ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) Canada is an Islamic nationalwide organization striving “to build an Exemplary Canadian Muslim Community” by “total submission to Him [Allah] and through the propagation of true and universal message of Islam.”
Located at 391 Burnhamthorpe Rd., East, Oakville, Ontario, ICNA Canada emphasizes that “the propagation of true and universal message of Islam is only possible in Canada when whole Canadian Muslim Community transformed into a Dawah community by practicing and propagating the true Islamic Way of Life. With the vision of building an exemplary Canadian Muslim community it is very important to spread the word of Islam…”
Dr. Iqbal Massod Al-Nadvi is the Amir (President) of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada and is also serving as Chairperson of Canadian Council of Imams. he also served as Director of Al-Falah Islamic School in Oakville, Ontario from 2004 to 2011, prior to which he served as Imam of Muslim Association of Calgary Islamic Center from 1998-2004 and as a member of the University of Calgary chaplaincy team.
Zunera Ishaq, the woman that stood at the centre of the “niqab debate” in the Canadian election campaign, works/ed for the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
On its official website ICNA Canada shares with its members, followers and supporters the book “Riyad us Saliheen” (“The Gardens of the Righteous” رياض الصالحين) compiled by Imam Zakaruya Yahya Bin Sharaf An-Nawawi, a Sunni Shafi’ite jurist and hadith scholar who lived in 13th century.
The Gardens of the Righteous (Arabic: Riyadh as-Salihin), is a compilation of verses from the Qur’an and hadith by Al-Nawawi. It contains a total of 1905 hadith divided across 372 chapters, many of which are introduced by verses of the Quran.
The book “Riyad us Saliheen” (“The Gardens of the Righteous”) which appears on ICNA Canada site adds modern commentary to the verses from the Qur’an and hadith.
The following are excerpts from the book which deal with the differences between women and men in Islam:
“[Hadith]:1879. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “O women folk! You should give charity and be diligent in seeking Allah’s forgiveness because I have seen (i.e., on the Night of the Ascension to the highest heavens) that dwellers of the Hell are women.” A woman amongst them said: “Why is it that the majority of the dwellers of Hell are women?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. In spite of your lacking in wisdom and failing in religion, you are depriving the wisest of men of their intelligence.” Upon this the woman asked: “What is the deficiency in our wisdom and in our religion?” He (PBUH) replied, “Your lack of wisdom can be well judged from the fact that the evidence of two women is equal to that one man. You do not offer Salat (prayer) for some days and you do not fast (the whole of) Ramadan sometimes, it is a deficiency in religion.”[Muslim].
“l. In this narration, certain weaknesses of the female sex have been pointed out, which are natural and pertain to the woman’s biology, psychology and embryology.
“According to biologists, during and before menstruation, a female’s thought process is affected. Similarly, her pulse and blood pressure are also altered. Females are also more prone to hysteria. For these reasons, the Qur’an has declared that when you have to appoint or choose witnesses among women, you should choose two in place of one man. Modern researches have proved this rule to be correct on the basis of biology, psychology and embryology.
“Again we know that physically speaking, the female has been named as the weaker sex. For these reasons, females have been excused from earning their livelihood. For earning livelihood, one may have to go out and work hard. Women have been exempted from this duty because of their biological differences and other considerations of Shari`ah. Present-day women who are ignorant of Islam and modern researches are not prepared to accept these scientifically and religiously proved facts. The West claims equality between the sexes. But this equality has not been established so far. Today all the important posts are occupied by males and all the international policies are framed by them alone. Even matters pertaining to women are decided by them. They have mostly relegated them to the posts of workers, secretaries and stenographers for their sexual satisfaction and enjoyment. After a struggle for hundred years, their condition today proves that they are the weaker sex.
“So, it is both beneficial and more respectful for her to limit herself to the sphere of action suggested for her by Islam. If she oversteps her sphere, she will certainly lose her female dignity and prestige, as has happened in the West. Her state and condition there is an eyeopener for all.
“2. Women should request forgiveness from Allah very often and be generous in charity. They should not show ungratefulness to their husbands and should avoid backbiting and cursing others so that they may save themselves from Hell.”
Canadian Muslim scholar: women are “ineligible for the position of head of state”
Dr. Jamal Badawi, the Vice-Chairman of the Islamic University, a former professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and an activist with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), presented a similar view in his book “Status of Women In Islam” which is being sold at ISNA bookstore in Mississauga. The following are excerpts from the book (p.16-17):
“Although not mentioned in the Qur’an, one Hadeeth of the Prophet is interpreted to make woman ineligible for the position of head of state. The Hadeeth referred to is roughly translated: “A people will not prosper if they let a woman be their leader.” This limitation, however, has nothing to do with the dignity of woman or with her rights. It is rather, related to the natural differences in the biological and psychological make-up of men and women.”
“According to Islam, the head of the state is no mere figurehead. He leads people in the prayers, especially on Fridays and festivities; he is continuously engaged in the process of decision-making pertaining to the security and well-being of his people. This demanding position, or any similar one, such as the Commander of the Army, is generally inconsistent with the physiological and psychological make-up of woman in general.”
“It is a medical fact that during their monthly periods and during their pregnancies, women undergo various physiological and psychological changes. Such changes may occur during an emergency situation, thus affecting her decision, without considering the excessive strain which is produced. Moreover, some decisions require a maximum of rationality and a minimum of emotionality – a requirement which does not coincide with the instinctive nature of women.”