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23 April 2018 / 7. Shabaan 1439

Madinah & Bab 2016 Participant Testimonial: Exceeding Expectations

Updated on 12 March 2018

In the name of Allah (SWT), the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Most people in their lives are lucky enough to have gone to ziyaraat, whether it's to Iran or to Iraq, whether it's with a qafilah or not.  But to enhance the experience,  to give you memories that you will look fondly back on years from now,  to have a quintessential, unforgettable journey - there is no better way, than to embark on this sacred trip.  

Looking back on the experience is a surreal yet moving thing in itself.  It leaves me in a state of nothing but disbelief as I realise how much the trip impacted not only my outlook of life, but my goals, my personality and my attitude towards religion as a whole. I remember one of the mentors telling me how much this trip changed her life, and I distinctly remember being very sceptical.  After all, it was only a ziyaraat trip wasn't it? 

Looking back, this journey was far from 'just a ziyaraat trip'.  From praying Salaatul Layl at the hawza masjid to the classes we had in Qum; from the Ali Sadr caves to the walk to the haram in Mashhad; each and every day of this trip brought something new, an unforgettable experience, and an ethereal memory that will be treasured forever. 

And it's just memories I have left of Iran.  Memories that stirred a fire within me, a desire to change.  And in this hurricane of my soul I'm trying desperately to put this trip into words,  but I can't,  no matter how hard I try.  It’s a feeling that's impalpable, it's indescribable, and it’s beautiful.  It’s a feeling that no matter how many times I draft this testimonial, I won't be able to convey, and it's a feeling everyone who went on this trip can relate to.  

The lessons that I have learnt and the friendships I have made are incomparable.  The connection I feel I have made with the imam of our time, Imam Mahdi (a.j.t.f.s.) is a blessing in itself. There is a sacredness in Iran that transcends everyday concerns, from the streets to the haram, I feel the presence of the Imam and feel the beauty of the creations of Allah (s.w.t) – how can I not feel at home here? The air there has become an elixir I can't get enough of and I pray from the bottom of my heart that everyone receives the opportunity that I did,  and that one day,  I can return again.

 

I can't thank the organisers, the mentors, the teachers and all the participants enough for making this trip possible. You are the ones that made my experience so magical, so unforgettable – elevated it to an entire new level of spirituality. Without the influences and guidance of all of you, it would have been a lacklustre imitation of what it was.

Mehr Fatema Karim – Bab participant, COEJ.


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