Despite a long history that predates the Canadian confederation, Muslims are one of the most misunderstood faith communities in the country. The earliest Muslim presence in Canada dates back to 1871, when the Canadian Census recorded 13 Muslims living there. By 1901, approximately 300-400 Turkish and Syrian immigrants resided in Canada. Today, over 1,053,945 Muslims call Canada home. The first masjid ever built in Canada was in 1938, the Al-Rashid Masjid in Edmonton, Alberta.
Al-Rashid Masjid, in Edmonton, Alberta was the first masjid in Canada ever built
Hussein Dessouki was one of the first pioneers who had immigrated to Alberta in 1905. In 1958, he began working towards organizing the Muslim community in Calgary. By November 16, 1958, a hall was rented, and about twenty Muslims attended and agreed to establish the Muslim Association of Calgary. Because of the non-Islamic environment, they lived in, the members of the Association realized that they were responsible for promoting better learning, practicing, and understanding of Islam and Muslims amongst Canadians. The Association set the following objectives as its guideline principles: To teach the principles, spirt, ethics and culture of Islam to Muslims, their children, and to those who express an interest in Islam.
- To improve the moral, intellectual, and social conditions of the Muslims of the community.
- To expand and spread the teachings of Islam through discussions and writing by providing relevant and accurate information.
- To promote and provide a wider distribution of Islamic literature to dispel misconceptions about Islam.
- To provide a medium where may take on united action matters relevant to Islam and Muslims worldwide.
- To conduct charitable activities and assist members of the Muslim community or any people in need, locally, nationally, or internationally.
To carry out these objectives. The community knew that it was likely to face innumerable difficulties and challenges that needed to be met by gathering all the human and economic resources within the community possible. In 1960, this small number of Muslims were able to buy an old Anglican Church and converted it into a Masjid. During that time, the Muslim community grew from 50 individuals in 1951 to 200 in 1960. And by the early 1980s, the population was up to 2700. Due to the rapid growth in the Muslim community, the Masjid could not provide the adequate facilities needed for its visitors.
The community decided that an expansion of the Masjid is required, and a new Islamic Centre was constructed. The community purchased the land in 1976, and the building did not begin until 1976; this is the Calgary Islamic Centre SW masjid we know today, and it opened for prayers in 1978. With the establishment of a Centre, congregations were held regularly, religious holidays celebrated, and a regular weekend school for the children was established. As the Muslim community grew, various other needs were identified and pursued, one of which was a Muslim cemetery. The Muslim cemetery was the first cemetery in Canada to perform burials according to (sunnah) Islamic traditions, licensed and operating by 1986. Within ten years of construction of the Islamic Centre of Calgary, the Muslim population grew over 15,000. The majority of this growth resided in the east side of Calgary, making it difficult for Muslims to benefit from the SW masjid daily.
A committee in 1986 was formed called the “East Calgary Masjid Committee” to collect enough funds to purchase an existing building to establish a place to conduct regular prayers and Quranic classes. The final design consisted of a 30,000 sq. Ft. Two-story building with a community Centre, full-time school, and Masjid and was established in 1992 and is known today as Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre.
Who We Are
The Akram Jomaa is a faith-based Islamic Centre located in Calgary, Alberta, and we are the largest Islamic Centre in Western Canada. We operate under the Muslim Community Foundation of Calgary charitable organization. Akram Jomaa caters to over 25,000 Muslims in the Calgary Northeast vicinity.
Our Centre provides services for the five daily prayers, Friday congregation prayers, and two annual Eid celebrations. We also hold various other services to the community, such as funerals, marriages, educational programs, youth nights, interfaith events, community engagement gatherings, seminars, Ramadan and Eid programs, and charitable activities such as food collection and distribution.
We are led by an elected board of directors and have various volunteer committees, including a youth, women, and disability committee. We aim to ensure everyone has equal access and opportunities for full participation at our Centre.
Our Objective is to establish and operate a Masjid in the Northeast community of Calgary. Our centre focuses on organizing religious, educational, social/family, and faith-based events. We also give back to the community at large through partnerships and social service initiatives. At our centre, we offer advanced Islamic and secular education. To better understand and appreciate Islam among Muslims and non-Muslims while promoting unity, compassion, and peace.
“By the Youth, for the Youth, to empower Youth”.
