The TARIC ISLAMIC CENTRE was established by the Toronto And Region Islamic Congregation (TARIC) and The World Islamic Call Society and is located at the busiest intersection in Canada. Built on 2.2 acres on the northeast corner of Highways 400 and 401, the Islamic Centre is one of the largest in the city with a Muslim population of over 400,000. In the summer, when overflow crowds are accommodated on the lawn, attendance at Salat ul Jumma exceeds 2,000.
The issue of Gulf Weekly of 25-31 May 1995 says “..The TARIC Islamic Centre, probably the most vibrant and effective in reaching out to non-Muslims is, perhaps the premier Muslim outfit in Metropolitan Toronto. Founded in 1977, it opened in 1991 the first of a two-phase complex of buildings. Today, it has over 2,000 worshippers, a library, a gymnasium and a school that teaches Arabic and the Muslim religion. It also puts out a bulletin called Community News. Unlike some other Islamic organisations, those at the helm of affairs here seem to have succeeded in projecting Islam to the Canadian public in a very favourable light.”
The policy makers at TARIC realize that many Muslims are unaware of the basics of Islam and therefore do not have the knowledge to practice their faith. Consequently, the power and confidence that comes from prayer and the remembrance of Allah is absent in their lives. Peace and serenity that is the promise of Allah to those who worship Him is unattainable, and stress, conflict, confusion, alcoholism, drug abuse and suicides become the alternatives.
TARIC’s goal is to bring the simple, honest message of Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This means, stressing the importance of the five pillars of Islam encouraging Muslims to read the Qur’an, and to constantly practice zikkir (the remembrance of Allah).
The TARIC Islamic Centre has established a full time school from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 in a school building leased from the Toronto District School Board. In addition to the school, a weekend madrasssa for other students is run from the Islamic Centre.
A large number of programmes are carried out at the Centre. Some of these are:
- Adult Tarbiya class on Sundays
- Arabic language classes
- Marriage and family counseling
- Conducting marriages and funerals
- An Islamic bookstore
- Interfaith dialogue
- Dawa programmes for non Muslims
- Mosque visits
- Political and social awareness programmes
- Seminars on Islamic and secular subjects
- Family nights
- Summer camps
- Weekly youth activities
- Women’s programmes
The message to Muslims, therefore, is enjoy the pleasures of the world within the boundaries placed on us by Allah while being grateful to Him for His bounties. Praise Him in Salaat five times a day, seek His pleasure by doing anything which will benefit one’s family, one’s community and one’s environment, and remember Him always in our every word and action.
The organization aims at perfection in all aspects of its activities and announces them one year in advance.