Updated 26 June 2013
This week, we introduce you to two more mentors that have been selected to accompany the group this year.
1. Sister Shaheen Dhanji – Stanmore, UK
Shaheen grew up in Dar es Salaam and recently moved to London. A ‘purist’ at heart, she is looking forward to detaching herself from a fast-paced working environment to acquire some spiritual connection within herself and with the Almighty.
Updated on 12 March 2018
The excellent and renowned Madinah and Bab Summer Courses are one of the highlights of the year at The World Federation. The Islamic Education team is committed to ensuring that the courses continue to reach new heights of excellence, through the spiritual, moral, and educational development of the course participants. To help achieve this, Islamic Education appoints and trains mentors who are part of the course to help support the development of the participants.
Read all about the daily mentor's blog here.
Shaykh Abbas Ismail
This year all our mentors will be trained by Shaykh Abbas Ismail
Abbas Ismail was born in the UK and pursued his BA degree in Qum. He then returned to the UK and worked as an asylum and human rights caseworker.
In 2005, he moved to London where he took the role of a manager for The World Federation’s Islamic Education department. He was able to manage and lead a number of projects within Islamic Education for 9 years.
He also served as resident alim of Essex Jamaat for 4 years between 2014-2018.
He now runs his own businesses, including www.editnow.co.uk which provides professional editing and proof-reading services to a range of clients.
MEET THE MENTORS OF THE BAB & MADINAH SUMMER COURSE 2018!
Fatimah Farah Jessa
Born and raised in London, England, Fatimah has been residing in Qom for the past year and a half, studying at Jamiatuz Zahra. She has thoroughly enjoyed so many aspects of her time in Iran but without a doubt considers the proximity to Bibi Ma’sooma (sa) haraam the best thing about being there.
Fatimah mentions: "I have been blessed with the opportunity to not only attend the Bab ul Ilm camp as a participant in 2008 but also as a mentor last year in 2017. The camp brought a love for Qom into my heart that has stayed with me until today.
Through the grace of Imam Ridha (as) and Bibi Ma’sooma (sa), I am grateful to have been given another opportunity to serve their zuwwar. The camp is a great opportunity to have fun, learn more about Islam, explore a different country and make new friends. I can guarantee that the memories from this trip will stay with us for the rest of our life!"
Zahra Jaffer Ismail
Zahra Jaffer Ismail was born and raised in the UK. In November 2017, she and her husband moved to Addis Ababa for an adventure in Ethiopia.
Zahra studied optometry in City University London and subsequently practiced as an optometrist. However, in Addis, Zahra is working as a primary school English teacher which she thoroughly enjoys.
Zahra is really passionate about learning Islam, which led her to apply to the Madinatul Ilm camp as a participant in 2012. Zahra said it was an amazing experience which further motivated her to pursue her learning in Islam. Zahra attended the Hawza Ilmiyya in London for one year, where she fell in love with the study of theology.
Aside from her work and studies, she loves to spend time with her family and community. Although it has been said Zahra is a bit of a chatterbox, she always loves to take the opportunity to talk and discuss many subjects be it in an intense debate or just a catch up with friends.
Zahra is really excited about the opportunity to be a mentor for Madinah and Bab this summer. We pray it's a spiritually and intellectually beneficial trip for all, as well as an opportunity to have some fun.
Ridhae Fatima Sheikh
Born and raised in Essex, Ridhee is a Psychology graduate working in Human Resources and an active member in Essex Jamaat. Ridhee has been a mentor previously for CoEJ camps, which she states the role itself has changed her entire perspective on life.
In the summer of 2017, Ridhee attended the Madinah and Bab course, for the first time as a participant. The flow of knowledge in Qum and the breath-taking views of Mashad is something she said she will never forget; but it was the support of the mentors and participants as a group, which made each moment worth it. As soon as Ridhee returned, Ridhee knew she wanted to be a mentor. After successfully securing a place for this years mentor Ridhee said "It is an honour to be called back again, to serve for the sake of Imam Ridha (as)!"
The course made Ridhee reflect and realise that life has a way of throwing things at us which we don’t always expect. Whether good or bad, it is what we make out of it which shapes our journey in this world; whilst reminding ourselves that God has a bigger and better plan for us inshAllah.
Naba Hussein is from Sweden. After finishing school, Naba moved to the holy city of Qom to pursue Hawza studies and has been living there for approximately three years.
Inshallah, Naba is hoping to help this camp by being a mentor and looking forward to meeting all the participants of the camp.
These camps always bring along strong bonds between the participants and the mentors, so Naba is looking forward to spending a summer with them and inshallah hoping to continue this relationship after summer.
