Category Archives for "Events"

Camp Connect

AUGUST 16-19, 2019
Journey to Manhood

Camp Connect is an incredible four day canoeing and camping trip designed to take your son on a journey that will enrich him with new skills, new friends, and new experiences he'll benefit from for a lifetime.

What is Camp Connect

Camp Connect is a program designed to help boys acquire a positive mindset and the courage to step confidently into manhood.

We don't often talk about manhood and helping our boys become men, as if it is somehow embarrassing to discuss this, or as if we believe this transition is merely a biological one - and will just happen. The truth, of course, is that being a man is much more than a biological reality. Modern society has lost many of the rites of passage traditions that allow boys to be honoured as they become men, and enable the cultivation of new skills and responsibilities as part of that maturing process.

Boys in our modern world often lack the support and mentorship that boys in past eras were fortunate to have. Mentorship gives boys a huge advantage, providing a sense of community, someone to look up to, and someone to receive support and encouragement from.

Camp Connect is all about giving boys the chance to be mentored by older Muslim brothers, and to learn and get the chance to practice the skills and qualities of spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthy men. 

How do we do this?

Through our experience of working with youth, we've maintained that the best way to guide is indirectly, not through lectures and the like, but through informal conversations, as well as by engaging in activities such as sports. Camp Connect offers amazing opportunities for teaching and guiding, through its canoeing, hiking, swimming and campfires.  These activities are not only fun, but can be positively challenging and help forge strong bonds of brotherhood.

Daily activities at Camp Connect reflect the life of the Truest Man of all, our Beloved Prophet, peace and blessings upon him:  boys set up camp, maintain it by doing chores, and serve the well being of all by cooking and cleaning.

Camp Connect harnesses boys' innate desire to 

experience challenges - by empowering them to take positive risks such as exploring the outdoors and testing their personal limits; 

meet targets - by achieving a self-discpline and committing to a life of spiritual dedication through attention to the five daily Prayers

form bonds of brotherhood with each other - by working and living together.

These are all expressions of the skills of manhood. 


Our teachers are experienced mentors who are there to provide individual attention to each boy. For a group of 13 campers, there will be two experienced youth mentors, one of whom is a high school teacher.


Spots are limited.

Spots will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis and will be reserved only once payment is received.


YOUTH (13-17) 

$ 395

Refund Policy

Due to the nature of this program, no refunds will be available. This policy allows us to plan effectively and efficiently for a successful retreat.


History of Camp Connect

Recognizing the richness of our own traditions, as well as the pressing need to apply them, a small group of brothers in Sanad Collective came together in 2013 and decided to take the theme of manhood and build a camp for Muslim boys using this motif, inspired by the teachings of Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa. 

Camp Connect was born out of a desire to provide a milieu in which boys can express their God-given manliness and be mentored on their journey to maturity.

Camp Connect's vision of a real man is the Muslim man, whose manhood is realized through the roles that God has given him to fulfil, in the image of he who perfected the art of manhood: Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings on him.

The journey towards this type of maturity starts with a boy developing a connection to God and to His Messenger, to his brothers in faith, to older brothers (mentors), and to his family and surroundings. When our boys become connected along the right lines, they will grow up to be healthy, contributing men.

Camp Connect takes boys out of their ordinary environment to allow them to establish these vital connections in a way that is lasting.

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Lotus Blossom Retreat 2019

August 25-30, 2019

Healing with the Hadith

The Lotus Blossom Retreat is a Spiritual Retreat featuring classes, contemplation, and communal worship. Each day brings you together with nature, yourself, your fellow retreaters, and your Creator.

Get ready for a full experience including hiking,  canoeing, communal meals, and fellowship (songs and storytelling) around the campfire. 

In the company of four teachers of Islamic spirituality, and alongside sisters and brothers in faith, you will have the chance to hear, heal, and head forward on your journey to God.


This year's theme

This year’s theme, Healing with the Hadith, invites you to explore the Teachings of the Greatest Teacher of all times, the Apostle of God, Muhammad, may the peace of our Lord continue to nourish his essence and our connection to him.

Do you have questions about the Hadith?

Is there a Hadith that you have struggled to understand?

Do you wonder whether translations you have read are accurate?

Are you looking for a true spark when you read a Hadith?  

Do you wish to develop a healthy relationship with the words of the Prophet?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this retreat is for you.

