Major Muhammad Abbas Ali and Sarwar Jahan Begum
In the words of Iqbal Ali- Board member and VP of MWC and son of Major Abbas and Sarwar Begum:
“My father Major Muhammad Abbas Ali born in Bombay India in 1921 and my mother Sarwar Jahan Begum born in Kolkata 1928 married in 1947. My father served in the British army before taking our family over the border to Pakistan where he then served in the Pakistan Army. Growing up in our household there were many kids, I had 7 siblings and my father and mother also adopted 2 more orphan children. My parents always made time for us and would take us out every other weekend, they would also invite the neighbouring kids as he loved enjoying life and taking care of those around them. My father was a very strong-headed man but above all, he was a very kind and generous person. After he retired from the military my father sought out adventure and doing charity work with various charities around the world. He was very adventurous with his charity work as he once skydived from 10,500 feet to serve the poor and needy. He would do walks for charities he once walked from Abu Dhabi to Makkah to perform Hajj while also raising funds for a hospital in Pakistan known as The Indus Hospital. “
“He first came to Canada in 1989 and even at 68 years old he still had the passion and drive to do as much charity work as possible. At his age, he still participated in many walks from Toronto to as far as Ottawa and Niagara to raise money for the Arthritis Society of Canada as he also had arthritis in his hands and knees. My father’s drive willed him to do more than just walks for charity as he saw lots of poverty in Canada and realized that the Muslims are growing in population and it’s up to the Muslims to do what Islam has taught us. This also reflects with our mission statement of Service to humanity is a service to Allah (God). This led to the creation of the Muslim Welfare Canada for short MWC a non-for profit organization.
My father and mother did not have enough money to start the food bank for the charity so they borrowed $14000 from a friend and started in a small room 10 x 10 room. The two then bought supplies with the borrowed money and worked tirelessly 7 days a week to give food to whoever walked by or needed food. In 1996, my parents then started the Muslim Welfare Homes in an old retirement home, in Whitby, they had to borrow money for this project as well. The thought behind this project was that there are many Muslim women who are being neglected with nowhere to go and would have no choice but to live in shelters without halal parameters. My parents also set up an MWC in Pakistan as this would allow for them to raise funds in Canada and send them to Pakistan to create schools and clinics for the less fortunate.”
“To put into perspective the work of my parents and how MWC has developed and grown from when it was started is remarkable. Alhumdulilah. The little 10 x 10 room for the food bank is now several food banks all over Canada feeding and providing essentials to over 25000 families. The shelter for women is now a 45-bed facility and is the largest emergency facility in the Durham region. The MWC along with providing services in Pakistan they also have done great work in regards to water exploration as they have amassed over the 2000 mark of wells and tube wells being installed all over Pakistan. My father passed away in 2009 at the age of 84 after devoting the last 13 years of his life to charity work. My mother passed away shortly after in 2013 before passing she helped develop the Public-School nutrition program as well as the Village Reconstruction Project in Pakistan. She too such as my father devoted her 20 years in Canada towards the service and care for others. My parent’s goals have now come into fruition as all they wanted was the Muslim community to involved in charity work and now their vision turned into reality. With MWC now developing and providing over 30 different services my parents were the stepping stone to where this charity is today. Their vision and legacy will carry on forever through the Muslim Welfare Centre. Alhumdulilah”
To find out more about MWC and their ongoing projects please check out their website at https://www.muslimwelfarecentre.com/