Mentor Testimonial: ‘No Words Would Do Justice’
As I sat back and reflected on this course, a million thoughts came to my mind. Now that I start writing this, I find it so difficult to gather my thoughts to put them into words. Mainly because no words would do justice to what this course does for an individual. When I asked a couple of the participants what their first impression of the course was, they were under the impression that such a course would be mainly focussed on religion. They were soon to see instead, a wholesome experience that combined several aspects of their lives.
We had the privilege of living in two holy cities in Iran – Qum and Mashhad. To elaborate on the wholesome experience, allow me to describe a typical day in Qum. The morning would begin by participants waking up for Salatul Fajr followed by either a reflection session or a rest period. Breakfast would be served between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. after which we would head to classes for the three hour workshops which were facilitated by learned scholars. By the time workshop ended, it would be time for afternoon prayers which we prayed at the Hawza in congregation. Lunch was next on the schedule followed by free time whereby participants would wash their clothes, socialise among themselves or rest. Outings were scheduled for after 5 p.m. as it would be hot during the earlier hours of the day. Outings consisted of visits to places like Bayt al-Noor and house of Imam Khomeini (as). From there, we would either head to the Haram or to Masjid-e-Jamkaran for prayers, ziyarat and duas. The day would end by having dinner back at the accommodation.
Such a robust schedule ensured that not only did it cover the spiritual aspect, but a fusion of many aspects – personal, psychological, philosophical, social and political. From the simple awe at beholding the majestic harams that inspired many and added to their zeal for spiritual development, to the vast knowledge imparted to them by learned scholars, to literally living with others from all over the world – many of whom were just strangers a few days ago, to revisiting the spirit of the Islamic revolution of Iran; each and every activity yielded its fruits in the minds and spirits of the participants and the mentors alike.
Besides living in Qum and Mashhad, we had the opportunity of going to Hamadan – a city in Iran – for two days. The two days consisted of fun-filled activities and sight-seeing. We went to places like the Ali Sadr cave, Avicenna, Ganjnameh Scriptures and waterfall to name a few. This trip was a good break from the norm and enabled us to get to know one another better.
I thank Allah (s.w.t) for bestowing me with the honour of being part of this year’s Madinah and Bab course. I was fortunate enough to be able to serve the visitors of Imam Rida (as) and Lady Masooma (sa). Moreover, being a mentor gave me the chance to give back from what I gained as a participant in 2010.
As mentors, we were to be in Iran for the three day Mentor Development Program before the participants arrived to prepare us as mentors. Other than what the course comprised of, what our roles as mentors were and the logistics, this program helped build on personal growth which provided me with both, the incentive and means to become the best possible version of myself.
It’s incredible to see the amount of planning done for this course to be such a great success – the preparations, hard work and dedication of the organisers is truly admirable. I would wholeheartedly like to thank The World Federation, organisers and all other people involved in making the course such a success. What this course does for an individual is mindboggling – regardless of the number of testimonials written or words used, expressing oneself is nearly impossible. It’s something that cannot be expressed, only felt. I highly recommend anyone reading this to be part of this course at least once in their lifetime.
Sukaina Mahmood Khatau
Mombasa Jamaat, Kenya – AFED.