What awaits you

The Teachings of the Prophet of God are a pathway to spiritual enlightenment like no other - they are a rich treasure trove of illuminating wisdom. It is time we uncovered this wealth to which we are the rightful heirs. Be part of this life-changing experience this summer!

Wherever you are at on your journey, you will find something to help you grow in this retreat.

Children and Teen Programs

The Lotus Blossom Retreat includes a daily children’s program for children between the ages of 5 and 12, allowing parents their time to focus. 

With a focus on nature and worship, our children educators will engage your children with a full schedule of arts and crafts, hiking, storytelling, singing, meditation, and sports activities.

Please note: children under 5, or any children who are not able to use the bathroom alone, must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.


For our teen participants, we will be offering special sessions geared specifically to their interests and needs.

Lotus Blossom Children’s Program

 "The children's events from toddler to teen were amazing. Our daughter benefitted so much from her mentor; our son enjoyed his outdoor activities with his groupmates and energetic mentor. Our eight year old had whole days fun-filled with her lovely friends and kind mentors. Lastly our toddler hung around the whole campground fearlessly - the first time we gave her so much freedom to walk around."        - Hamidur Shibly 


"All the lecture sessions were so beneficial and their messages touched our hearts right away. The end-of-session hymns melted our hearts."  - Zaynab S

" The content covered was easily accessible to all levels. Additionally the level of access to teachers made follow ups easy and timely."  - Haseeb Kamal     

" Great program combining healing and support for body, mind, and soul. Great speakers and balanced toipics."   - Muna Idris  



"The campfire was a very exceptional and mind-blowing experience for us and the kids. It was really beyond our expectations to have such beautiful mawlids under starry nights for four consecutive nights."  - Muslima Shibly

Healthy Meals

 "The meal plan was very carefully made for the entire group so that we did not have to worry about junk or sugary food. The kitchen team worked tirelessly to feed us three times a day without much sleep and rest. While we attended the classes they were busy preparing our meals. We made dua for them in our every session.

- Muslima Shibly

A place for our Youth

"MashaAllah this place was a utopia and I think I have connected to Allah more than ever. Also another highlight was when the Shaykh mentioned George Lucas, the maker of Star Wars!"

- AbdulRahman Pennino, youth retreater

Time with Teachers


"The Teachers: it was a tremendous experience to live with our teachers so closely for that many days. It only made us absorb more from them in a way to emulate  them into our own daily actions inshaAllah." - Muslima Shibly

"May you, our teachers,  be blessed with extra grace for explaining the sacred literature in a simple, easy to understand language. Thank you, thank you, thank you." - Asima Kazi-Continho

Imam Adeyinka Muhammad Mendes

What makes this Retreat unique?

 A sense of community

There was a great sense of community formed between all the participants, which is something we tend to lack in our everyday. We enjoyed the simplicity and communal living lifestyle even if only for a few days. Everything was well planned to allow for flexibilty and ease for families and children. We have been speaking about this point with several friends of ours and feel it is a real draw (a true differentiator from other retreats where attendance with young children is almost prohibitive).

Overall it felt like a safe environment to explore one's needs, be oneself and not feel judged.

- Haseeb Kamal 


 Welcoming of families

There is so much to write about this Lotus Blossom Retreat and I am not sure from where to start and I am also sure there will be much more left - doesn't matter how much I try to express here.

Alhamdulillah, we as a family had an exceptional experience there. The whole theme for this retreat was quite unique and very close to our hearts, something that we are striving in our family life, for us and for our children. So we focused on this retreat as our yearly family vacation in a way to combine the Deen and Dunya, to learn, to enjoy and to strive.

We miss you all. By the by , after we returned back to Toronto to keep up the spirit of the Lotus Blossom  Retreat we formed a group among us to motivate each other to practice the lessons we have learned there in our day to day life. 

Much much love, appreciation and duas

Shibly Family.


Spots are limited.

Spots will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis and will be reserved only once payment is received.


The first 25 adult registrants will receive an early bird rate of $375.


If you’re under 18 and wish to attend the Retreat unaccompanied by an adult, we welcome your application! Please email us at, briefly explaining why you’d like to attend, and with your Guardian’s contact info (Name, phone number and email address) to confirm their consent.


child (5-12)

$ 200

YOUTH (13-17) / ADULT (18+)

regular rate: $425 for one person

Refund Policy

In cases of extreme and urgent need, a 75% refund will be permitted until May 15, 2019, inclusive. You must provide a written statement of the extreme and urgent need in order to ask for the refund. Simply changing one's mind is not considered an extreme and urgent need. Starting May 16, 2019 no refunds will be available. This policy allows us to plan effectively and efficiently for a successful retreat. Thank you for understanding.

