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As I sat in the Haram of Bibi Masuma (AS) listening to the moving and heart rending confessions to the Holy Lady (AS), given by brother Amin, I couldn’t stop thinking how lucky I was to be amongst the chosen few to shed a tear out of love of Sayyida Masuma (AS). The sobs and lamentations of the other brothers broke me. The next thing I knew I was calling on Lady Masuma (AS) and asking her to pardon me for neglecting her. Here I am, a student in the Hawza of Qum yet I would go a week or sometimes more without visiting the Holy Lady (AS). Tears of shame and regret flowed freely from my eyes. This was my first Ziyarah of Sayyida Masuma (AS) out of pure love. Previously, if possible I would visit when I had a problem that needed solving. Today was different. The warm tears flowing down my cheeks were purely out of love for her.
There was also an amazing connection I felt with Imam Mahdi (AJFS) at Masjid Jamkaran every Tuesday, when we attended the recitation of Dua Tawassul. The reciter would spend time addressing the Imam of our time telling him how much we longed for his reappearance. How much our peace and happiness depended on the presence of the Imam (AJFS). He kept mentioning that we were helpless without the Imam (AJFS). As he mentioned about us being the reason for the Imam (AJFS) not reappearing, a strong pain grasped my heart causing me to feel guilty and ashamed. This made me weep desperately and pray to Allah (SWT) to help prepare me for the Imam’s reappearance.
Our experience in Qum equipped me for Mashhad – our next destination. While there I had an urge to spend most of my time in the Haram of Imam Redha (AS). My first Ziyarah went well; I sat meters away from the Zareeh to avoid the congestion, with the intention of calmly and comfortably doing my Ziyarah. Here I was only meters away from my Imam! I wept and called his name over and over again. My master! O Imam! I thanked him for allowing me to visit him. I cried with emotion. The crying of one who stands before the one who can solve his problems. We had previously been informed that Imam Redha (AS) loved the Zuwaar and acted kindly towards them. I asked him to prepare me for Imam Mahdi’s (AJFS) reappearance.
Ziyarat al wida was extremely difficult. I was leaving Mashhad with no certainty of when I was coming back. As I wept, I repeatedly asked the Imam (AS) to be kind to me and invite me back.
The experience of the summer course was a memorable one. I met people I had never met before. I made friends with people I had never known. We became best of friends because of the Bab and Madinatul Ilm summer course. Today, I look back and wish I could repeat the experience every day. This camp gave me the honor of serving the Zuwaar of Imam Redha (AS) and his sister Sayyida Masuma (AS). May Allah (SWT) shower both of them with His infinite mercy.
My special thanks to the organizers; The World Federation team, the Qum office, Sr. Jerrmein, Br. Qasim and all the mentors and teachers who tirelessly devoted their time to make this camp a success. May Allah (SWT) bless them all. I would also like to thank brother Amin for his marvelous directions and advice.
In this course I met all young men with bright and promising futures. If one was not a graduate in one of the world leading universities, then they were in university pursuing their studies or in high school with aim to go to university. This made me wish the same for youth of my community. The success of the Khoja community is due to their education. I have now decided to start campaigning in my community to assist the youth in taking their studies seriously.
Another interesting fact is that these youth seemed to have left the camp in a better spiritual position than they joined it in. Some even confessed to me that they would henceforth lead a religious life. This camp made them into better Muslims. I have decided that this culture has to be introduced in my community. We have camps, yes, but not as well organized as the Bab and Madinatul Ilm one. I want to take it a level higher. This camp really opened my eyes and if a chance is given to me to be part of it again I will so happily take it.
Written by: Hasan Rocky of Bilal Muslim Mission Kenya
Imam Ali (AS) has said: “Live in this world as a traveller, and leave behind you every sweet memory. Indeed we are guests here, and every guest must soon leave.”