Islamic Institute of Toronto

Exchange Program 2012

Student Exchange Program - IIT and International Islamic University of Malaysia

Malaysia → Toronto
Sponsored in part by Nando's

Student Exchange Program

The Student Exchange Program between IIT and IIUM commenced on Thursday, October 18 when nine third-year students studying at various faculties at IIUM arrived at IIT.

Over the course of the past few days, they were involved in a series of intensive sessions and activities aimed at providing them with an understanding of the Muslim presence within the wider Canadian Community.

→ Malaysian students' report on their experience


→ Detailed program schedule


Wednesday, October 24

Session at Islamic Information & Dawah Centre with brother Ilyas Ally: We were delighted to host the group of IIUM students at the Islamic Information & Dawah Centre. The students were exceptionally friendly and cheerful, and they were keen to find out about our centre's activities. I showed them some clips of our weekly TV show, Let the Quran Speak, and let them see our tv studio where the show is filmed. I told them that many non-Muslim viewers from across Canada write to us requesting copies of the Quran and thanking us for educating them about Islam. Some even embrace Islam after watching the show. I also showed the students some of the literature our centre produces, such as "Common Questions People Ask About Islam" and our 1 Minute Message series. The students were interested in how Muslims are treated by the wider non-Muslim community. One student asked whether we faced backlash from Christians over our booklet entitled "Is Jesus God? The Bible Says No!" Another asked whether the government has restricted or banned any of our publications. I explained that for the most part we are able to practice and even promote our religion peacefully, and that even though many non-Muslims have misunderstandings about Islam, many are receptive to our message and want to hear what Muslims have to say.

We felt blessed to host the students from Malaysia for a few hours. Their smiles and warmth brightened our centre. I pray that their stay in Canada is fruitful and enjoyable.


Tuesday, October 23

Malaysian Students Visit Understanding Islam Academy: An Occasion to Share, Learn, and Inspire

Culture is to know the best that has been said and thought in the world. - Matthew Arnold

It is with this spirit of learning from other cultures that a group of nine students from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), visited Sound Vision and DawaNet on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. Special thanks to the Islamic Institute of Toronto (IIT) for organizing this tour as part of their student exchange program.

The two-hour visit began with a brief orientation of the Sound Vision bookstore and it's various flagship Islamic productions. Interestingly, the Malaysian students were already familiar with several mainstream Islamic products in English language. They chuckled as they watched clips of the latest Adam's World puppet show episode playing on the TV screen. They also turned out to be big fans of Dawud Wharnsby, the famed Canadian Muslim Nashid artist, whose albums were first produced by Sound Vision.

Following the personal introductions, students were engaged in interactive presentations about the educational, bridge-building and cultural enrichment projects of DawaNet, including Understanding Islam Academy (UIA),, Sharing Islam, and MuslimFest. The presentations included powerpoints and videos highlighting the vision and contributions of these organizations to the Canadian Muslim presence. The students were also presented with souvenir of Dawa work in Canada to take with them.

It was inspiring to hear the questions and concerns of these young, ambitious brothers and sisters studying law, computer science, economics, business, and engineering at IIUM. Thanks to Lina Rahman (Director, MuslimFest), Omar Zia (Youth Development Coordinator, UIA), Arif Zia (Director, DawaNet), and Taha Ghayyur (Development Manager, Sound Vision) for entertaining a wide array of questions, including the school system, Islamic education, Dawa, and volunteerism in Canada.

What piqued the students' curiosity the most was MuslimFest, an award winning festival that celebrates Muslim arts and culture, which is now the largest Canadian Muslim event. The questions about MuslimFest were endless, as they wanted to know more how they could contribute to this event from Malaysia and how they could initiate a similar project in Malaysia. A couple of students even volunteered to visit Toronto next summer to help out with MuslimFest!

Their positive energy and willingness to learn and implement was truly commendable.

