I recently had a chance to visit Nadwatul-Ulama, one of the most respected Islamic institutions in India, and throughout the world. Wandering through the libraries and study centres of the school, I thought to myself: "I wasted my life."
Not that my Engineering degree from the University of Ottawa was useless, but somehow seeing the oceans of Islamic knowledge that have been passed down throughout the centuries was a humbling experience. We've barely scratched the surface.
This is why I am particular excited about the upcoming Darul-Uloom of Canada, located in the city of Bowmanville about 30 minutes out of Toronto. A project of this scale is really an exceptional challenge, and I believe that the success of the project will play heavily into the success of Islam in North America as a whole. I am also particularly impressed with the Shariah Program, where I am currently enrolled in a distance learning course. All these projects are important contributions to the community, and should be supported. I wrote somewhere in my Hajj journals that I admired the British Muslim community, and that insha-Allah we would eventually reach that level. Such projects make that closer to reality.
In Ottawa, the Al-Maghrib Institute seems to be doing good work, though there is still a lot of work to be done. Rather than compare the different programs and criticize those that do not conform to our particular view, we should wish for the success of all those efforts that are done for the sake of pleasing Allah Subhana wa ta'Ala and elevating the deen.