Updated on 23/12/2013
It is estimated that over 20 million people will converge on the holy city of Karbala this year. They travel there to gain closeness to Allah through mourning and grieving for Imam Husayn (as) and his followers, and by renewing their pledges of loyalty to him and his cause of truth over falsehood.
Updated on 12 March 2018
Jum'ah Mubarak from Qum, the blessed land of Kareematu Ahlulbayt, Bibi Masuma (AS)!
This was not a regular Jum’ah for many of us as our day began with Namaaz-e-Shaab and Fajr Jamaat in our Jamia Masjid. The majority of girls shortly dispersed back into their rooms, the handful that remained took the initiative of dedicating the final precious moments of the night to our Master, Imam Mahdi (ajts) with a truly heartfelt, passionate recitation of Dua A'hd and Ziyarat for Imam Mahdi (ajts) by one of our inspirational mentors. This reminds me of a befitting Hadith by Imam Ali (AS) in Nahjul Balagha "Opportunity passes away [quickly] like clouds, so seize good opportunities when they arise".
The next few hours of slumber quickly passed by and before we knew it, it was time to prepare ourselves for the next 3 hours of our Hawza experience. The hourly lectures have not only been mind boggling and interactive but have provided us with a comfortable platform to ask trivial questions pertaining to the society that we currently live in.
Soon after, we made our way to the glistening Shrine of Lady Masuma (as) for Jum'ah Salat. We divided into small groups as the rush in the Haram continues to rise on an exponential level. Jum'ah Salat in the Haram of one of our extraordinary role model is nothing short of an emotional and indescribable experience!!
Returning to Jamia after Jum'ah Salat, we were warmly greeted by our Madaars (mothers) who treat us as their own, gently pointing us in the direction of the lovingly prepared lunches. In the lunch hall some of us encountered students from another Jamia short course who had recently arrived from Saudi Arabia and were in awe at the vast number of us present and the story of how we arrived to Jamia-tuz-Zahra. Meeting these individuals certainly highlighted the diversity within Jamia and reflected on their unwavering hospitality, where all are welcomed with open arms. Free time was then allocated for us to relax, rest, enhance our sisterly bonds, complete homework and enjoy being in this blissful environment.
At around 6PM local time, the World Federation Jamia girls headed to Boostane Ghadeer Park. The park was filled with a silent yet serene atmosphere, a park different to those familiar to many of us simply because it reflected the simple lifestyle noticed around particular parts of Iran. The silence was short-lived as our girls were full of energy ready to be inspired by the reflections from Ayatullah Sayyed's Jum'ah Khutbah.
The Jum'ah Khutbah consisted of various aspects that are so crucial to our existence in this transient world - aspects we can all reflect, change within ourselves and proceed onto inculcating them within our daily lives. Some key points Ayatullah Sayyed mentioned included habits that we struggle to break such as backbiting, insulting others whom we consider to be close, recognizing that change happens over time and how it is remarkably easier to enter new habits in some places versus others. The real question is what are the practical steps we can take to ensure the changes we make alongside new formed habits are maintained?
Following the reflective discussion we split into smaller, fruitful groups to further discuss on practical ways we can benefit from their application. These practical steps varied from taking a mere thirty seconds to stop and think before we speak; be more appreciative of the luxuries we are blessed within our home towns; to recognize the value of our own relationships and social interactions with one another as each of us are on a unique journey, striving for ultimate perfection and nearness to Allah (SWT). InshAllah may we all be blessed with the tawfeeq through the Wasila of the amazing personalities of Mawla Reza (as) and Bibi Masuma (as) to attain our collective goal.
Whilst this is a spiritual experience, a trip to the park isn't a trip to the park unless we let ourselves go and enjoy the surrounding atmosphere.... The girls explored the 'play area' which to their amazement contained a mini gym (yes, I mean exercise bikes, rowing boat, etc). Some of us played volleyball, handball, catch and football whilst others sat in our reflective square relaxing, chatting and observing the natural environment. Maghrib time approached thus we offered our Salat and left to collect the boys from their Mount Khidr Climbing Challenge. After they all mounted onto the bus, they lifted the mood with a passionate Nawha recitation of 'aab to aaja wo shensha' as we drove to drop them off to Dar-Al-Zahra.
The girls then enjoyed a fast food dinner at Bama, a local restaurant, this clearly brought smiles to many faces as it fulfilled any cravings for chicken strips, burgers, pizza and chips - a recommendation to you from all of us! We were also kindly treated to ice cream from the parlor a few doors down before walking back to the Jamia to sleep peacefully before waking for our next inspiring day!!!
Iltemase Dua... Wasalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barak.
Written by: Aliyah Bhimani from Peterborough Jammat, UK
Updated on 23/12/2013
It is so difficult to sum up an experience that had such a great impact on my life in just a few sentences, but if someone had told me that my perspective on life, the way I think, the things I do, and the way I live will all drastically change during the short duration of the course, I would not believe them, but here I am proven wrong.
It was, without a doubt another day filled with ma'rifah that we gained from our teachers; Syed Kazmi, Sister Naajiyah and Shaykh Khalfan. It still seems like a beautiful dream that we are indeed so blessed to be learning and developing ourselves under the care and the love of Hazrat Fatima Masuma (AS)