In the name of Allah.
When I first learnt that I had been accepted into this course I felt joy, not only because I would have the opportunity to increase my knowledge of Islam, but also because I knew that Imam Ridha and Sayeda Masooma had accepted me so I could visit them.
When I first arrived at the shrine of Sayeda Masooma my heart was filled with grief and joy. Joy because I had the rare opportunity of being in close proximity of The Holy Lady, sorrow because I remembered the injustice that befell her and her grandmother, Sayeda Zahra. At this point I made a promise to the Lady that I will stop sinning, it felt wrong that my heart is burdened with sins while being so close to her.
I had a similar felling entering the shrine of Imam Ridha, I was happy to be able to be at this sacred place, but I grieved when I remembered how he and the other Imams had been treated and martyred.
Alhamdulillah, we also had the opportunity to visit the zarih of Samarra, which was a heartbreaking experience as we remembered what the enemies of Ahlul Bayt had done to these shrines. But it was also a joyful moment to get this once in a lifetime opportunity. A friend of mine, Mohamed Jawad Habib put it like this “This was the best surprise and one I didn’t expect.”
This camp didn’t only have spiritual benefits, but also social ones. I met a lot of great friends that I hope I’ll stay in contact with for the rest of my life. In this day and age, especially in the west, it’s hard to make friends that are religious and spiritual, but at this camp I managed to make friends like that that come from all over the world.
I feel that this camp had a lot of positive impact on my life. I feel closer to Allah (SWT) at all times of the day, but especially when I pray, Alhamdulillah. Also I realized that this life is short, and we can’t afford to sin in the little time we have.
Written by: Ali Ehsan Bijani from CoEJ