Friday, 20 April 2018

#HumboldtStrong

Sorry to hear of this tragedy
Youths and teens loss so crazily
With dreams and laughter they shot their puck
Hockey moms wail while carnage fill our sanity

What a beautiful thing it could be
Loss of lives awakens generosity
People from hockey loves and disbelievers together
On the platform of giving charity

So is the course of life
If you look at the glass half empty
You lose a child and family
But half full gives you  hockey players from faraway Cities!

Friday, 13 April 2018

Isra and Meraj- Ascension of Muhammad teaches us to rise up to causes!

Holy is He Who carried His servant by night from the Holy Mosque (in Makka) to the farther Mosque (in Jerusalem) - whose surroundings We have blessed - that We might show him some of Our signs 1. Indeed He alone is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. (Quran 17:1)

The ascension is what inspires me to rise to the call of duty every day. Why is that so? The fact that the Prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace, was beginning to feel the weight of the mission in Mecca and needed some respite or inspiration around the ninth year after Prophethood is the raison d'etre of Isra and Meraj. What did Allah provide for him to continue fueling his drive? It was this miraculous journey into the heavens visiting his comrades like Prophet Musa and Ibrahim who had very similar challenges from a disbelieving people. He was so inspired that he returned within the night rejuvenated and ready to continue spreading the word of God among the Quresh despite their brutal racism against him and His Companions.

I think today when we are called to serve humanity and share the love of Islam through our humanitarian deed as called Zakat and Fitra and Qurbani and Sadqa we have to rise to the occasion and this will be our Meraj and Isra. Ascension to the heavens can be done just here without the miraculous Buraq and travel to Jerusalem in the night by sacrificing a bit of our worldly possessions so that we let a human live, let a child breathe, let a mother eat and let humanity survive in dignity once more. Malala, our shero, just thought us that and we are lucky to have her in Canada on Meraj and Isra fighting for girls education worldwide!





Sunday, 28 January 2018

Quebec Massacre Commemoration: A time to invest in people

As I think of those who loss their lives whilst praying in the mosque in Quebec a year ago, today, I'm reminded that Canada is the best country in the world to live in, however, we are a work in progress.
As we celebrated the Canada 150 throughout last year we aimed in our celebrations to invite First Nations and people from different faiths and races. Not only Muslims. As I just concluded the first One Love Cruise I am blessed to have people from from all faiths and nationalities aboard the beautiful Carnival cruise. The power of love is the only thing that seems to fight deadly racism, one white supremacist who converted to Islam said to me just after the Quebec tragedy! I am working on a documentary to share his story with the world!

I am not oblivious to the deliberate policies that divide us and those who are intent to follow suit the tweets that aim to denigrate us.

What is true, however, is that little funds are placed upon investing in people. More funds are for research and political promotions, besides in exorbitant buildings in the name of worship.

As chaplain I see men and women worry about suicide, delayed justice, immigration detentions prolonged, divided families, racism in its raw form, homophobia, anti Aboriginal and Black racism among other ugliness. So to hear the ringing cries of Islamophobia from Quebec last year, the day after we just celebrated One Love Gala for the successful reintegration of inmates, and the day before our Interfaith musical at a church with a Rabbi, shocked me first and made me angry after.

Knowing that it's like pulling teeth to fund programs and faith based work in our communities. It's easier to get buy a blunt and legally smoke in front our children now than to ask for funds to invest in the spiritual and social wellness of our youths.

A young man walked into my office this week just to share his grief of a young cousin who died from suicide. He lost three friends similarity! A girl who I had known for years in Ottawa doing fabulous community service revealed in an email on Launchgood I read last night that she has been on suicide watch since last year. I feel incredibly sad and yet I continue to beat the road of Interfaith knowing that the interactions of different races and faiths and sexuality is what will destroy racism and stop more Muslims from being killed. However, the police reports in Canada demonstrates differently. More people have increasingly been victims of Islamophobia and Antisemitism of recent.

I ask where is the funding and the resources to make people feel like family and neighbors again? Not with increased poverty. We see Muslims operating more food banks and volunteering together against homelessness or venturing into unchatterered waters on many aspect of socio-economic fronts and not only on Rohingya and Palestine but it's not debunking the myths as fast as we wish.

It's time to stop crying wolf and make every act of racism me too- invest in people and not tweets!
One Love Cruise family Jan 2018

Join us Mar 3rd for the 6th One Love Gala as we help others make this a better world by the power of love!

Onelove150.com

One Love Day

Media Release
Jan 6/2018
Re: Apex Consulting Greater Toronto One Love Gala
One Love Gala 2018: The Power of Love
The One Love gala was inspired by Bob Marley’s song one love!
Some six years ago, when diversity chaplaincy was under threat, thanks to a Minister who thought otherwise, I was sitting distraught and this song was playing. I thought to myself that we must have an event that both celebrates our work with those incarcerated and advocates for the continuation of this crucial service. The name suited it so much as interfaith leaders and people from all walks of life joined us for an evening of much love! This year’s 6th anniversary will be held on Sat Mar 6th at Elite Banquet Hall 1850 Albion Rd Toronto with chief guest Shaikh Riad Ourzazi.
Those incarcerated gets a second chance in Canada. That is the very teachings of our Faiths. We live and let others live. Chaplains do not sit in the jury box. They are there with a compassionate heart and a listening ear, holding hands with the men and women who approach them for spiritual direction, throughout their journey.
Many such individuals have passed the boundaries of the prisons and have reintegrated into society successfully. Their stories inspire those who aspire to change. We must honor them in their journey. For many, these transformative years have renewed their faith and given them a chance to forgive.
To make a theme that speaks to our mental crisis- we say:  The Power of Love!
First Nations are a crucial foundation of Canada and world politics. We can only learn to love if we are prepared to forgive. We are letting the stories of diversity chaplains, successful inmates and Interfaith communities serenade us with Four Awards- the Malcolm X, Tayyibah Taylor, Ghulam Sajan and Lyla Ali awards that nite!
Dress Code: formal Gala wear.
Color theme: Red, Black and White
After party theme: #HAVEFUN!
Hash tag: #ThePowerOfLove
Thank You
Co Chair and Founder
Habeeb Alli

416 823 1738

Monday, 11 September 2017

Eid by the Lake 150 takes on racism in Durham

Last year, on a day like today, Sep 11th, we celebrated for the first time Eid by the Lake in Ajax Toronto.

