Moving forward into the future with confidence and faith.

This period marked the first full decade of utilizing the Toronto community’s new home, the Jaffari Community Centre. It also witnessed the opening of the Hamilton community’s new home, the Razavi Islamic Centre. Our proposed development plans at Jaffari Village came under much scrutiny and media attention, not all of which was positive. Nevertheless, we persevered and adjusted our plans before obtaining the required approvals. It was also during this decade that the ISIJ of Toronto incorporated itself as a not-for-profit corporation, under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporation Act (CNCA) and governed by a new set of operating by-laws. 

In March 2022 the Jamaat opened a new satellite centre in Barrie, Ontario for a growing number of families who had settled in areas north of the GTA.

The community in Hamilton, Ontario

On April 24, 2010 the Toronto Jamaat presented Marhum Ramzanbhai and Marhuma Leilbai Manek with plaques in recognition of their years of selfless contributions to the Hamilton community.

Leilabai & Ramzan Bhai Manek

From 2009 to 2016 the Hamiliton community did not have a centre of its own. It had to rent halls and other centres to hold their religious programs in. Fortunately, the Bohra community (AOPB) offered their centre on “the mountain” to our community for a low cost and so that regular programs and Madressah classes could be held there. For Muharram programs with a larger attendance the local Armenian Centre was utilized.

During 2009 and 2010, efforts were made with the support of the ISIJ of Toronto to find and purchase a suitable property but met without success. A desire to build a purpose-built mosque and community centre began to grow. In April 2010 the community and the ISIJ of Toronto reached a decision to build the new centre on the land at 95 Mead Ave, the address of the previous centre.

The necessary funds were raised and on February 20th, 2011 a ground-breaking ceremony took place for the start of construction of the Razavi Islamic Centre. The new centre was completed in early 2016 and in February it was officially opened for use. Maulana Syed Muhammad Rizvi, the resident Alim at Jaffari Community Centre presided over the opening ceremony, together with Mohamed Moledina (Chair of the Razavi Islamic Centre’s Management Committee) members of the Executive Committee of the ISIJ of Toronto and many community members from Hamiliton, Brampton and Toronto.

For the next three years Dr Liyakat Takim (Sharjah Chair of Islamic Studies at McMaster University, Hamilton) and Sheikh Shafiq Hudda of I.H.S Kitchener Jamaat shared the responsibility of reciting majlises and other programs at the centre. In 2019, Sheikh Vinay Khetia was appointed the centre’s part-time resident Alim. Later, Sheikh Saghir Hussain Shah became the first full-time Resident Alim of the Razavi Islamic Centre.


The community in the West-End

In 2011, the management team of MIC appointed Sheikh Jaffer H Jaffer, a very qualified Islamic scholar, as their centre’s Resident Alim. His presence had an immediate positive impact on attendance at the Centre. The community has also been fortunate enough to be served by other learned individuals like Sheikh Haider Jaffer and Sheikh Khalil Jaffer.

Also that year, as part of a joint effort between the leadership of various Islamic Centres in the west GTA and that of MIC, our community had the honour of hosting the second joint Eid al-Adha congregational prayers at the Masumeen Islamic Centre.

On October 19th, 2013 the community celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the opening of Masumeen Islamic Centre. In 2014 the construction of an after-hours prayer room

(Masjid as-Sajjadiyyah) was completed. The seegha was performed to dedicate both the after-hours prayer room as well as the main prayer area (Masjid).

On Monday January 22, 2018, during the birth anniversary of Sayyeda Zainab (SA), the community was informed that an offer to purchase the property next door to MIC at 7570 Kennedy Road, Brampton was accepted. It was to be used for faith-based instruction like Madressa, Administration offices and an overflow car park.

In response to a growing need, the acquisition of the new property gave the community an opportunity to construct a food bank to serve the local population. The uniqueness of this food bank did not burden those in need by asking them to come to the food bank. Instead, volunteers from MIC delivered bags of food to their homes. The first deliveries were made in August 2019. In 2023 the Masumeen Muslim Food Bank was replicated by the Jaffari Community Centre, with the creation of the Jaffari Muslim Food Bank.

The community in Toronto

During this decade the Jaffari Community Centre was the host venue for several World Federation and NASIMCO conferences.

In April 2010, based on the recommendation of the JIC Task Force led by Shafiq Punjani, resolutions to sell the Jaffari Islamic Centre on Bayview Ave and a townhouse in Thornhill which belonged to the Jamaat were tabled at a SGM. A key provision was that it would be sold to a fellow Shia community and that at least part of it would be utilised for worship. In the meantime, it was leased to a local Iranian community. The sale of both properties was concluded less than a year later, in line with the provisions that had been set. The new owners, a mostly Iranian community, renamed it “Imam Mahdi Islamic Centre”.