The Sound Vision and DawaNet teams were honoured and delighted to host these young brothers and sisters from Malaysia. It illustrated a great spirit of cultural exchange and cooperation. It revealed how similar the challenges and aspirations of young Muslims are, regardless of where they come from. It showed what a difference young, well-informed and vibrant citizens of the world can make. It reinforced a great hope in the future of our Ummah.

Special thanks to IIT for arranging this wonderful opportunity to share, learn, and inspire!

Session at IIT with Shaikh Abdullah Hakim Quick: This session was an introduction to Islam in Canada that began with a look at Canada from the geographical, historical perspective. The size of Canada and its great potential in material resources helped to set the stage. Also a survey of the First Nations people who came to Canada nearly 20,000 years ago. How did they survive and what was their contribution to civilization... → Continued


Friday, October 19

On Friday the students attended Salaatul Jumu'ah at the IIT and listened to Shaikh Abdullah Hakim Quick's khutbah on the celebration of festivals and events that are not rooted in Islamic tradition.

They later visited the University of Toronto at Scarborough and had a discussion session with a group of students from the Muslim Students Association. Exchange students came out of this discussion with an appreciation of the university environment in Canada, and mores- an admiration of the strength of Muslim students on the university campus.

On Friday evening, over one hundred people from the IIT's Friday night class as well as public enjoyed the opening session. Shaikh Ahmad Kutty explained the alignment of the pursuit of Islamic knowledge between IIUM and IIT, and IIT Exchange Student Umar Nasir showed a slide presentation of the trip to Malaysia by IIT students earlier in the year. IIUM Exchange students made presentations on IIUM's mission and vision, as well as some of the challenges and controversies IIUM has to deal with. Students also explored Malaysian Culture and modelled the Malaysian Sarong and Buji Karon garments.


Toronto → Malaysia: 'A rewarding experience' (by brother Farhad Khadim)
On May 1, 2012 I led a group of 13 adult students from the Islamic Institute of Toronto for a two-week exchange program with the International Islamic University of Malaysia. It was one of the most rewarding experiences. While it is impossible to detail the entire two-week trip, a few thoughts on the trip will give some insight in what was clearly one of the most fulfilling experiences for the group.

→  Continued... (with pictures from the trip)

Pictures from Malaysia


The IIT is pleased to announce a unique exchange program with the prestigious International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM):

 • Student Delegates from Canada will visit IIUM for three weeks: May 1 - May 16
• Student Delegates from Malaysia will visit IIT for two weeks: dates to be determined
Exchange students must meet the following criteria:
• Be 18 years and above (university students, young adults, couples, adults)
• Possess a passion for pursuing Islamic education and broadening of cultural horizons
• Ability to pay for the full cost of the program (requests for subsidies will not be granted)
• Indemnify IIT and IIUM from any legal liability as a result of any injury, accident or other claims as a result of the program
• Be prepared to comply with all governmental laws and regulations
• Attend a one-day mandatory preparatory program at IIT prior to the trip to Malaysia
• Attend select sessions with Malaysian delegates in Toronto

The program, similar to last year's French Exchange Program will consist of four components: Education, Community Involvement, Tourism, Civic Engagement.

Host families
We are seeking host families who are willing to host students for about two weeks. Host families will only be required to accommodate the student(s) and provide one meal per day. Transportation to and from host families' residence and IIT will be provided by IIT.

Please review the presentation and flyer for more details. If you are interested in being a student delegate or a host family, please submit a registration form (along with any required enclosures as indicated in the form):
→  Student delegate registration form
→  Host family registration form


IMPORTANT DATESFeb. 17, 7:00 pm - information session (download presentation)
Feb. 29 - $1,500 payment deadline (via cheque payable to: Dar-El-Salam Canada)
Mar. 30 - $200 payment deadline (via cheque payable to: IIT)
Apr. 13, 6:30 pm  - Mandatory education session at IIT