Zafar Hussain Ladha - Qum, Iran
Zafar completed his Bachelor's degree in Business and Management from Aston University, Birmingham in 2012. He studied the core areas of business combined with a placement year in a Re-Insurance Brokerage firm in the city of London, UK.
After graduation, he worked for approximately 4 years in the city of London, before deciding to leave his career and join the Islamic Seminary in the holy city of Qum, Iran.
This will be his first year as a mentor. Zafar says, "Insha Allah, looking forward to serving the students and seeing the world from their perspective"
Muhammed Hussein Daya
Muhammed is 18 years old. Muhammed's family moved to Qom when he was 4 yrs old and he completed his high school in 2017 in an Iranian Islamic school.
Muhammed is currently studying in the Hawza of Qom and has just finished his first year.
With Allah’s (swt) mercy and help he finished memorising the Holy Qur’an in 2016 and Alhamdulillah came second in al-Mustafa international Qur’an (hifdh) competition.
Muhammed is looking forward to sharing some of his experiences about memorizing the Holy Qur’an with the youths attending this summer’s camp.
Plus he would also like to mention he loves programming and playing volleyball and badminton.
Sunday 22nd July - Saturday 11th August 2018
Day 1. Wednesday 18/7/18
Today marked the beginning of our Mentor Development Programme. The training was led by Sheikh Abbas Ismail, who has extensive experience in developing mentors. The focus of the day was understanding personality types, based on the MBTI system. The purpose of this was threefold. Firstly, this enabled us to better understand ourselves so that we know our strengths and weaknesses. Secondly, we were able to better understand our team of mentors, so we can work effectively together. Finally, we understood how the range of personality types will affect how we interact with different participants.
As mentors, our aim is to support the course participants in the way that works most effectively for them as individuals. Through understanding the MBTI in further depth, we built our confidence in relating to the needs of different people, so that we can tailor how we offer support.
The training was followed by a talk by the incredible Dr. Farrouk, who enlightened us about how we can seek to attain the true metaphysical ziyarah.
The highlight of the day, however, was having the opportunity to bond with my fellow mentors. Alhamdulillah, the team is fantastic! Each mentor, with their own experiences and skills, has come with an intention to serve the cause of the Ahlulbayt to their best of their capacity. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be here and I am excited for the days to come!
- Zahra Jaffer Ismail, Stanmore Jamaat, UK
Day 2 - Thursday 19/7/18
As we continued Day 2 of the MentorDevelopmentt Programme, led by Shaykh Abbas Ismail, I felt a boost in confidence and by the end of the day, I became increasingly excited for the camp to begin.
Our day consisted of going over the key skills of a mentor, including active listening, questioning, showing empathy and learning how to give and receive feedback; skills which are vital to strengthening our relationship with both participants and fellow mentees. The session ended with another talk from the esteemed Dr Farrouk who enlightened us about the link between having sabr and forbearance, both of which can be strengthed by our Tawhid in reaction to the tests we face in our life.
Later in evening, we had the opportunity to go to the haram of Bibi Masuma (sa) and listen to Dua Kumayl which brought back so many memories. Having been a participant on the course last year, I felt a great sense of nostalgia, but yet peace and gratitude that I have been called back to serve the Ahlul Bayt.
Alhamdulillah we have a great team of mentors and I feel enlightened by today's session. Looking forward to the days to come and meeting the participants iA.
- Ridhae Fatima, Essex Jamaat, UK
Day 3: End of training
We enter the final day and go through more scenarios to drive this one home. Thereafter, we go through logistics and the schedule for the next few weeks. But the final message from Shaykh Abbas Ismail is that whatever we do, do it with sincerity and Allah (swt) will do the needful.
I am excited to use my newly acquired skills and really looking forward to making new friends and building new bonds. Having said that we finished on a very positive note and then had to finalize room allocations. We wanted to arrange it in such a way so that a participant could interact with other participants from different communities and countries thus ultimately learning to appreciate each other.
-Zaffar Ladha, Mentor from.Qom
Would you like to be a mentor for next year? Or do you know someone that would make a good mentor? If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Madinah and Bab Summer Courses email email@example.com
Updated 26 June 2013
‘The Spiritual Walk’ is a documentary by The World Federation that follows the 3-day walk from Najaf to Kerbala in the shoes of three British Muslims: Abbas Ramji, Farhana Manekia and Sohail Kanji.
Rarely, if ever, does one get an opportunity to go on a trip; a life changing experience filled with moments of absolute serenity, heart wrenching emotion, out of the world reflections, and unshakeable resolve.