Eid celebrations fill the Ismaili Centre, Toronto with the sounds of qawwali

Toronto, 5 October 2014 — The lyrical sounds of qawwali music filled the social hall of the Ismaili Centre, Toronto on the occasion of Eid al-Adha. Over 200 guests attended the celebration, which was also the inaugural public event of the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.

Guests were treated to a special workshop and performance by the Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali Group.

The celebration — which was also the inaugural public event of the Ismaili Centre, Toronto — brought together over 200 attendees from around the world, including Canadian Senator Salma Ataullahjan, Pakistan’s Consul General in Toronto, former diplomats, business and education leaders from the Toronto area, and members of the Ismaili and broader Muslim communities in the Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park neighbourhoods adjacent to the Ismaili Centre.

In addition to taking in the recital of several select pieces, guests received a primer on the qawwali art form. The performance group bears a storied lineage — it is headed by Rizwan and Muazzam, nephews of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and members of a family whose musical tradition spans five generations.

“Today’s event is what the Ismaili Centre seeks to embody – the spirit of collaboration and friendship and the mutual understanding of the values and ethics of all Muslims,” said Sheherazade Hirji, President of the Ismaili Council for Ontario, in her closing remarks.

Eid al-Adha commemorates the unshakable faith and sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim, and holds significance for Muslims around the world as well as for members of the other monotheistic faiths. The workshop exemplified a type of event that Ismaili Centres regularly host, which seek to promote a deeper understanding of Islam, while encouraging cross-cultural exchange and celebration of diversity.