To commemorate 2017 Eid-al-Adha, we embarked on an Interfaith prayer remembering the victims of 9/11 and praying for world peace!  This year's theme was "Unity". We also thought that having this event in an open space welcoming neighbours and friends during our celebration will return the feelings of being in the “home country’! This year we remember the victims of the recurring Hurricanes in the U.S. and throughout the Caribbean and the stateless people of Rohyinga during a minute of silence.

With our great Canadian flag and Canada150 banners gracing the hall, the day began with the amazing MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes of Whitby bringing greetings from the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, added with her own energy and diversity experience followed by the Canadian National Anthem. Later, with a message from the Premiere of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne brought by MPP for Whitby/Oshawa, Granville Anderson whose personal diversity and engagement was refreshing, the Festival kicked off.  Habeeb Alli welcomed all and reminding attendees that the Prophet Abraham thought us to love all.

The event was soon abuzz with people flowing through the beautiful Abilities Centre in Whitby ON, a stone's throw from Lake Ontario. People heard about the free event meant to bring people together against hate and racism in Durham from a wide variety of media including Durham news and flyers left in the mosques and stores. Some found out about it from family and friends and of course from DJ Riyad Sangeet TV!

The food vendors and volunteers were amazing, creating the feel of a Festival.  The added attraction was the fabulous musical talents of Soma Kissoon, Raza Rizvi, Nazroon Khan, Munir Mohamed, Nazim Mohamed and Qudsia Hussian adding joy and at times sweet nostalgia with their Indian golden melodies! People travelled from as far as Peterborough and Cambridge and throughout the GTA to be there!

Outside the atrium, the patio was smoking with bar-b-que burgers and hotdogs, supplied by Crescent Fine Foods and the fish was a rush, made tasty by Shawn Baksh, who had turned his fans into a frenzy for the fresh Guyana fish! The food included chowmein, biryani, roti wrap, phoulourie, kebab, pani puri, cotton candy, fresh smoothies, samosas, etc.  Feroze Hack and Janet Ferouz did an excellent job with their team to keep the bellies happy and tongues sweet this Eid by the Lake 150 celebration!

Inside the atrium things warmed up as MC Anela Jadunandan, Community Advocate and Waqqar Raees of Friends Indeed, shared the floor by unveiling the Canada Post Eid Mubarak stamp plaque and later had a cake cutting ceremony where all participants were invited to join! Rafeek Baksh the official photographer took perhaps the largest selfie yet!

The last day of summer was perfect as people hang outside and families were treated to face painting thanks to Anisah Mobin from Muslim Water Fund and henna thanks to Eklas Merchant from Abraham Festival in Peterborough. The Interfaith segment, however, was indeed a significant contribution to end the growing racism and Islamophobhia in Durham. Pundit Basil Maharaj, Rev Christopher White, Rabbi Karen Goodis, Imam Shakir Pandor and Reverend Earl Smith brought messages of unity from their respective traditions. Tahmeena Bokhari, the popular MC for this segment, has been an fierce advocate fighting  anti-Black racism and promoting equity, she shared her journey of being a Woman of Influence awardee from the Muslim Canadian Council of Women (MCCM) by standing up to bullies since she was a child!

Altogether the many sponsors including Mark Itwaru from Peeks App, Somalia Relief, Human Concern, Brampton Islamic Centre, One Parent, Canadian Pakistani Association, Alif Canada and others were duly recognised.

Funds raised from the event are for helping single mothers and orphans in Toronto through the new non profit One Parent Muslim Foundation - oneparent.ca


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Monday, 29 May 2017

Good story

I saw him in Halifax on the walkway
Throwing rocks thinking of Somalia
A people that once served the Middle East with abundance
Now millions suffer from famine and no water

I heard his words quiver through pain
Like the thunder had hit his heart a thousand volts
Who will take care of the girls of Africa?
While so much we have and cannot fight hunger

A man committed suicide he said in a village far away
A place known for no suicides like there is no snow in a desert
But lost his honor to be a breadwinner
He strung himself on a tree while the little ones cry at his feet

Such is the hardship we fail to comprehend
We are just one click away to make it happen
Don't make color or organisation make you feel complacent
It's not about tribe or religion but where you heart is when Azan is called.



Ramadan gift to nations

Travelling through nations
They seek a threat to destroy
Innocent girls and boys singing
They have no right to miss their family waiting

In seeking their madness
They destroy themselves and their faith
In seeking revenge against the beast who gets hurt but you
For Goliath stands tall growing while David is alone hurting

Don't you see oh youth of madness
No one can change the injustices of Pharaoh
Even Moses escaped and lived in exile
Even the most merciful migrated to Medina with His beloved

So stop taking your life and the lives of others
Make your faith pure and clean by reciting
I will worship God without heeding to the fanatical
I will be like Muhammad on the Day of Mecca-so forgive them!