At the Understanding Islam Academy, a project of DawaNet, they strive to create programs which engage families. The “Men and Women Around the Prophet” Series does just that. ISNA Lanterns connected with Br. Omar Zia, one of UIA’s many knowledgeable and captivating teachers, to find out more behind this beneficial program. Br. Omar’s lecture on Saturday, October 15, 2016, focused on the life of Umar ibn Al-Khattab (RA). After the event, Br. Omar was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us.
ISNA Lanterns: It is not often to see Islamic lectures focus on men and women around the Prophet (SAW). How did this event come about?
Br. Omar Zia: This series on “Men & Women around the Prophet (saw)” is designed to educate and provide our youth with role models and to inculcate a sense of pride with respect to their Islamic Heritage and Muslim Identity. This series is presented in the form of ‘story telling’ in order to demonstrate to parents a means by which to communicate more intimately with their children.
ISNA Lanterns: What is the significance of this event for you, personally?
Br. Omar Zia: My father named me for this companion, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, which has made his persona very significant in my own life journey. Regarding the event itself, I enjoy interacting with families within our community and fulfilling their right upon me – the right of providing Nasiha; a sincere advice on how to better our lives through study of the lives of the companions.
ISNA Lanterns: How was the feedback from both participants and teachers?
Br. Omar Zia: The presentations have all been very well received. In general, our UIA Saturday evening events are very well attended by families due to relevant content and amazing presenters. The atmosphere at UIA is one of welcome and inclusion for all who enter in.
ISNA Lanterns: What are other special program features you’d like to share?
Br. Omar Zia: Along with this series, UIA currently offers a series on the Seerah of the Prophet (saw) and a series on Married Life. Further, UIA is hosting our 4th Annual Kids’ Bazaar on November 19th at ISNA from 12:00-6:00 – this is a great family event that encourages the development of entrepreneurial skills in our young ones. Please visit our website to learn more about how you and your family can benefit from our projects: www.uia.ca.
ISNA Lanterns: Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Br. Omar Zia: DawaNet hosts many projects for our community in the GTA, with the UIA being one of them. Our projects include MuslimFest, TorontoMuslims.com, Canada Zakat, Halal Serve, Project Civic Engagement and MY Voice. MY Voice is a premier youth-engagement project which offers Muslim youth a venue to engage with their identity and provides a platform for their voice through our quarterly-issued MY Voice magazine, which has a distributorship of 5000! MY Voice is currently organizing a Youth Summit for the Spring of 2017 and is looking for volunteers to assist with this project.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can make a difference, please visit www.myvoicecanada.com