Tag Archive for: Islam

Islamic History Month – Profile 2: Mohamed and Fatima Hattum

Fatima and Mohamed Hattum have been living and farming near the Swift Current area in Saskatchewan all their lives. Mohamed lives at the same farm he was born at, while Fatima immigrated

Courtesy swiftcurrentonline.com

Courtesy swiftcurrentonline.com

to Saskatchewan from Lebanon to marry him in November 1978. “When I arrived we were the only Muslims in the area. Now there are around 20 Muslim families and we are supporting two Syrian refugee families who arrived this year,” explains Fatima. “We have become their family here in Canada just like the community of Swift Current became mine when I first arrived.” Fatima and Mohamed raised three children, two girls and one boy, who also live and work in Saskatchewan. The Hattums have welcomed two grandchildren into their family.
Mohamed is part of six generations of the Hattum family, who all inherited the farm from their grandfather who arrived in the area in 1916. Initially, the Hattums found a rented space to gather and use as an Islamic Centre. In 1982, through Canada-wide fundraising, they bought the current mosque as their permanent facility to run a Sunday school and offer regular prayers. It also serves as a communal place for funerals and various other community needs.
Fatima is the one who kept the Arabic language alive in the family. “I spoke the language and also taught Mohamed’s family Arabic. I started a school in the mosque’s basement for children who wanted to learn. Families used to drive three-and-a-half hours to get to the mosque just to socialize with other Muslim kids and to take Arabic lessons,” recalls Fatima. “We used to have potlucks every Friday and invited our neighbours and the larger community to it. People are still in awe when they learn about Islam and what it means to be a Muslim; I just sit there and cry because it warms my heart.”
When they are not farming, you will find the Hattums heavily invested in their local community. This includes having garage sales to renovate the mosque, renovating and cleaning the mosque and planning social gatherings where they invite everyone to the mosque. They also enjoy encouraging and educating people to learn about Islam. As Fatima wittingly puts it, “We are here and we are here to stay.”
Learn about Islamic History Month Canada

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Profile 1: Dr. Ali Rajput
Islamic History Month Canada

Islamic History Month – Profile: Dr. Ali Rajput

Islamic, Muslim, Islam, Islamic History Month Canada, MCoS, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Diversity, Racism, Islamphobia, Anti-Racism, Multiculturalism

Dr. Ali Rajput circa 2014.

Ali Rajput grew up in Pakistan. He completed a neurology residency and obtained Master’s in Neurology at the University of Michigan. He joined the University of Saskatchewan Medical Faculty in 1967 and served as Professor and Head of Neurology
When Dr. Rajput arrived in Saskatchewan in 1967, there were very few Muslims in Saskatoon. He recalls, “The day I arrived, two other Muslims also arrived, but they left within couple of years. My guess is that there were close to dozen of us.”Dr. Rajput explains that the Islamic Association was formed by others including Dr. Ahmed El-Serafi in early 1970s who was an early member. “We used to hold Friday prayers at the University. The concept of a mosque was floated around the Islamic Association of Saskatoon but the cost was ten times more than we had in our account. The association had decided that we will not take mortgage for interest consideration. By the mid-1970s, I was convinced that we should have a mosque regardless of what sort of building. With fundraising and connections with the local community, we were able to secure a space by the late 1970s.”
Dr. Rajput notes that he has not held any executive position on the mosque’s board since early 1990’s to allow newcomer Muslims a position on it. He remains a mentor to the younger generation who come and start to settle in Saskatoon and seek both education and spiritual advice from him.
In 1968, Dr. Rajput started the Saskatchewan Movement Disorders Program, which is now widely known as the best program of this type in the world. He founded the Saskatchewan Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Movement Disorder Group of Canada, and played major role in founding the annual Telemiracle Saskatchewan. He has also served on several national and international committees, including Parkinson’s Disease Working Group of the World Health Organization.
Islamic, Muslim, Islam, Islamic History Month Canada, MCoS, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Diversity, Racism, Islamphobia, Anti-Racism, Multiculturalism

Dr. Ali Rajput. Photo: March 1983, Saskatchewan Archives.

Over the years, Dr. Rajput has received many major awards including the 2001 Morton Schulman Award from the Parkinson Society Canada for “…humanity and caring for his patients”, Spirit of the Royal University Hospital Award, Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Officer of the Order of Canada, and Best Researcher Award University of Saskatchewan. In 2005 his work was chosen by the Saskatchewan Medical Association as one of the four most significant advances in Medicine in the 100-year history of this Province. He was chosen Physician of the Year and Citizen of the Year.
To this day, Dr. Ali Rajput remains an outstanding research professor and a contributing Muslim to Saskatchewan.
Learn about Islamic History Month in Canada

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Islamic History Month Canada
Profile 2: The Hattums