Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
Canada Day celebrates the anniversary of the Canadian confederation, which took place on 1 July 1867. On this day, three colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick united into a single Dominion named Canada, within the British Empire. Originally named Dominion Day, the day was renamed Canada Day in 1982.
The day is celebrated with a patriotic zeal across Canada. Celebratory ceremonies are held all day long, with live performances, stalls, activities for children and food for all. Fireworks in the evening bring the day to an end.
The largest event of such kind is held in Ottawa (the capital city of Canada) where the governor general of Canada and prime minister address the attendees.
Nadeem Mahmood Sahib reports that Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada has been celebrating this event across the country for many years, especially in cities where the Jamaat has a mosque. These events are held, keeping in line with the commandment of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him:
“Love of one’s homeland is part of faith.”
These events are open to the public and are attended by government officials, neighbours and members of the Jamaat. A complimentary barbecue lunch is usually served. Jamaat Calgary has the distinction of serving free barbecue to the highest number of attendees in a single Canada Day event, totalling 10,000.
In Bait-ul-Islam Mosque, Toronto, the Canada Day celebration programme is the largest of its kind in the city of Vaughan. In addition to a barbecue, there are kid’s rides, vendor stalls and many more festivities.
This year, due to Covid-19, all Canada Day events were held virtually. Local dignitaries, including councillors, mayors, MPPs (member provincial parliament), MPs (member federal parliament), provincial ministers, federal ministers, head of police, attended and delivered their messages.
Blood donation drives by Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada were especially appreciated.
Canada Day events were held in the jamaats of Vaughan, Calgary, Brampton, Toronto, Hamilton, Saskatoon and Ottawa. All events were broadcasted on YouTube, enabling local Jamaat members to attend virtually.
Below are highlights of some of the events held at major Canadian cities:
The city of Brampton is located some 30 km west of Bait-ul-Islam Mosque, Toronto. Both local chapters of Brampton celebrated Canada Day at a joint virtual event.
The event started with the recitation and translation of the Holy Quran and recital of the Canadian national anthem by children in English and French. Children presented video greetings.
Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada, Lal Khan Malik Sahib addressed the virtual event and welcomed all those present. He explained the importance of love for one’s country for all Muslims. Guests and dignitaries shared their thoughts.
The city of Calgary is at some 3,300 km west of Bait-ul-Islam Mosque, Toronto. This year, Canada Day was a virtual event, with a live blood donation clinic. 87 donors showed up, of which 58 were from Jamaat. A total of 74 units were donated. Hamilton is about 90 km south-west of Bait-ul-Islam Mosque, Toronto. The Jamaat held a car rally, which started at the Ahmadiyya Mosque and ended at city hall.
In Ottawa, which is almost 500 km north-east of Bait-ul-Islam Mosque, the Jamaat distributed sweets to kids in the local community through a drive-thru arrangement.
May Allah the Almighty enable us to continue to be loyal to our country and become model citizens. Amin