The Dawoodi Bohra community donated 80 turkeys to the Richmond Hill Community Food Bank and the Scott Mission in Toronto for Thanksgiving. – Dawoodi Bohra photo
“As a community, it’s instilled into us to be respectful of the social fabric that we belong to,” said Murtaza Abid, secretary of Anjuman-e-Burhani, the Dawoodi Bohras of Toronto. “We’ve become part of this culture through immigration and predominantly belong to the South Asian community.”
“Looking after individuals, charity is a big thing and we do a lot of programs to uplift the community.”
For the past few years, the Muslim congregation has donated boxes of turkeys to provide a Thanksgiving meal to people who can’t afford it. This year’s 80 turkeys commemorate the 80th birthday of their spiritual leader, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin.
Dawoodi Bohras are united by a set of centuries-old principles: love for one’s country, eradicating poverty and hunger, women’s empowerment, enhancing the natural environment, engagement with other faiths, and physical health and well-being.
Within their own congregation, a community kitchen initiative called FMB provides cooked meals to Bohra households five days a week.
“For many years, most of our community members have not worried about getting home from work and cooking because they have food delivered to their homes,” said Abid. “Because we are doing this for our own community, we also wanted to make sure that we are not leaving our neighbours hungry.”
Abid said the first Dawoodi Bohra mosque in Canada was installed in Richmond Hill over 30 years ago. Therefore, the city and its residents are “very close to our hearts.”