Who We Are
Al-Mawrid Institute Canada is a reformatory Islamic educational and research institution registered as a non-profit organization in Canada.
Al-Mawrid’s work derives from a sincere commitment to truth within a traditional Islamic paradigm, taking as sacred sources, the Holy Quran and Sunnah (Tradition) of the Holy Prophet (SAW). Al-Mawrid revives the longstanding core Islamic practice of Ijtihad (exertion of independent thought in interpretation). The methodology of Al-Mawrid scholars is derived from an authentic strand of the Islamic scholarly tradition, and its core doctrine follows from decades of multi-generational Islamic scholarship. Al-Mawrid has made important contributions to many pressing contemporary issues. We promote tolerance across Muslim communities of diverse schools of thought, as well as the wider Abrahamic and human family. We support and encourage free exchange of religious thought in a respectful and courteous manner and understand that individuals – coming from varying ideological backgrounds – must inevitably arrive at their own conclusions, without any compulsion.
Internally, our modus operandi is based on the democratic principle of Shura. To preserve the integrity of our educational activities, we remain as far as possible apolitical, especially in matters of partisan politics, while allowing for principled positions and commentary on social issues where it pertains to public welfare and matters of conscience or religious freedom.
One of the most important contributions of the work of Al-Mawrid scholars is the derivation of an authentic counter-narrative to violent and extremist religious ideology that is currently prevalent amongst some Muslim groups, internationally. We hope to make similar contributions in the Muslim diaspora community in the Canadian context.
The ultimate objective of Al-Mawrid Institute, is to serve as a central resource for Islamic education in the contemporary world. A once vibrant Islamic intellectual tradition has now stagnated and is absent in much of the public discourse amidst a maze of sectarian prejudices and political wrangling. A peaceful and responsible Muslim populace must rise to contemporary challenges in a manner that is authentic and thoughtful, as well as intellectually rigorous and honest. This requires reviving Muslim intellectual discourse in a thoughtful manner, to understand religious truth in Islam. The fundamental tenet of this intellectual process is that the interpretation of Islam from its original sources should be an ongoing scholarly process – as it has been, time and again, in the past – because the element of human error in matters of interpreting sacred text can never be fully eliminated. In this vein, Al-Mawrid has initiated its humble efforts at building an international educational and research institution to revitalize Islamic intellectual discourse and help ordinary Muslims freely engage with, and navigate, their own religious tradition at a more scholarly level.
Milestones and Goals in Canada
Al-Mawrid Institute Canada was established in the summer of 2018 with volunteer support from local community members and is based out of Mississauga, Ontario. Although at a very early stage, we are conducting online and in-class courses on:
1) Basics of Islam;
2) Hermeneutic Methodology of Al-Mawrid;
3) Primary Languages – needed to access a large traditional literature in Islamic scholarship (e.g., Arabic, Farsi, Urdu); and
4) “Character Building” – to encourage our affiliates to adhere to exemplary moral standards (e.g., in terms of honesty, compassion, justice, courage, perseverance, tolerance, modesty, etc.)
Although we are at a fledgling stage, we hope to locally realize the great vision of our founders. This is a community-led effort, and the degree of local support we acquire will be a major factor in its success. We look forward to you joining us and coming together to build on our local educational and intellectual activities, to the greatest extent possible, to achieve our final aims.