Anytime a person sees the word “united” in the title, one of two thoughts pop into a person’s mind. Either it’s a sales gimmick or it’s a legitimate, concrete effort to achieve just that — be more united! It is no secret that our community can come together on a more united front, especially in this day and age. Fortunately, United Islamic Awareness Week was the latter: a real effort to do things right.
Four Muslim Student Association (MSAs), from four different universities, in four different cities in Canada came together, with a united theme, a united effort and a united goal — convey the truth. The MSAs at the Universities of Regina, University of Calgary, Northern Alberta Institute of technology, and the University of Saskatchewan, all participated in the United Islam Awareness Week, which, as far as they know, is the first one of its kind in the world.
The message they wanted to convey couldn’t have been more relevant. In a day and age when the truth means little, and in fact has been ignored time and time again, how do we express and convey the truth, in this new, post-truth world? Four speakers, including iERA’s Imam Anwar Arafat and Shaykh Fahad Tasleem, were invited for a whirlwind of a week, with talks and discussions. Four cities in four days, and then the fifth day for a conference on Dawah geared towards Muslims.
One might suspect though that it was a jam-packed schedule and very difficult, but the organizers were amazing and stepped up to the plate, Ma Sha’-Allah. They more than made up for the cold weather through the warmth of their hospitality. The events were, alhamdulillah, a success. Months went into the planning, coordinating, flying from city to city. Yes flying, driving would have taken 7 to 8 hours between each city — even though they are all technically in the same geographic region of the country — illustrating the vastness of Canada.
The audience came from a diverse range of backgrounds of different faiths and ethnicities. Most of the attendees were students from the university — along with locals from the community attending also — the topics included:
- Islamophobia and dispelling many myths about Islam and Muslims
- The Quran as a trustworthy text,
- The purpose of life and why we’re all here
- Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) his influence, and the truth of his claim to prophethood.
Many people engaged in questions that lasted well beyond the ending time. Interest in the topics was definitely there, fortunately, our speakers were more than able and ready to answer them and convey the message, alhamdulillah.
To arrange an iERA speaker visit your MSA or ISOC, simply get in touch at iera.org/request.