Muslim presence in Canada dates back to the arrival of first Muslim settlers who came to the Canadian prairies with the opening of Alberta and Saskatchewan for development at the turn of the last century.
Since the end of World War II, Canada emerged as the land of immigrants attracting people of numerous skills and talents from the ends of the earth. People of Muslim faith mostly from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and some from Europe came here to begin a new home and a promising life.
When Canada opened its arms to welcome people around the world, it was a defining moment. The early seventies saw the influx of immigrants heading to major cities, few chose to settle in smaller and serene suburbs like Pickering. Today, the City of Pickering boasts over 2,000 Muslim families — a synthesis of many cultures, races and languages with Islam being a distinct binding factor.
Excited by the promise of the new land, the new immigrants wasted little time in planting their roots in Pickering and embarked upon a new beginning in the new country, preserving the fundamentals of their faith, as their ancestors had over the centuries when they migrated to new lands — by building a mosque, beside forging a Canadian Muslim identity in this area.
It all began when on September 1, 1997; an old house sitting on 1.8 acres of land on Brock Road North was purchased as the site of the proposed mosque. It was a dream to have the first mosque in the area. Spearheading this initiative were Mirza Inamullah Baig and Kazim Uddin Qureshi, two friends, powered by their vision and with a single-minded purpose launched this project to build a place where the community will converge not just for worshipping purposes but to actively participate in the progress and prosperity of their new homeland.
Their pioneering efforts gained strength, when Ibne Saud Syed, a civil servant and Javed Salam a local businessman joined the two founding members. They brought zeal and tenacity to this undertaking, and the rest was history.
The task was huge with soaring ambitions and little resources, yet; the community came together as a mosque is ever closer to a Muslim’s heart, an integral part of a believer’s life. They trusted and rallied around the people who were at the forefront and raised funds on their own. Today, the magnificent structure stands tall as a tribute to their generosity and to all those who contributed to its successful completion.
The Centre has produced a stream of devoted volunteers and citizens who came forward with their resources and endless commitments.
History was in the making when the Centre was officially opened August 24, 2008. The mosque with its dome and minarets became one of Pickering’s landmark sites and a living testament to the faith. This marvel was designed by renowned architect Khalil Syed, symbolizes Islam’s enduring legacy of balance, peace and harmony.
The founding Office bearers were:
- President: Rana Akhtar Ali Khan
- Treasurer: Syed Hashim Zaheer
- Secretary: Ibne Saud Syed
- Trustees: Mirza Inamullah Beg, Kazim Uddin Qureshi, Javed Salam, Rashied Bakharia and Rashid Ansari
The centre occupies a total covered area of 17,870 sq. ft., including basement with a multi-purpose hall and a Kitchen.
The main floor has a prayer hall, meeting room, Offices and a mortuary.
Second Floor is a designated ladies area with prayer room, class rooms and an Office.
*Muslims often refer to the mosque by its Arabic name, masjid. It’s named after the
3rd Caliph, Usman, one of the most revered figures in Muslim history.