Event Report - Demystifying Islam - Holy Quran Exhibition and #JeSuisHijabi
The Mississauga West chapter of Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association held a very successful Demystifying Islam Event, which included the Holy Quran Exhibition along with a #JeSuisHijabi campaign at the South Common Community Centre on Saturday, May 14th. Both of these events have been held across Canada to bring awareness to the people of Canada and across the world that Islam really is a beautiful and peaceful religion. The purpose of this event is to remove misconceptions that the media relays about Islam and women, through exhibiting the Holy Quran. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at is a dynamic, fast growing international revival movement in Islam. Founded in 1889, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at spans over 206 countries. Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long-awaited Messiah has come in person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(AS) (1835-1908).
The Exhibition showcased Holy Quran translated into different languages, which makes it easy for the reader of any culture or creed to understand and comprehend it. The Holy Quran is the same scripture that was revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), 1400 years ago, nothing has been changed or altered since then. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has translated the Holy Quran into 74 different languages including Braille. Sidra Saeed, one of the volunteers, stated “understanding the Quranic teachings has become an urgent need in the society due to the large number of atrocities committed in the name of Islam through terrorist organization”. She went on to say “this open house allowed visitors to ask questions, regarding various misconceptions of Islam and women”.
The #JeSuisHijabi campaign was launched by Ahmadiiya Muslim Jama’at Canada in December 2015,in light of attacks on Canadian Mosques and assaults on Canadian Muslim women. It is imperative that Canadians across the country stand united in the face of these senseless acts of intolerance. The #JeSuisHijabi campaign has been reported and telecasted throughout Canada. Many guest were very eager to find out why women wear the hijab, is it forced upon them or is it a choice. Women wear the hijab to cover up any natural beauty, which is apparent. Hijab was worn by women of all major religions, for instance Mary, mother of Jesus, is portrayed in many pictures with a head covering. Orthodox Jewish women cover their heads after they are married, although they shave their head and must wear a wig, because natural hair is portrayed as beauty. One guest remarked by saying “I have always found women who wear the hijab so much more beautiful than the ones who don’t.” Another young woman commented how she admires our strength and our ability to hold onto our faith despite the constant backlash that Muslims tend to receive. Hijab is not forced on the woman; it is by choice or habit that she wears it.Saadia Malik one of the volunteers said “ I had the privilege of speaking to many guest who were interested to know why I chose to wear the hijab, and how I maintain my faith and my beliefs in this current atmosphere of political upheaval and general Islamophobia.”This campaign hopes to give Canadians an opportunity to hear from Muslim women firsthand and understand what their faith and identity means to them.
Many of the guests who attended were very interested in learning about Islam and its true teachings. They walked through the Holy Quran and the literature booths, before asking questions. Some guests tried on the hijab and wereimpressed how good they looked.
The guest left with a positive attitude towards Islam, they were so enlightened and grateful to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association for organizing such an event that has made them aware of Islam in a whole different aspect. The guests were given literature on Islam.Saadia Malik said, “It was so refreshing to see so many people who were so interested in learning about Islam.”
AhmadiyyaWomens Association hopes to hold many more events like this one in Mississauga to allow for our fellow Canadians to come together and engage in a peaceful dialogue to better understand the Islamic faith.
About the Author:
Bushra Rashid is Secretary Outreach of Ahmadiyya Muslim Women's Association, Mississauga West Chapter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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