Alhumdulillah, the Muslim community in Victoria has grown sharply in recent years and we are now at a stage where there is a pressing need to either enlarge the existing Masjid or to procure a property and build a new Masjid. Our old facilities did not meet the requirements of the community. We estimate that there are approximately 2,000 Muslims living in Victoria, and more than one quarter of them are students.
In 1993 the Victoria Branch of the British Columbia Muslim Association (BCMA) was formed. The BCMA is a regional organization with its constitution based on the Quran and Sunnah, and the Victoria Branch continues that tradition of firmly adhering to the Quran and the Sunnah of the Messenger salla Allaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam. Due to limited resources at that time, the living room in a rented student home was used for some of the daily prayers. Madrasa classes were offered to children on Sundays at the same venue while Friday, Taraweeh and Eid prayers were held in larger rented facilities.
Despite limited resources in those early days, Islamic classes were held for both adults and children. Marriages and burial services were also provided. The Muslim community continued to increase steadily. With the Grace of Almighty Allah, in the latter part of 1996, two adjoining lots with a house on each lot were purchased. One house was remodeled as a Masjid to provide prayer facilities for both men and women. The second was rented to defray running expenses. Subsequently the second property was converted into a prayer area for women.
Currently with the Grace of Allah, the five daily prayers and the Friday prayer are performed in congregation at the Masjid. In addition there is a large Friday congregation at the local smaller one in the adjoining city of Victoria. However, Eid prayers continue to be held in rented facilities. Several other Islamic activities are also held in the community, including:
- Daily Madrasa classes in the evening for kids ranging from toddlers to teens. The classes are limited to about 60 due to limited space and a wait-list is in place
- Weekly Quran and Arabic classes for women
- Weekly lectures in the Masjid for men and women
- Dawah within and outside the community
- Islamic gatherings and camps for leisure and education
Now, by the Will of Allah, we have built the first Masjid on Vancouver Island. With more than sufficient capacity for current crowds, along with a burial prep room, a childrens baby-sitting area, and a large-size storage, the Masjid currently satisfies the diverse requirements of the Victorian Community (both Muslims and non-Muslims). The construction was completed on November 1st 2012.
We thank Allah for His Blessings, and we implore Him to assist us in our endeavors and make things easy for us.