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Updated on 12 March 2018
“I felt more at home than where I had come from”
I find it difficult to describe my experience in the Madina and Bab Course this summer. It is difficult because every minute I spent in the cities of Qum, Hamedan, Tehran and Mash-had is worth sharing with you.
They say, if you cannot get it all, you do not abandon it all. Hence, I will inshAllah dwell on my spiritual transformation and leadership development that I attained during this trip.
To begin with, my spiritual transformation began way before the actual journey had started.
I remember when I was in the Musafirikhan – at Jaffery Academy Nairobi, I felt totally different. I couldn’t envision how I would present myself to the Holy Shrines of the Infallibles: Imam Ali Redha (AS) and Lady Masuma (AS). It was going to be the first time in my entire 35 years that I was going to visit the great grandchildren of the Holy Prophet (SA). I couldn’t control my tears at the mere thought of this dream.
When I at last landed at the Imam Khomeini International Airport, I glorified my God. At last Allah (SWT) had granted me my special wish; to be in the land where one of the 12 Imams resides. I immediately felt at peace within me. I felt more at home than where I had come from. It was a unique feeling that I felt all through my stay in this land which I don’t feel it now here in my country.
On my second day in Qum which happened to be a Friday, I went for my first Ziyarat at the Holy Shrine of Lady Masuma (as). Shaykh Abbas Ismail took me to the Holy Shrine before the prayers. I will never forget that experience! I practically cried uncontrollably at the thought that I was in front of this Great Lady whom by visiting her, one is assured of her intersession on the day when everyone will be kept busy by his own burdens of sins.
My life in Qum was characterised by self-reflection. Many a times, I thought of my early life as a small child in my rural home in Chengoni. How Allah (swt) guided me towards Islam and to the path of Ahlulbayt (AS) against all possible stray ways! I could have ended in any of the religions or worse yet could have ended being a pagan. How far did I finally reached by Allah’s grace and guidance! In this same line of thought, I linked everything I did and saw with the Oneness and Power of The Almighty Allah (swt).
The classes I attended, the Ziyarats of the Holy personalities, the visits of different cities in Iran with unique geographical features; all said one thing to me – Allah is the Greatest!
The most unique thing I learnt and which sank deep within me was the speech delivered by Imam Ar-Redha (AS) at Nishapoor, when he told the Muslims that the Kalima “La Elaha illa Allah…” has one condition and that he (Imam Ar-Redha) was the condition. Our teacher, expounding on the same, compared this to the test that Shaytan failed – Shaytan failed to bow (pay allegiance) to the Imamat of Adam. This test is inevitable upon every human being till the Day of Judgment.
About my leadership development, this trip gave me the best opportunity to learn and exercise the mentoring skills. One very unique thing that I gained from the mentoring course is the realization that feedback is a gift. All through my life, I had never thought of it from that angle. I learnt the techniques of receiving feedback which mainly emphasizes on the listening skills. To date I appreciate feedback more than ever before because I came to learn that it is the key to personal and corporate growth.
My experience with the participants and fellow mentors is one that I will never forget. I felt like one family in their presence. We shared experiences, had fun together and this created a special bond that is indescribable.
Lastly, I would want to pass my sincere gratitude to each and every one who contributed in any way to my journey of transformation. I cannot mention each by name but maybe by their respective organizations. Firstly, I thank the Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya, the Federation of KSI Jamaats of Africa, the World Federation of KSIMC and WFED Qum office. You have given me a gift that cannot be valued using any currency here in this world!
Thank you to all our teachers who conducted different lessons right from ‘Tawheed’ to ‘Keys to Successful Adulthood’. I personally enjoyed each and every moment of your sessions.
By the authority Allah (SWT) has bestowed to the Prophet (SA) and his pure progeny (AS), May He bless each one of you in ways that is beyond human imaginations, here on earth and in the Hereafter! ameen
Written by: Ammar Nyawa from Bilal Muslim of Kenya
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Due to an increased demand and a need from the young adult youth folk in search of their spouses, The World Federation and The Council of European Jamaats organised a pre-marriage workshop titled: ‘A 5 Step process to finding the right spouse’ on 12 January 2014, at the Hyderi Islamic Centre, South London.