Look at every situation as a means to get closer to Allah, keynote speaker Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed advised the attendees of the annual Ottawa and Gatineau I.LEAD Conference which began on October 8th.
“We should look at every circumstance as a means to get closer to Allah,” said Ustadha Mogahed. “If you are faced with difficulties, the proper response is patience (sabr); if you are given a gift, the proper response is gratitude.”
“Every response can bring us closer to Allah,” she added. “A believer is always between patience and gratitude.”
The conference, which will run until Sunday, October 10th, is being held on-line, with an in-person component being hosted at a local Ottawa mosque and will include lectures, workshops and a bazaar. In-person participation at the mosque will require proof of vaccination for entry.
“This year, due to the pandemic, we're holding a lighter version of the conference, with interactive online sessions. This year’s theme, ‘Faith in a Time of Uncertainty,’ reflects the struggles we go through to maintain our faith, despite the pandemic, despite challenges we face, despite all the uncertainty,” said Ahmed Khalil, I.LEAD Secretary General.
“I.LEAD stands for Islam, Learn, Engage, Achieve and Develop. It is a conference of ideas, discussions and reflections. Through it, we aim to engage, empower and support the Muslim community, especially our youth, to work together and actively participate in building a vibrant community and a greater Canada while maintaining our Muslim Identity,” added Khalil.
According to the organizers, this year’s conference will be a ‘teaser’ event to the bigger, in-person conference they are planning for next March, 2022.
“We ask the community to make dua` for the I.LEAD Team as they work tirelessly to make this event happen!”
Earlier, Imam Dr. Muhammad Suliman, Imam and Director of Religious Affairs at the Ottawa Muslim Association, reminded the audience to seek solace and support from their faith to deal with the uncertain times.
“If our Iman is weak we would not be able to stand in these times of uncertainty,” advised Dr. Suliman. “Cling to your faith, cling to the rope of Allah.”
The I.LEAD conference was created and is run by the United Muslim Organizations of Ottawa – Gatineau (UMO-OG). It is an initiative that acts as a coordinating group for the prominent Islamic organizations in the National Capital Region.