Location, Accommodation & Food

  • The Lotus Blossom Retreat takes place on a beautiful lakeside retreat centre in Notre-Dame-de-Laus.
  • The retreat centre is approximately 2 hours from Ottawa. Registrants will be able to arrange carpools among themselves.
  • There are large rooms with several beds; half of the rooms will be allocated to brothers and the other half to sisters.
  • The registration fees include 5-night, 6-day accommodation, and all meals.
  • Meals are cooked by our kitchen team, made with love and prayers.


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Rabi al Awwal for Children

The Scholars tells us that the most important action we can do in the month of Rabi’ al Awwal is to show joy and happiness, in gratitude for the birth of Prophet Muhammad .

Our children should feel happier at this time of year than any other time. This can be a challenge for us in modern times – when many of our traditions related to Rabi’ al Awwal have been lost. But each one of us should contribute to reviving traditions and creating new ones for our children to hold onto.

Set yourself a challenge: that your children should be happier at the birthday of Rasul Allah. than they are at their own birthday. The secret: do more to create a celebratory atmosphere for his birthday than you do for theirs. Children are innocent and will easily show excitement and joy if you give them encouragement and support.

Here are some ideas for how to help our children feel true joy at the blessing of being followers of the Final Prophet .

  1. Have a contest (with prizes) to see who can send the most prayers on the Prophet (salawat). You could do a weekly contest, with a prize awarded each week. Or, set a Family goal such as 10,000 for the month, and encourage each other to reach it – or have two teams compete to see who gets there first. Make a posterboard to track everyone’s progress. *One of the simplest forms of salawat that is easy for children to say is: “Allahumma ṣallī ‘alā sayyidinā Muḥammadin wa Aalih”
  2. Participate in a worldwide Salawat drive here.
  3. Read books of the Seerah & Shama’il in your households with your children or in gatherings, even if it is without commentary. Sanad Collective has some wonderful children’s books about the Prophet  – contact us for a list and to purchase via the Lotus Community Corner or Café Floraison.
  4. Decorate the house inside and outside (lights, lanterns, garlands, balloons, and other ornmaents made by your children!)
  5. Learn and sing songs of praise of the Prophet  or which relate aspects of his life. Sing songs daily – song is an important part of children’s lives and this is the opportunity to expose them to meaningful songs that bring them closer to their faith. Make an effort to fill your home with a joyous atmosphere. Here is a great one to start with. Here is a beautiful one for older children.
  6. Re-enact the scene at Madinah when the Companions sang Tala al Badru alayna for the first time. Explain to your children the feelings those Companions (R) had and help them to imagine the day when they too will see the Prophet.
  7. Help your children develop feelings of missing the Prophet . Together, read letters written by other children to the Prophet  – click here.
  8. Prepare story-telling sessions that would be engaging for your children – stories related to the Prophet’s  life, and especially about his loving relationship with his children and grandchildren. The Prophet  instructed us to teach our children love for his Family (peace be upon them). Teach your children about Sayyida Fatima peace be upon her, and her great love for her Father .  Also tell stories about the younger companions such as Umair and his bird Nughair and Sayyidna Anas (R).
  9. Do artwork of the Prophet’s  name and Family Tree.
  10. Introduce reflection and meditation time (e.g. ask each other “If the Prophet  was with us right now, what would we want to say or do?”)
  11. Since this year Rabi’ al Awwal coincides with Christmas season, take the opportunity to explain that Prophet Muhammad  called Prophet Jesus (pbuh) his Brother, and that we love Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and his Mother Sayyida Maryam (pbuh) and praise God for his miraculous birth too.
  12. Make cards for Muslim and Christian friends to greet them on the special occasion of the births of Prophet Muhammad   and Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him).
  13. Bake cookies or cakes and distribute them to neighbours and friends at school
  14. Host a gathering and invite other families to be part of your Salawat competition, your cookie baking, your storytelling.
  15. Share this article with your friends and family. Spread the peace and joy!SEND US YOUR IDEAS AND WE’LL ADD THEM TO THIS LIST! Write us here: