A photo of a light brown, old architectural structure that has Arabic script engraved in it. The light blue sky appears in the background.

Message for Canadian Islamic History Month

October 1st marked the beginning of Canadian Islamic History month – a time of celebration and reflection. This is a month to recognize the significant role and contributions of Muslim Canadians within our society, to celebrate the Muslim community, and to educate ourselves on Islamic history.

As we enter the third week of October, we encourage you to continue taking this time to participate in various events being held across the province. Pause to learn and reflect about the unique contributions of Muslims in a variety of fields, including science and education.​

It is also a time to acknowledge the ongoing challenges Muslim Canadians encounter. Specifically, with the rise in Islamophobia in our neighbourhoods, it is important we use this month as an opportunity for allyship – to stand in solidarity against anti-Muslim sentiment and all forms of hate.

We know there have been significant contributions to medicine and education from Muslim scientists. Ibn Sina (also known as Avicenna, who lived 980-1037) is considered the father of early modern medicine. His most well known works, Book of Healing (scientific encyclopedia) and The Canon of Medicine (a medical encyclopedia) were major curricular texts at many universities in Asia and Europe. The Canon of Medicine was published in 1025 and is comprised of five volumes. In Canon, Ibn Sina argued that a 40-day period of quarantine was essential to weaken the spread of contagious infections.

Let us all learn and celebrate together.

Lisa Richardson, MD, FRCPC
Associate Dean, Inclusion & Diversity
Temerty Faculty of Medicine

Umberin Najeeb, MD, FRCPC, FCPS (Pak)
Senior Advisor on Islamophobia
Temerty Faculty of Medicine