August 25, 1992
Nizar, Institutional Leaders, I would like to begin by saying how deeply happy I have been during these days with My Jamat in Canada. When I came to Canada, when I was preparing this visit, I tried to prioritise the issues that needed to be addressed during this visit and for the years ahead for the Jamat. And a number of those issues affected the status of the Jamat in Canada, it affected the ability of the Jamat in Canada, to achieve goals for Murids who are not in Canada, affected the status of institutions in Canada, Jamati institutions in Canada. These were, in My mind, foundation stones which needed to be set in place so that the Jamat in the decades ahead would be able to build solidly for future generations. And what were those foundations?

First was the ability, the right, to practise freely throughout Canada our Tariqah of Islam. This meant, first of all, that there should be Jamatkhanas, proper Jamatkhanas that said the appropriate thing about our Jamat in Canada, in as many concentrations of the Jamat in Canada as possible. This has been a slow process, slower perhaps than you or I would have wished. But it was a process that needed to be slow if it was going to be sound. We could have moved too quickly, we could have made mistakes and those mistakes would have been carried forward by improper buildings in the wrong place, over-expensive, the improper, wrong programs for the buildings, etcetera, and I didn't want that to happen.

The second important issue, was the recognition of the constitutional bodies of the Jamat as representing the Jamat in Canada and that meant that the National Council of Canada needed to be recognized, defacto, as the body that represents the Jamat in Canada across the country. That today has taken place. Today the Government of Canada, provincial governments, dialogue with the National Council or the local councils about Jamati matters in Canada and Jamati matters outside Canada. And the most recent proof of that is the fact that the National Council today is the body which will be responsible for bringing to Canada the 340 Afghan refugees who are still in Delhi. That is a small step, but it is a highly significant step.

The third issue was the identity, the focus on quality, competence and leadership within the Jamat. In other words, Canada had to recognize that though our Jamat may have established itself in unhappy and difficult situations in Canada for the majority of you, that is not the situation of the Jamat today. I think the appointment of Nurjehan Mawani as the Chairperson of the Immigration Board of Canada, is a significant proof, that individual leadership today is recognised outside the Jamat as being capable of coming from the Jamat, and that is one example, and it is only one example.

So when I came to Canada, I had a certain number of foundation stones in My mind that I hoped to see in place. They are all in place today. And I want to say that they are in place due to the leadership of the Jamat, to the way in which you have built strength, stability, competence in the Jamat in Canada. And I think the Jamat, in Canada and outside, must express its gratitude to you for these magnificent achievements. So, we have today some important foundation stones on which to build. But what of the future? What is your vision of the future? What do we need that we do not yet have in Canada? Have you a sense of what the answers are? Well, let Me perhaps touch on some of the issues. Because tonight I am not going to make a normal after-dinner speech with a lot of futile hilarity, and I am going to try and leave with you tonight some thinking on important issues for the future, because I think it is important that I should share these with you.

I think the first thing is to analyse what it is that you want your children, your grand-children, your great grand-children, to represent in Canada. Have you that vision? If you have that vision, are we structured to attain it? I think we would be entitled to have questions as to whether we are really structured to attain it? Because I think it affects education, I think it affects the way children prepare themselves for the future and how they view themselves in the future, within the Jamat, in relation to others, to Canadians, to other Muslims, etcetera. Therefore, I think there is a question about the quality of education and the nature of education that we can offer to future generations of the Jamat in Canada. And I have left with President Kanji, a set of questions that address this issue, what is your vision. Once that vision has been written out, then one can get to the next question, how can you achieve it?

The first question is what is it that you wish to see available in terms of development for future generations in Canada? Because as I have said in My Farmans, Canada is your home. Don't think in terms of one generation. That may have been appropriate in the Third World, not here. Here, have the wisdom to think ahead several generations and understand what it is that you wish to achieve. That is the first question.

The second question is within that vision of the younger generation, one generation from now, two generations from now, what are the questions that they will be asking? They will be asking, first of all, how do they relate to our Tariqah? And therefore, they will be asking, what is the essence of our Tariqah? And are we able to articulate the essence of the Tariqah in a language which is a language that they will understand, not having been born in our traditional societies, never having seen them, never having been exposed to them, how will they sense their position within our Tariqah? Question number one. And that of course, affects the articulation of Imamat. Because you cannot articulate the Tariqah without articulating the concept of Imamat.

Second question - relations with other Muslims. That also is a question that they will be asking, they will be asking it of their relations to Muslims in Canada, but they will be asking it in relation to Muslims all around the world. Because the information process is clearly going to become substantially more active in the decades ahead than it is even today. And those who influence that process will be the people who will be pausing the questions and you can sense that already today in the Muslim world. So the second question is going to be how do they position themselves within the Tariqah and in relation to other Muslims.

