It’s that time of year again: it’s Islamic Heritage Month (IHM). Islamic Heritage Month was recognized by the federal government in 2007 as the month of the October. The provincial government followed suit in 2016.
So, what exactly is Islamic Heritage Month and why does it matter? This month is a great opportunity for learning about Muslims and the Islamic faith, especially as it relates to Canada. There are more than one million Muslims in Canada, or about 3.2% of the population.
Many of us often think of Muslims as being newcomers to Canada, and their place in Canada as being a recent one, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The first documented Muslims came before Confederation and were of Scottish background.
Since arriving in Canada, Muslims have greatly impacted the fabric of Canadian culture, but often times their contributions are overlooked and forgotten. On a world stage, Muslims have invented and discovered so many of the things that continue to affect our day-to-day lives:
- Yemen is the birthplace of coffee.
- A doctor by the name of Al-Zahrawi published an encyclopedia in the year 1000 that detailed the steps of surgery; he was also the first person to perform a caesarean and made the first pair of forceps.
- Muslims were the one to introduce bathing and washing to Europeans during a time when it was considered bad for your heath.
- The first degree-granting university was founded in the year 859 by a princess, Fatima al-Firhi, in Morocco.
- Avicenna, or Ibn Sina, was a famous Muslim physician, astronomer, philosopher, and writer.
- The first toothbrush was reportedly used by the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) in the year 600, while hospitals came from ninth century Egypt.
- Also in the ninth century, the astronomer Ibn Hazm predicted that the Earth was a sphere and calculated Earth’s circumference which turned out to be less than 200km off!
With such a rich and diverse history, Islamic heritage is definitely one to be celebrated and learned about.
Join us in celebrating all the amazing contributions that Muslims have made to Canada, and to the world, by checking out some books about Muslims and by Muslims.
Books for Adults
Books for Kids
Books for Teens