The History of Women in the British Columbia Muslim Association
The journey of Muslim women in British Columbia and, in particular, as members of the BC Muslim Association is filled with stories of hard work, perseverance, cooperation, and dedication. Today, alhamdulillah, as Islamic awareness is steadily increasing, Muslim women are becoming more visible in numerous aspects of Canadian society. Masajid and Islamic schools are either present or being built in many towns and suburbs and are focal points where women of different backgrounds can meet and congregate.
In 1966, several proactive local Muslims founded the British Columbia Muslim Association. Ten years later, in order to address various women’s issues and concerns, a BCMA Women’s Auxiliary, with sister Fatima Ali as the chairperson, was established. A women’s Religious Committee was also formed, headed by sisters Tazul Ali and the late Hafizan Salar Buksh.
The opening of the Jamia Masjid in Richmond in 1982 was quite a milestone for the BC Muslim Association. It was an exceptionally satisfying moment for the women of the community as they finally had a separate area where they could congregate for prayers, meetings, classes, and halaqas.
In 1988, there was a transformation in the role of women in BCMA with the establishment of the first Women’s Chapter, which gave the female members a broader mandate regarding their own affairs - with an emphasis on issues relating to women and female youth.
The following decade saw the Women’s Chapter undertaking many initiatives that provided valuable services to the Muslim community. The current female membership of the BC Muslim Association have demonstrated that they are committed to continuing the hard work and upholding the visions of their predecessors.