On January 10, 2017 the Peel District School Board (PDSB) reversed its decision that forced Muslim students to use a limited number of pre-approved sermons for their Friday prayers.
During the open meetings of Peel District School Board, representatives of the Muslim community in Peel Region demanded more accommodating arrangements for Muslim students at public schools to allow students to pray in groups at school any day of the week and to write and deliver their own sermons.
Other members of the community asked the Peel District School Board to keep religion out of the public schools. Some warned of the “infiltration” of a radical Islamic ideology into the educational system.
At the start of each unit of prayer (rakah), including the Friday prayer,Muslims must recite Surah (chapter) al-Fatihah (“The Opening”), the first chapter of the Quran. In total, Surah (chapter) al-Fatihah is recited at least seventeen times a day by a practicing Muslim. The prayer also includes supplications to Allah.
Surah (chapter) al-Fatihah
The following is the translation of Surah (chapter) al-Fatihah as provided by Omar Subedar, Imam at at Brampton Makki Masjid, The Islamic society of Peel, Vice president of Mathabah Institute and CEO & Founder of Bukhari Publications:
[In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful]
All praise is for Allah, the Sustainer of every creation
The Most Merciful and the Ever Merciful
Master of the Day of Compensation
It is only You who we worship and only You Who we seek assistance from
Guide us to the straight path
The path of those you bestowed favours upon, not those who have incurred [Your] wrath and those who have deviated
In his book “Commentary on The Holy Quran” (Volume 1, SURAH FATIHA), Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad, the leader and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, explained the meaning of verse no. 7 of of Al-Fatiha. The following are excerpts from the book (p. 338-340):
All commentators are agreedthat those who incurred Divine wrath and those who went astray are the Jews and Christians respectively. A prayer to be safeguarded against these mischiefs, not to be included among those who went astray, nor among those who incurred Divine wrath, has been taught. This must be repeatedly offered in the five daily Prayer services. It is thus clear that this is the biggest and most serious mischief which must be safeguarded against. It should be called the mother of mischiefs… Those who incurred Divine displeasure are the Jews and those who went astray are the Christians. The Jews became such formalists that they totally disregarded the spirit of the commandments. The Christians emphasised the spirit so much that they utterly disregarded the form and discarded as superfluous the Divine commandments that served as beacon lights and guides to reality. They adopted esoteric interpretations of everything and assumed that all of these had found their fulfilment in the Messiah. Both groups stumbled into misguidance being caught up in two extremes… The commentators interpret those who incurred Thy wrath, as meaning the Jews. The truth is that whoever misbehaves will be called to account and will incur Divine wrath, not only the Jews.
Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi is co-founder and editor of CIJnews and a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is also a co-founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd.