TO FREE A SOUL
Read about what the participants get up to on the daily blogs, scroll down to start reading!
DAY 21 BLOG: 15th August 2019
The course has almost come to an end. Few of the participants left for their home last night after the closing ceremony.
Today in the morning after Fajr we had a few extra hours for shopping. We then went to Haram for the last Ziyarah with a wish that it won’t be our last Ziyarah of our life. We prayed the Zuhrain Salah and then we all went to the Sehn e Shifa and prayed in the enlightening atmosphere around there. We came back to the hotel with tears in eyes and salutations to the Imam Ridha (as) and until the last glimpse of the dome, it was a pure connection with the soul. We had our last lunch after we came back.
In the evening after packing, our departure was near and everyone was upset that we were to be separated by different places we came from.
We all left for the airport with emotional moments together and left Iran with lots of memories, bonds, friendship and connection with Bibi Masooma (sa) and Imam Ridha (as).
It was really a once in a lifetime experience!
~ Madinah Participant, India
DAY 20 BLOG: 14th August 2019
Yesterday was such an insightful day that we are still pondering on it. We were blessed with the opportunity to go to Neyshapur and visit the shrines of very blessed personalities that have made a positive change into the Islamic community. It allowed us to connect and have a chance to talk to these holy people. I genuinely found this very spiritually uplifting and it gave me an insight on small things I can do to follow in their footsteps.
We went to the Dastarkhuwan of Imam Raza’s haram, which was a very rare opportunity. Personally I was touched to be invited and it was a very special evening as we also handed out food to the people outside since it was considered as something special. This experience helps me to appreciate how much I have and how good this opportunity was for all of us.
Today, we had our closing ceremony. We all gathered in our hotel’s restaurant area for the ceremony and all of us were cheerful until Shaykh Nadir reminded us that this was it and that was when we all were struck that this is the end of the beautiful trip that we have been on for almost 3 weeks. Time flew by so quickly. We were on the course to understand ourselves and just when we started to do so, we came to an end. However, Shaykh Nadir mentioned in one of his closing statements that this is not the end, rather, it’s just the beginning.
~ Zainab Merali and another Bab participant, CoEJ
DAY 19 BLOG: 13th August 2019
Knock knock, our Doors were banged and we woke up for Fajr prayers.
Later we got ready and got on the bus for the Ziyarah at Neyshapur and set off for a long day.
When we reached, it was almost Zuhrain time, so we offered the prayers at Mosque at Neyshapur. Insha’Allah this place will witness our Salat on the day of Judgment. We were then given a brief overview of the place - the Qadamgah of Imam Ridha (as), the narration of the Hadith of Golden Chain and the spring of water at this place which is the pure and curing water.
After the visitation at this beautiful place, our spiritual connection with Imam Ridha (as) grew stronger and we then proceeded for lunch, where we had delicious Joojeh kebab. We went ahead for the Ziyarat of Imamzadeh Mahrooq and Imamzadeh Ibraheem and Lady Shatita. The lady is a true inspiration about performing the wajibat and love for Imam (as) and Islam.
On our way to Ziyarah of Khawaja Aba salt we had a very informative session on Prophetic Medicine and Modern Medicine by Shaykh Nadir. After the Ziyarat, our day wasn’t to be wrapped up, we went to Haram of Imam Ridha (as) for Maghribain and thereafter we were blessed with the opportunity to have the dinner at the holy Dastarkhuwan of Imam Ridha (as), the pure food which will affect our souls and mind positively.
Later on, we recited Dua e Tawassul and then headed back to the hotel for lights out.
The day ended up with a bunch of blessings, Alhamdulillah!
~ Ridafatema Bhimani, Madinah Participant, India
DAY 18 BLOG: 12th August 2019
It is Eid day today. All of us greeted each other in the morning with cheerful and happy faces. Some of the girls went to the haram for Eid prayers while some of us stayed back as we were very tired. After breakfast, we all were super excited to go to the place that we all had been waiting for, for so long – the waterpark! We spend around hours in the waterpark but some of the girls thought that it was not sufficient and they wanted to play more. We came back to the hotel and quickly got changed for a session with Professor Aunali Gulani on self-confidence which was then followed Salat in our rooms and then by the highlight of the trip. Our mentors had planned for a secret Eid gift just like a secret Santa game where all of us had to pick up a chit and then get a gift for the participant whose name we got in the chit. It was this evening that we all sat down on the rooftop of our hotel and exchanged gifts and had lots of fun. We concluded the exchange of gifts session by reciting a Manqabat on Imam Ridha (as) with His holy dome in view.
~ Bab Participant.
DAY 17 BLOG: 11th August 2019
The Day of Arafat! Sheikh Nadir tells us that the biggest sin that one can commit on this day is thinking that maybe, maybe Allah (swt) will not forgive me! Such is the Lord that we worship who has declared it to be a greater sin to think that we will not be forgiven.
Yesterday before our first Ziyarat, we were told that this is the first time in the history of this course that the participants are getting to commemorate Arafat and Eid Al Adha in Mashhad. This already in itself is a huge blessing. We went to the haram directly after our briefing with Shaykh Khalfan as our mentor wanted to find our space somewhere under the shade. We recited the Zuhrain prayers in haram and then finished with the recitation of all other miscellaneous Duas before dua e Arafat actually began. Some of us were reciting prayers, some of us were sitting and reflecting while some of us were napping ;) as we were very tired and the days in Iran are quite long.