The Akram Jomaa Youth Council will aim to engage our local youth in our Centre, establishing safe spaces and community building opportunities. By opening doors and providing the initial stepping stones for young Muslims to be more involved in local society. We will strive to empower our youth and provide a platform to ensure that their voices are heard and respected. We aspire to help all our local youth advance according to their individual capabilities while providing the means necessary to reach their full potential. Join our committee!
The Women’s Committee will be composed of female representation from various ethnicities. Advocating, engaging and connect with women in our community while providing support mentoring, developing programs, classes and events that are tailored to women’s needs.
The Disability Committee will strive towards making the Masjid more inclusive and accommodating for Muslims with disabilities and impairments by raising awareness and acceptance of all disabilities and striving to develop a better understanding of special needs within our Muslim community. They will ensure everyone has opportunities for full participation at all Masjid events and work towards proper disabilities certification for the Masjid.
The Quran and Hadiths speak of Allah’s design for creation and the responsibility given to human beings to maintain and sustain the environment in good condition. The Environmental Committee was formed with the purpose of creating awareness and providing guidance in making our masjid environmentally friendly and our practices sustainable.
Our Vision is to spread awareness and understanding of the true meaning of Islam and Candian values in our society by providing a robust platform to the community members through leadership, education, and collaboration with other organizations.
Our Mission is to cater to the Muslim North East community a place of worship and an educational framework while contributing to the betterment of our Canadian society at large.
We as an Islamic Centre will always strive to:
- Live by the teachings of the Quran and the prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him).
- Demonstrate selflessness, respect, truthfulness, forgiveness, humility, modesty, and ethics.
- Continually demonstrate the importance of knowledge by learning and improving ourselves and helping others to do the same.
- Focus on our diverse Muslim community’s needs while ensuring services are open to all.
- Provide Muslims and non-Muslims an opportunity to learn and understand Islam through dialogue, discussion, and social interaction.
- Collaborate with local community organizations in contributing to the social, cultural, and spiritual enhancement of the whole community.
Our board members are elected for two-year terms and are mandated to carry out their activities according to established Islamic principles following the Qur’an and Sunnah. Akram Jomaa is a charitable foundation under the Muslim Community Foundation of Calgary (MCFC).
About the Imams
Visiting the Centre
We at Akram Jomaa welcome Muslims and invite our Neighbours from all faiths and none to build bridges across communities into our Masjid, and we look forward to your visit!
We Muslims believe that every Masjid is a house of God. Hence, in these sacred houses, they pray, read the Holy Quran, take lessons on Islam, tell stories of the prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and ask about each other’s wellbeing. Our Akram Jomaa Committee works together to keep the mosque clean, ensure that it is in good condition, and is taken care of regularly.
We ask visitors to do their best to understand the essence of masjids and the sincere meaning they occupy in the hearts of Muslims and respect that. But not to worry, we’ve prepared a brief Masjid etiquette guide to prepare you for your visit.
Muslim Council of Calgary
Serving the Muslims of Calgary for over 60 years. Since 1958, The Muslim Council of Calgary (MCC) has represented the vast majority of Calgary Muslims from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. This diversity makes us stronger, wiser, and more inclusive while our shared belief in Allah (SWT) and his messenger Muhammad (PBUH) proudly defines us as Canadian Muslims.
We operate under the MCC Muslim Community Foundation of Calgary charitable organization but have collaborated with several organizations around the city, such as the following:
- MCC Relief Centre offers a wide range of services to help create a pathway out of poverty and suffering for local Calgarians. With your help, the MCC Relief Centre provides necessities for our struggling neighbors and guides hard-working community members to economic stability.
- MUHSEN (Muslims Understanding & Helping Special Education Needs) aims to establish an inclusive and accessible environment for persons with disabilities by assuming an active role in advocacy and education. AJIC is the first Islamic Centre in Western Canada and the second Centre in Canada to be Muhsen Certified. Muhsen, which stands for Muslims Understanding & Helping Special Education Needs, strives to embrace all community members through awareness, accommodation, and acceptance. We accomplished this tremendous honor by meeting the following criteria: establishing the role of the Special Needs Facilitator, holding quarterly sermons to raise awareness about disabilities, providing literature in Braille, and conducting a special needs awareness survey to understand the needs of our congregation better. Since our certification, we have seen increased interest and engagement in our activities from families with special needs and disabilities. We have also received support and advice from RAD Renovations (Accessible Housing) and the greater Calgary community.
- Islamic Relief Canada is an international aid and development charity working to end poverty, illiteracy, and disease.
We’ve also partnered with several organizations such as:
- Accessible Calgary
- Alberta Health Services
- Islamic Relief