In the Name of Allah, Merciful and Compassionate
In six months, we’ve established a full schedule of classes; on-boarded two capable, dynamic scholars; moved into a beautiful New Home; held a sold-out 5-day Summer Retreat; and a full schedule of Fall classes and programs–including launching our Steps Essentials Certificate, a Seekers Youth Certificate, and new Islamic Arts and Calligraphy seminars.
As we reach the end of Summer–and the at-capacity SeekersGuidance Retreat 2019–we’d like to share a six-month update on SeekersGuidance Canada.
Alhamdulillah, after establishing our new project at the beginning of 2019, we began a full schedule of week-day and weekend classes at Jame Masjid Mississauga (Coopers). Attendance was very good, and in some cases higher than ever.
In the meantime, we began a careful search for a New Home for SeekersGuidance Canada. As part of this, we held a fundraising luncheon with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Shaykh Muhammad Badhib, and our teachers.
Your generous support at this fundraiser helped us raise enough to sign the draft of the lease for our New Home. Shaykh Yahya’s memorable keynote titled, ‘Knowledge Is Only Spread Through Sacrifice’, and ‘Supporting the Spread of Knowledge in Society by Shaykh Muhammad Ba-Dhib’ is worth listening (or re-listening!) to.
For Ramadan, we had a special daily program on Embracing Excellence, where Ustadh Amjad Tarsin and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani covered Imam Haddad’s manual on personal transformation, The Book of Assistance, in full. The first half of this was covered at Jame Masjid Mississauga. We would like to thank the mosque and its administration for their generous hosting of our classes, and their support.
In mid-Ramadan, we moved into our New Home at 220 Britannia Rd E, at Hurontario, Misssissaga. This local is a stand-alone unit with a sizeable hall; six rooms; and two spacious lounge areas. For the Night of 27th Ramadan, we had a special program at Candles Banquet Hall. The program was at-capacity with over 600 people in attendance. Imam Yama Niazi (a SeekersGudince teacher then based in Santa Barbara, California–now in Vancouver, BC), Ustadh Amjad, Shaykh Faraz, and a wonderful Syrian nasheed group showcased a memorable night of devotion, celebration, and reflection. You can catch the reminders and nasheed on our YouTube channel.
For the Summer of 2019, we launched a fuller schedule of classes, including:
(a) an Arabic and Islamic Studies Summer Intensive (which was at-capacity, with over 70 people enrolled in it);
(b) relaunching our monthly Critical Issues Seminars–with topics including Perfecting Prayer, for which we were honoured to host the esteemed Shaykh Mohsen al-Najjar (an Egyptian scholar based in the UK);
(c) our popular monthly Family Circle led by Ustadha Shireen Ahmed;
(d) our weekly Friday Circle of remembrance and reflection; and
(e) a full-lineup of classes for both a general audience (such as our Mondays Qur’an Circle) and students of knowledge.
These classes have been held in the entrance lounge area–which can accommodate 70 people–as we were awaiting for final approvals to begin the renovations on the beautiful main teaching hall.
Then, in July, Shaykh Yusuf Weltch and Ustadha Halimah–two capable, dynamic, teachers of the Islamic sciences and both certified hafiz of the Qur’an–joined the SeekersGuidance Canada teaching faculty. See: SeekersGuidance Canada Welcomes Two New Teachers–Shaykh Yusuf Weltch and Shaykha Halimah Maideen–Both Students of Habib Umar.Immediately, they began public and private classes. Some of these can be found on our YouTube channel.
Shaykh Yusuf has been teaching in the Summer Intensive, the Sundays Coffee and Connections class, and has been actively teaching our seminary-track students. Ustadah Halimah has been tutoring young, keen female students–and teaching at our weekly Qur’an Clinic.
In February, two of our seminary-track students (Sidi Amr Hashim and Sr. Yasmin Taher) went to Tarim, Hadhramawt ,to pursue full-time studies under the mentorship of Habib Umar bin Hafiz–after completing three years of foundational Islamic studies here with Seekers here in Toronto.
We presently have three full-time students studying daily under Shaykh Faraz, Shaykh Yusuf, and other teachers. They are making good progress, and are actively training to become future teachers and leaders for our communities, insha’Allah.
We hope to expand our Seminary-track program further in the upcoming months.
Our annual Retreat has been one of our most impactful programs: the five days of immersion in a beautiful natural environment, with close interaction with inspiring scholars, and good company are a life-changing experience for many of the attendees. Many of these go on to become regular students in our classes and programs.
This year’s Retreat, held over Labour Day weekend at the beautiful Bark Lake in the Muskoka region, is at full-capacity (nearly 150 attendees), with eight diverse teachers–Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, Imam Yama Niazi, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Ustadha Shireen Ahmed, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Yusuf Weltch, Ustadha Halimah Maideen, and Ustadh Tayssir Safi.
This Fall, we are launching three key new programs:
(a) the one-year, Steps Essentials Certificate;
(b) the new Seekers Youth Certificate;
(c) new monthly Islamic Arts seminars with leading world-class calligraphers and artists.
And all of this is offered completely free–through your consistent support.
Please consider becoming a monthly donor–even a dollar a day goes a long way–and help us spread reliable knowledge and guidance in our community and around the world.