They said it was going to be fun. They said I was going to make new friends, they said that I would experience new things, and above all, they said that I would not want to leave. But that was all an understatement – they had no idea.
Updated on 12 March 2018
Updated 4 December 2013
Having been on the Madinah al-Ilm course in 2010, I decided that this year I would like to be a mentor on the course. Compared to being a participant, attending the course as a mentor was a completely different experience for me. It has definitely helped me in my spiritual and personal development and has equipped me with some key skills that will be beneficial to me in the future.
When I began the application process in February, it felt like August was still a long time away. However, the months quickly passed by and before I knew it, I had completed my second year at university and the holy month of Ramadhan was upon us. This meant that I had to really make all my preparations for the course as we were to leave on the last day of the holy month. The anticipation was growing as the days passed and one of my main duas on the nights of Qadr was asking Allah to help me be a successful mentor on this course. As I departed from my family for three weeks and got onto the aeroplane, what I had spent months waiting and preparing for was now finally becoming a reality.
The mentor training programme in Qum was designed to help us to be successful mentors for the course, but it also helped me with my personal development – something which will be beneficial to me for the rest of life. I also formed a strong bond of brotherhood with my fellow mentors in these three days of training.
In addition to performing my own Ziyarat, I was given the opportunity to serve the visitors of Lady Ma’sumah (as) and Imam Ridha (as) which was a great honour for me and is something for which I am very grateful to Allah (SWT). I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the participants and learnt a lot from them, including some of the challenges facing their age group today.
I would say that my most outstanding memory from the course was from my last night in Mashhad where we sat with the participants in the shrine of Imam Ridha (as) and reflected on the course together. This was also an emotional moment as it was our final night together and being a Thursday night this was followed by a touching recitation of Dua Kumayl in the courtyard of the shrine. The bonds of friendship that were formed during the course have still remained since we have returned and will remain in the future.
The course was very well organised for which I must thank all the organisers for all their hard work, in particular Sheikh Kumail Rajani. When on the course as a participant you do not always realise all the work going on behind the scenes to ensure that everything runs smoothly. As a mentor I was able to witness this but what I saw was only what goes on during the course. So much time and effort is spent by the organisers in preparations before the participants arrive in Iran in order to allow participants to gain the maximum they can from the course.
Finally, this was an amazing experience and I would encourage all the youth to get involved in this course as it truly is life changing.
By Ali Mehdi Moti of Birmingham Jamaat
The Influence of the Character of Prophet Muhammad (s) on the Spread of Islam during the Meccan Period
Dr. Asghar Muntazir Qa’im
Translated by Jabir Chandoo
Following my brief visit to Gujarat in January 2014 when I had visited a number of madaris in Mahuva and Bhavnagar, it was felt that a follow-up visit for a longer period was required.