The Shia community within Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph area began congregating for religious occasions in the early 1970s. Over the years of community congregations, Al Zahra Shia Association of Waterloo Region (“Al Zahra”) was incorporated in May 2019 with the mission to preach and advance the Islamic teachings according to the Islamic Shia Ithna Asheri Ja’ffari faith, and to establish a place of worship that enables religious education, counseling, and support services for its membership and the general public.
Al Zahra is a membership-based non-for-profit charitable organization registered with the Canada Revenue Agency. Al Zahra organizes and manages programs on all the major Islamic occasions and every Thursday night. There are almost 100 members of Al Zahra and including families and individuals’ total number exceeds 500. The membership is diverse with a deep and rich history of worship, congregation, and community services.
The aims and objectives of Al Zahra are:
- To advance religion by establishing and maintaining a house of worship with services conducted in accordance with the tenets and doctrines of the Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Ja’ffari faith.
- To advance religion by preaching the teachings, and religious tenets, doctrines, and observances associated with the Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Ja’ffari faith.
- To advance religion by establishing a facility to be used for religious programs, workshops, a library of religious books, and Quranic studies.
- To relieve poverty and advance religion by providing basic necessities of life, including food and clothing to Canadian individuals or families in need, in accordance with the dictates of the Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Ja’ffari faith.
- To advance education by providing workshops on career planning and lectures on life skills, such as self-esteem, confidence, problem solving, and communication to people of all ages living in the Waterloo region.
- To provide assistance to needy persons in drafting resumes, searching for employment, and preparing for job interviews.
- To address and prevent specific problems faced by families by providing parents, children, and youth with counseling and mentoring programs on issues such as anger management, conflict resolution, and effective communication.
- To receive and maintain a fund or funds and to apply all or part of the principal and income therefrom, from time to time, to qualified donees as defined in subsection 149.1(1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada).
- To undertake activities ancillary and incidental to the attainment of the above charitable purposes.