hay River was hosted by the K’at’lodeeche First Nation on their land.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
The following morning, Sunday 15 September the entourage travelled another 500km to Yellowknife, NT. The 12th world religions conference was held at Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre from 2pm to 4pm.
The conference was moderated by Deputy Mayor Shauna Morgan, and six speakers representing Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Aboriginal Spirituality, and Islam presented their respective views on the topic. The conference was attended by 40 guests. Several guests showed keen interest in the program and appreciated this effort.
The mainstream media, CBC Northaired a 15 minute live interview of Asif Arif Sahib. A local French radio station, Radio Taiga also interviewed him.
After concluding the Yellowknife WRC, the group travelled 500km back to the K’at’lodeeche First Nation Reserve, Hay River for the night. The following morning, a friendship BBQ was held, at the K’at’lodeeche First Nation Reserve. This was attended by aboriginal Dene people and the deputy Chief of the nation.
Hay River, Northwest Territories
On the same evening, the 4th world religions conference was held from 6pm to 7:30pm at downtown Hay River. The Mayor of Hay River, Kandis Jameson moderated the even and while representatives from Christianity, Aboriginal Spirituality, and Islam presented their perspectives.
The local newspaper, Hay River Hub published an article on the event which included interviews and pictures.
By the grace of Allah, several new contacts were made during all these events and existing friendships strengthened. An important aspect of this year’s tabligh tour was the keen interest and participation of young Ahmadi boys in a significant number. Ten high school students became part of the entourage and participated in tabligh activities.
May Allah bless these humble efforts and produce long lasting results and reward all the volunteers abundantly. Amin.