At the same meeting a Special Audit Committee and a new Constitutional Review Committee were created. The Planning Committee, which had been created in 2007-8 to explore the opportunity of re-developing the land at JCC, was renamed the Planning Advisory Board (PAC). The JCC Technical Committee was renamed the Capital Projects & Development Board (CPDB).

Constitutional Review Committee

In 2011 a Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) was created to explore the possibility of incorporating the ISIJ of Toronto as a “not-for-profit corporation” under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporation Act (CNCA), governed by a new set of By-Laws. The Jamaat’s reasons for doing this were to: –

In 2012 our community made another significant contribution to society when it formally partnered with nine other GTA-based Muslim communities in pledging to donate $250,000 to the soon to be completed Humber River Hospital in Etobicoke.


In 2012 our community made another significant contribution to society when it formally partnered with nine other GTA-based Muslim communities in pledging to donate $250,000 to the soon to be completed Humber River Hospital in Etobicoke.

Jaffari Islamic Study Committee

In 2013 the East-End Madrassah (EEM), which had been operating out of a high school in Scarborough moved to the Jaffari Community Centre in Vaughan and held its classes there on Saturday mornings. At that time the Jamaat made the decision to rename all its Madressahs and include them under one umbrella organization called “Jaffari Islamic Study Committee”.

The four madrassas were renamed: –

  1. Centre Madressa became Al Haadi Study Centre 
  2. East End Madrassah became Al Qaaim Study Centre  
  3. West Madressa became Al Muntadhir Study Centre
  4. Hamilton Madressa became Al Hujjat Study Centre

At the AGM of March 2013, an aspirational Vision Statement for the ISIJ of Toronto was presented to the General body, by the then president, Ali Raza Rajani:

“ISIJ of Toronto is the leading Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat globally, supporting the community at large with high quality programming, spiritual guidance and resources, while upholding

Islamic values of charity, integrity, diversity of thought and compassion for others”.

Al Wahda Sports Festival

In June 2013 the ISIJ of Toronto hosted its first ever “Al Wahda Sports Festival” at the Jaffari Community Centre and other sporting venues in the GTA. The festival continued to be held bi-annually until 2019, when the Covid-19 pandemic forced a pause. The 2019 event offered more than 10 sports activities, a Ladies’ bazaar and a fun carnival. Quoting from a message by the festival’s chairperson, Shafiq Ebrahim, “our raison d’être is to bring together Muslims from all over North America and beyond using sports as a conduit to build strong bonds.…” The next festival is planned for 2024.

In 2011 the CPDB was asked by the EC to produce an amendment to the City of Vaughan’s Master Plan and a rezoning application that would gain approval to further develop the community’s land at 9000 Bathurst St. The Jamaat’s plan included the building of a residential condominium tower, a residential Seniors building, townhouses, sports fields and additional car park spaces. The CPDB enlisted the help of an experienced land planning & urban design firm, a professional  architect and legal experts to conduct this important work and in 2013 duly submitted its proposals to the City.

In February 2014, as part of the city’s official planning process, a Town Hall meeting was held in the Council Hall of the city’s offices to review our development proposals and hear the reactions of neighbouring residents to it. Invitees included our community leaders & members as well as neighbours of the Jaffari Community Centre. Several media outlets were also present. The neighbourhood resident’s association called “Preserve Thornhill Woods” objected to several aspects of the proposal. So, the community’s leadership team and CPDB were asked by Council to work with them and the PTW to address their concerns. The Jamaat agreed to this request and appointed members of the community to form a joint team and try to resolve matters.

guiding set of principles

At the AGM of March 2014, a guiding set of principles for the ISIJ of Toronto were shared with the General body by the then president Shabbir Jeraj. They were based on the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah (traditions) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his Ahlul-Bayt (A.S): –

“Ours is a religious and social organization with no political affiliations and the decisions made are based on Islamic values and the Jaffari fiqh (jurisprudence).

Those running our organization do so primarily for the sake of pleasing Allah SWT and are committed to upholding the following principles:

  1. We accept as Muslim anyone who recites the shahada – La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah. – There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the prophet of God.
  2. We affirm the equal worth of all human beings, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, creed, or ability.
  3. We affirm our commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice.
  4. We affirm that justice and compassion should be the overriding consideration for all aspects of human conduct.
  5. We fully support the freedom of expression and diversity of opinions unless it infringes on the rights of individuals, their dignity, and the ability to practice one’s faith in complete harmony.
  6. We actively promote peace, tolerance, and amity among peoples of all faiths and persuasion.”

