The Ahlul-Bayt Students’ Association (ABSA) is a non-profit organization founded by students at the University of Ottawa. The heart of the organization revolves around the family of the Prophet of Islam Muhammad (PBUH). The ABSA seeks to preserve their teachings and values and provide students with religious, social and individual necessities to fulfill their religious obligations and academic duties. The ABSA’s mission clearly encourages cooperation with other clubs to build a healthy environment on campus; free from prejudice, racism and discrimination.
The association first saw light in 1993 under the name of Muslim Students’ Federation (MSF). Its initial goal was to cater to the needs of the Muslim community on campus and promote the teachings of Islam through awareness activities such as book sales and iftars.
In the year 2004, the active members changed its name to Muslim Students’ Foundation as a place-holder for the official organization’s name. With this change came a comprehensive reform of the club’s goals, means and mission. This change was needed to settle how the club should be run and to restructure the constitution, goals and mission keeping in mind the best interest of all members.
Earlier in the spring of 2007, the organization took its final transformation and blossomed into the Ahlul-Bayt Students’ Association (ABSA). The new leadership added the needed structure to the club’s events and pledged to further extend its hands to the community.
The ABSA’s new undertaken mission consists of the following:
• Preserve the teachings of Islam as portrayed by the Holy Household of the Prophet (PBUH).
• Act as a spokesperson for all members ensuring their voices are heard by their university, student representatives, and the community.
• Provide students with religious, social and individual services to facilitate integration on campus.
• Promote the true image of Islam to Muslim and non-Muslim students alike by clearing ambiguities and misconceptions.
• Build bridges to enhance dialogue and collaboration between faiths and denominations.
• Mediate relations between university students and their community through social representation and volunteers programs.