The third question I think they will be asking themselves is how they relate to the Jamat outside Canada? What can we do, what can they do to build strong relationships if they choose to do so. They may see professional opportunity, they may see economic opportunity, they may simply out of love and affection want to go and serve their brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. How can we make that a reality rather than simply an aspiration of young people beautifully intentioned, but where the mechanics of making that possible do not really work.

So, I am leaving tonight with you some of the more sensitive questions that I think we will need to look to, in order to prepare for the future for the younger generations in the Jamat, not to have to invent solutions as they bump up against the question, but that we should have had the wisdom to look at the issues, ask the questions, try to develop appropriate answers. So that these young children, very young children, can grow up in a Jamat, in a country, where they find their position within the Jamat and in relation to the rest of the country and the Jamat around the world. They find their position to be one of comfort, happiness and inspiration.

So these are some of the issues that we should be looking at. Practical issues for the Jamat in Canada. Education, without any doubt, it is a question that deserves looking at. It's complex, it's difficult but it needs to be looked at. Housing, a large percentage of the Jamat still today is using substantial quantities of resources on housing and those resources are not investment, they are cash outflow and therefore one needs to look at the issue of housing. Education not only in terms of schools, but in terms of higher education, the cost of higher education is severe, the motivation to achieve higher education is not strong enough, what needs to be done? Better planning, better career development, better thinking about the years ahead. That is another issue that needs to be looked at. These, therefore, are some of the questions that I wish to leave with the leaders of the Jamat at the end of this visit.

Now, I sometimes am uncomfortable with what I call magic wand solutions and which in My secretariat we tend to call "Nescafe" solutions. These issues cannot be resolved by "Nescafe" solutions. They require time, thought, maturity, wisdom, and they don't need to be resolved tomorrow, but they do need to be thought about, they do need to be discussed, they do need to be put in place once solutions have been found. And perhaps the best way to do that is to develop solutions, but test them, actually test them before making them too total within the Jamat. Because these issues are so sensitive that you cannot afford to go wrong, insofar as it is possible there has to be a safety net such that in Tariqah matters, educational matters, economic matters, there are not severe risks in looking ahead. Because if there were, we would be undoing all the magnificent work that you have done in the past twenty five years in Canada. And that is not something this leadership or I would wish to consider or to envisage. And therefore this evening, I am sharing with you difficult questions to which I do not expect "Nescafe" answers, but the community in Canada today is so structured, that I believe it has the wherewithal to look at these issues and to come up with recommendations to the Imam in the proper form, at the proper time, saying we think these are the directions that we should be going in. Remember these may sound like difficult questions and they are difficult questions. Measured against the foundations that you have in place today, they are not really that difficult. Because these are questions which consolidate construction. The foundations are there. Twenty years ago, none of you nor I could have said those foundations are there, today they are there.

I would also like this evening to say how happy I have been with the organisation of My visit to Canada. The forewarning I gave the National Council was short and it's holiday time for many families. So what I have seen today during the last thirteen days that I have been here has been the demonstration of the Canadian Jamat to organise itself magnificently. And I have a sense that each organization now understands what it should be doing, it goes out and does its work and it is effective. That's recognized outside the Jamat and within the Jamat and I want to end this evening, these few comments, by saying from the Prime Minister down, our Jamat in Canada today is identified, respected, admired and welcomed. To have achieved that, is a magnificent achievement. So I hope that you will keep these words in mind because I say them to you in My knowledge of what is felt by the Government and others within Canada. On this you can build a magnificent future. You will have to address some difficult questions but I don't think there is a place on earth where difficult questions do not arise from time to time, so I don't think you should be more worried about them in Canada than anywhere else. Simply accept the fact that they need to be thought about. Your blessing is that you can think about them in a peaceful society, in a society which wants to see you develop your identity and your institutions and which has the resources, the intellectual and human resources, which it can share with us to achieve the goals that we have. Therefore you start today from a different position from many other Jamats around the world who do not have that environment in which to work.

It has been a wonderful visit, I will be very sad to leave, but as Nizar has said "please come back soon." I will try and come back soon. He has told Me it should be once every two or three years. He had a request printed in the menu. I haven't had My request printed in any menus... but what My National President tells Me, I have to abide by. So I will try and meet his requests and I want to leave with you tonight My best, best blessings for a magnificent visit. I hope you are happy that I share with you the real issues because that is the nature of leadership, it is to tackle real issues and your success in Canada is because you are tackling real issues with competence and wisdom and Nizar has said it's the Imam. No, it's the leadership of the Jamat in Canada that has achieved these goals. I will continue to leave you with difficult questions. I will look at the answers you propose, I will assist you in developing solutions but ultimately it is the leadership of Canada, of the Jamat in Canada everyday that is what achieved these results.

Congratulations, congratulations, and more congratulations and may this bring you Barakat every day, the happiness of leadership and the success of leadership. Congratulations.

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