Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatu Allah wa barkatuh

In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful and all praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Prophet Mohamed, his family and his Companions. On behalf of the United Muslims Organizations of Ottawa – Gatineau (UMO - OG), I am honored and delighted to welcome you all to the 6th Annual I.LEAD Islamic Conference.

I.LEAD stands for Islam, Learn, Engage, Achieve and Develop. It’s main objective is to engage, empower and support the Muslim community, especially the youth, to work together and actively participate in building a vibrant community and a greater Canada while maintaining a Muslim Identity.

The I.LEAD conference is the largest Islamic conference in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Every year, we are joined by thousands of attendees for a full day of learning, spiritual development and personal growth. I.LEAD embodies what it means to instill the traits of leadership, passion and motivation in us all. 

This year's theme, "In Pursuit of Excellence," is very relevant in our lives. As Muslims, we should always strive to be the best we can be. This is one of the categories of faith: Ihsaan – which means perfection or excellence. As in the famous hadith of Jibreel (AS), narrated by Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (SAW) says, ”You worship Allah as though you see him and if you do not see him, then, indeed, he sees you (Sahih Al-Bukhari). This will result in obedience to Allah (SWT), not only in our prayers, reading Quran and in remembrance of Allah, but in all aspects of our lives. As the saying goes, “Always aim for the moon; even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

We are motivated to be persons of quality where we do things in a very good manner, in a nice and tasteful way and are never satisfied with anything other than our best. This is exactly what we are trying to achieve through the I.LEAD conference, and we tried our best to bring you the most beneficial conference and theme by continuously improving ourselves. We have reached out to the youth in both high schools and universities and we have listened to your suggestions by modifying the program and adding more interactive sessions. We hope that you will find this year’s conference both valuable and enjoyable.

As our prophet (SAW) said, the one who does not thank the people does not thank Allah. I am grateful to the I.LEAD organizing committee members, the vice chairs and the numerous volunteers, without whose generous contributions this conference would not have been possible. I would also like thank the Presidents and Board Members of all the participating organizations and the Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau for their strong support of the I.LEAD conference. In addition, I would like to thank our many sponsors for their ongoing support of the I.LEAD conference. A special mention goes to our Executive and Platinum sponsors: Islamic Relief and Human Concern International, for their generous contributions.

Most of all I thank you, the participants, for enriching this annual conference with your presence. As is a tradition with our ILEAD conferences, I hope you will enjoy the content, renew your faith, make new friends, get inspired and, above all, strive for excellence in all aspects of your lives.

Jazakum Allahu Khairan,

Jalil Marhnouj
Secretary General,
ILEAD Conference