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29 June 2017 / 4. Shawal 1438

A Narration of Najaf: A Travelogue by Shaykh Kumail Rajani - Part 1 of 4

Posted on Mon, 2015-01-19 15:15

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful

After a walk under a heavy security down the Rasul Akram Road - a hub for Hawza students - I was able to reach to the humble home of the grand marja' Ayatullah Sistani.

He welcomed us warmly and after conveying salaams from the Office Bearers of The World Federation and the regional bodies, I updated him on the different activities being carried out in the community in terms of relief and Islamic education.

Ayatullah Sistani was keen to know of the details and spoke with appreciation of the Khoja community. He was pleased to learn that the Islamic Education department is carrying out different academic activities with scholars and experts of the field contributing to these.

He was also well-versed with the challenges the community is facing and advised us to take a moderate path in solving them.  His concern was regarding the youth and their faith. He went on to suggest that while we may not be able to eliminate the secular approach to life we have, we can at least try and minimize its negative impact on us.  

Despite his age, he was still able to discuss academic issues with all enthusiasm.  Knowing that I was a Hawza student, he wanted an update from its students and teachers and when I got the chance to present my papers, he probed the topic and asked me about related questions and references, before encouraging me to publish it.

Regarding Western academia and its research, Ayatullah Sistani has this to say: “Orientalists have recently started producing some research on Imamiya Studies, but the study is still young and not lot has been covered.”

I got a chance to ask about other Gujarati communities such as Aga Khanis and Bohras.  He quoted a reference which he read some 20 years ago and then amazingly, went on to speaking of the dispute of Sayyid Razi and Sayyed Murtaza on Ismailis. Although many sources had told me that Ayatullah reads a lot and has a very good memory, seeing it in action was a unique experience in itself.

The passion for discussing academic issues is so great in this grand marja' that even after he stood up to leave 25 minutes later, he continued discussing and advising me on the matter. This exchange was one I can never forget!


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Updated 15 January 2014

My journey to Iran was a dream come true. I was really looking forward to facing the tombs of the great personalities and having my prayers answered through them.

My first visit to the shrine of lady Masuma left me speechless. I could only stand there with tears streaming down my face and mumble lots of salawaats. At that time I believed that with prayers one can succeed in anything.


Updated 27 November 2013

Mentoring for the Madinah and Bab Course in 2013 has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life; the opportunities to gain, learn and serve were endless.  I thank the Almighty for the chance to have met so many talented and vibrant sisters from different backgrounds and communities around the world.


There were 36 students in total, supported by 6 mentors and 2 administrative personnel. The team included a Food & Nutrition specialist, a Doctor, a Banker, a Vocational Course expert and an E-Commerce specialist.