In 2018 a new amendment to the Master Plan and a rezoning application were completed and submitted to Council. In 2019 the City of Vaughan gave its approval to our amended plan.

In July 2022 the CPDB took the first step towards constructing Phase 1 of the development at JCC by submitting the Site Plan and Draft Plan of Subdivision applications to the City of Vaughan. It has since been working to meet the City’s various planning, engineering and other requirements before being approved to begin construction. Approvals for both are expected in late 2023.

The site plan application, which includes a Seniors’ residence, was created with the input of members of the Jamaat’s Senior Citizens Group.

In June 2016 the Jamaat donated $50,000 to Mackenzie Health Hospital with a pledge to donate the same amount for the next 4 years. This move again demonstrated the community’s responsibilities to the wider community in York Region.

In December 2016 on the occasion of the Holy Prophet’s birth anniversary, (Milad un-Nabi) the Executive Committee of the ISIJ of Toronto presented its resident Alim Maulana Syed Muhammad Rizvi with a recognition award for his 20 years of service.

Dec 2016 appreciation plaque to Maulana Rizvi

In addition to Maulana Rizvi, the community has been fortunate enough to retain the services of other Islamic scholars and individuals to meet its ever-growing needs. They include Dr Liyakat Takim, Dr Hussein Khimjee, Shekh Hasanayn Kassamali, Sheikh Vinay Ketia, Akil Karim, Ashik Kermali, Arif Jaffer, Khalil Champsi and until his recent demise, Marhum Sheikh Asad Muhammad Jafri.

At a SGM on October 16th, 2016 during Shabbir Jeraj’s term as President of ISIJ of Toronto, the Jamaat adopted the “Articles of Incorporation” and the proposed by-laws governing our operations, named General Operating By-Law #1 (GOBL).  In November 2017 we duly received a “Certificate of Incorporation” for the ISIJ of Toronto from Corporations Canada

Front Cover Of GOBL #1

The major changes

In December 2018 the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) approved and assigned our charitable registration to the newly incorporated entity and approved our submitted “Statement of Activities”. The major changes in our Jamaat’s structure were: –


During the middle of this decade the As-Sadiq Islamic School expanded its enrollment and added Grade 11 and 12 classes for High School. It was able to secure more classrooms at JCC for this purpose. It currently has 760 students, and 78 staff members.

the Covid-19 pandemic

In March 2020, with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Toronto Jamaat took a responsible and necessary decision to shut down its three centres. For the next year and a half, our programs had to be relayed to members via Zoom and other conferencing platforms. The BoD under the presidency of Habib Meghjee created a “Covid-19 Crisis Task Force” to answer the community’s questions about prevention, treatment and vaccinations. When the Covid-19 vaccine was made available, Chair Lady Sr. Zehra Dilawar Hussain arranged for seniors to receive their shots at a community-owned pharmacy.  It was not until August 2021 that our centres were able to hold in-person Muharram programs again. In April 2022 we held our first-person Ramadhan programs since the pandemic.

Zainabiya Islamic Centre

In March 2022 the ISIJ of Toronto opened a new satellite centre in Barrie, Ontario called “Zainabiya Islamic Centre” (ZIC). Its madressa was named the “Al-Mahdi Study Centre”. The local community currently rents a church hall for its events while the search for a permanent home continues.


On September 22, 2022, the Media and Public Engagement Committee had the honour of hosting the “Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights – Islamophobia in Canada Study” team at the Jaffari Community Centre. The committee came to meet with and talk to community members, share information about their ongoing study and seek feedback on our experiences with Islamophobia.

At the beginning of 2023, Zakira Taherabai Kassamali was appointed to the position of “Ladies Religious Advisor” for the ISIJ of Toronto. She is responsible for providing religious guidance to women based on Islamic Shariah and Ja’fari Madhab tenets.

On Sunday Oct 29th 2023/Rabi Al Thaani 13, 1445 the community was shocked and saddened by the news that Sheikh Syed Asad Muhammad Jafri, a beloved Alim of the community, husband, father of three and Director of Religion at As Sadiq Islamic School had passed away. His funeral ceremony which was held the following day at JCC was attended by at least two thousand people.

Presidents and Heads of the Ladies Committee

Between 2010 and 2023 the Jamaat was served by five Presidents and two Heads of the Ladies Committee, who together with their Executive Committees worked tirelessly for the advancement and well-being of the community:

Presidents: Razak Damani, Ali Raza Rajani, Shabbir Jeraj, Habib Meghjee, Rizwan Khalfan.

Chair Ladies: Sr. Zehra Dilawar Hussain, Shabnees Siwjee.