The early years at Scarborough’s Islamic Foundation of Toronto

By Muneeb Nasir

It was an exciting time for the community.

It was the beginning of a new decade, the 1990s.

And the Muslims of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto community were experiencing euphoria as they began to use their new Centre in Scarborough.

This cosmopolitan mix of people had gone through many years of fund raising to realize their dream – the largest, purpose-built mosque and school in the Canada.

Undoubtedly, it was a time of great excitement and it unleashed the potential of women, men and youths who made those early years quite exceptional.

The women were active in the affairs of the Mosque, organizing seminars and overnight camps, international food bazaars, and leading a significant weekly food sale; youths formed educational circles, sporting tournaments and engaged in many creative endeavors; children, from pre-school to pre-teen, were engaged through Boy Scouts and Girl Guides and day programs; a full-time Islamic School was started; a high-quality monthly magazine was produced; international scholars and well-known speakers delivered lectures and seminars at the Centre.

The tone was on living Islam and it was family-oriented – children, youths and women felt that the mosque was as much theirs as the men.

The Islamic Foundation of Toronto in those heady years of the early 1990s offers many lessons for the present but also guidance for the future.

The attached video, ‘Voices of Islam’, was produced in 1993 by the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and captures those early years at the new Centre in Scarborough.