Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
Lajna Imaillah Canada arranged a special “Youth Winter Excursion” to Ottawa for girls aged 18-24 from the Greater Toronto Area, reported Secretary Tarbiyat Lajna Imaillah Canada, Nadia Mahmood Sahiba. Ottawa is the capital of Canada, located in the province of Ontario, with the Ottawa River on its northern border separating it from the province of Quebec.
The intent of the trip was to allow Lajna members an opportunity to engage in recreational activities with their fellow sisters and to provide them a “safe space” to potentially advance in their respective spiritual journeys.
On 18 February 2023, 22 Lajna members and 6 stewards travelled 495 kilometres (308 miles) from the Baitul Islam Mosque to the Baitun Naseer Mosque in Ottawa. They were received by Sadr Lajna of the Eastern Ontario region and members of her amila. Later, the Lajna members were joined by six Lajna students from neighbouring jamaats of Ottawa West, Ottawa East, and Kingston for dinner and team-building activities and games.
On 19 February, Lajna members crossed the Ottawa River and explored the Snowflake Kingdom in Gatineau, Quebec. Here they enjoyed snow tubing, zip lining, tug of war, and other winter sports activities. They also enjoyed some of Canada’s most iconic culinary delights.
In the afternoon, Lajna members crossed back into Ontario to discover some of the tourist offerings of Canada’s Capital Region. These included the Parliament buildings, the Rideau Center, and the ByWard Market. They also marvelled at the various artwork, activities and ice sculptures on display on Sparks Street in Ottawa.
On 20 February, Lajna members had a session with Sadr Lajna of the Eastern Ontario region. She shared some of her personal memories of Khilafat and brought items from the tabarruk of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. The Lajna members learned firsthand about the life of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and the exemplary model he set in offering sacrifices for the advancement of Islam Ahmadiyyat.
With 2023 being Lajna Imaillah’s centenary year, it was particularly enthralling to hear of the foresight of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in empowering women by creating an organisation that catered specifically to their spiritual and secular needs. Throughout the weekend, Lajna members had impromptu discussions on their faith, the importance of fostering a strong bond with Khilafat, and recognising their role and responsibility as members of Lajna Imaillah.
Lajna members returned to Toronto on the evening of 20 February. Overall, the trip was successful and most participants indicated that it made a positive impact on their lives. Some of the feedback is given below:
Irum Sahiba said:
“I wanted to express my love and appreciation for the entire weekend with a huge Jazakumullah! It was such a unique experience and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to participate in it.”
Shawnzay Sahiba expressed:
“I just wanted to extend my appreciation. I am very grateful for this experience and I enjoyed everything that came from this opportunity. Jazakumullah.”
Fazia Sahiba said:
“We all had a wonderful time, made many friends, and really enjoyed all the activities. I really appreciate all the efforts put into organising this trip and am looking forward to any future Lajna Imaillah trips.”
Tahira Sahiba said:
“I had an amazing time on the trip. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.”
Shumaila Sahiba expressed:
“It was honestly amazing. Everything about the trip was great. I really hope more Lajna get to go on these trips and I’ll definitely be recommending this to everyone who can go. Jazakumullah.”