Islamic Heritage Event on Parliament Hill

HCI Executive Director Speech at the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and the United Muslim Organizations of Ottawa-Gatineau (UMO-OG) Joint Event


HCI’s Executive Director Mahmuda Khan was invited to speak on Parliament Hill by the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) United Muslim Organizations of Ottawa-Gatineau (UMO-OG) as part of their celebration of Islamic Heritage month. The Executive Director’s speech sheds light on the powerful role played by the Muslim Canadian Community in the charitable sector due to the strong emphasis placed by Islamic culture and heritage on charity and helping those most in need.    


Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh – Peace be upon you.

I am grateful to be here. Thank you Minister Fraser, leader of the Conservative party Mr. Pierre Polievre and leader of the New Democratic Party Mr. Jagmeet Singh for joining us in this Islamic Heritage Month event.

Our community has a strong heritage in this country and has played an important part in Canada’s growth in multiple sectors, especially the charitable sector which represents 8.3% of Canada’s economy. 

In Islam, charity is a fundamental principle for every single Muslim. Each of us has a Zakat obligation to give 2.5% of our income to the poor. This is just the beginning of every Muslim’s contribution towards the vulnerable, the needy, the homeless and those who are facing crisis around the world.

Canadian Muslims have always stepped up at times of need. This year Pakistan was hit by a humanitarian crisis that has impacted 33 million people, almost the entire population of Canada. 8 million people have been displaced. From coast to coast Muslim Canadians have raised millions to send aid. Human Concern International is now focused on rebuilding homes, clinics and infrastructure.

Our community’s response to this crisis is not new. This is our tradition. This is the example we learn from the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayh wa sallam. 

As the Prophet said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” 

And “A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry.” 

In the Quran, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala said “Charitable men and charitable women, who have loaned Allah a good loan—it will be multiplied for them, and for them is a generous reward.” (Surah al-Hadid, 18). 

And “You will not attain piety until you spend of that which you love” (Surah Al’Imran, 92)

This week Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the government recognized HCI for its service in the humanitarian sector. We were honored to receive this recognition. I would like to thank NDP MP Heather McPhearson for joining us in our press conference on Monday calling for Canada to increase aid for Pakistan. Finally I would like to congratulate Mr. Poilievre for his recent election and we look forward to working with you. 

I am honored as the executive director of HCI, the oldest Canadian Muslim international relief charity who has been proudly serving and helping the world’s most vulnerable people for the past 40 years to be here at the parliament today and speak on behalf of Canadian Muslims.

Thank you very much – Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

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