As soon as the dua started, the entire atmosphere in the room changed and everyone was reciting it with all their hearts. This is no doubt one of the best things I have experienced.
~ Bab Participant, India
DAY 16 BLOG: 10th August 2019
Although we were travelling on train, the train halted at a station for the Fajr prayers. It was amazing to see that the prayers are given so much importance that the train took a halt, especially for this purpose. We all got down to recite the prayers and then it didn’t take us long to fall back asleep. Soon after, we were woken up by loud knocking on our cabins by Zahra Bai Merchant who informed us that we were reaching Mashhad soon. We reached Mashhad station at 8 am in the morning and all of us were excited to see the shrine of Imam Ridha (as). We took the bus to go to our hotel which took us around 25 minutes. Since it was lunchtime and our rooms were still being prepared, our mentors asked us to proceed for lunch. We were given our rooms after waiting for a bit but it was worth the wait as we were paired up with our friends as promised by our mentors. We took our luggage to our rooms and then took rest until the evening when the first Ziyarah was scheduled.
Sheikh Nadir came to our hotel to brief us before our first Ziyarah. It was very emotional and spiritually awakening as he mentioned the story of a not so religious traveller who halted in Mashhad for his own work and was taken under sanctuary by Imam Ridha (as) and how the incident that his host narrated to him made him make an exemplary prayer to Imam Ridha (as) to make him a human being in true sense. Most of us were in tears as we were listening to this story and Sheikh Nadir added that we are here because of Imam Ridha (as) has called us. We went to the haram straight after the briefing and it was the most spiritual Ziyarat of my life. The connection I made with Imam Ridha (as) right since my first Ziyarat. is something I will cling on to.
~ Bab Participant.
DAY 15 BLOG: 9th August 2019
Today was our day trip to Tehran. We left from Dar Al Zahra at 5:30 am and most of us were really having a hard time waking up; some of us hadn’t even packed for Mashhad, yet somehow all of us managed to get to the bus on time. I was very excited to visit Tehran after all that I had read about this mega city.
Our first stop was the Mausoleum of Imam Khomeini. It was huge! The architecture of the place was exquisite and beautiful. I paused for a moment to reflect upon the life of this great personality and the struggles he had to face during his lifetime. I remember my father telling me stories about him and his time in Najaf and how he would go to recite the Ziyarah of Ameerul Momineen daily at sharp 9’o clock and that he was never late. There are so many small things from his daily life that are a lesson for us.
From there on, our next stop was the huge cemetery – Behiste Zahra (sa) which has thousands and thousands of graves. We paid our respects to the Shohada and the Marhumeens buried there and then moved on to visit the blessed shrine of Shah Abdul Azeem. It is narrated about him that the reward of visiting his shrine is the same as the reward of visiting Imam Hussain (as). We recited our Zuhrain prayers in his shrine and then had a brief talk about him and the other two Imamzadeh – Hamza and Tahir buried there.
We then went on to have our lunch which was at an Iranian version of subway. All of us enjoyed the burgers and fries along with our drinks. We were then asked to go upstairs and it was until I reached upstairs that I realized that we were standing outside the lobby of Burj Al Milad (Milad Tower) the 5th tallest tower in the world. We were given a presentation before we headed at the observation deck and I was amazed to know that there are more than 1500 stairs to climb down in case of an emergency. We took the elevators and reached the observation deck and spent around half an hour over there taking pictures and admiring the overview of the city of Tehran. This was our last halt in Tehran as after this we directly headed to Tehran railway station and embark on our journey to the Holy city of Mashhad in one of the most luxurious trains in Iran – Fadak Express.
~ Bab Participant, Afed
DAY 14 BLOG: 8th August 2019
The last and the final day in the holy city of Qum. No matter how long we stayed in Qum for, it felt like we had weeks until our final day. All of our spiritual uplifting classes were being wrapped up with the contents closing in our mind and hearts. The classes that encouraged us to have debates with our peers, inspired us in our path towards being the helpers of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s), and challenged us to get the deeper meaning of the Quran in our daily lives. We spent the whole day taking mental pictures of our surroundings making us never forget the best place we stayed at; Jamiatuz Zahra.
We then came to the best part of our day which was the farewell ziyarah, it was by far the most emotional ziyarah I ever had. It was a ziyarah that I could never forget. As I was saying my farewell, I could feel the presence of bibi Masooma hugging me but not saying farewell, rather saying see you soon. After the ziyarah, we all sat down and recited our last Dua Kumail, like all of our classes and the final ziyarah, it was different as well. All of our Duas and wishing may have been accepted (inshallah). We ended our day with a delicious dinner and slept peacefully in the holy city of Qum that was filled with light from Bayt Al Noor.
~ Sajida Dewji, Bab Participant, Afed
DAY 13 BLOG: 7th August 2019
The 7th of the August 2019ust was one of the greatest days throughout the bab ilm trip. The day started with us climbing Mount Khizr after Fajr. The experience made me feel so free and powerful as I sprinted my way up the mountain. The climbing didn’t stop. After we climbed up the mosque, Bilal and I spotted a satellite tower and we quickly climbed up, feeling more privileged whilst enjoying the view of the city of Qom. We then headed our way down to the bus and our way back home for classes. The classes today were directly relevant to us. Our first two classes were based on music, the rulings and the effects of music. Pretty much what us as teenagers need. Our last class was on Islamic medicine, specifically about noura and hijamat. An interesting topic that has influenced me to try both either in Iran or back home.
After the classes, we prayed Salat, had lunch and made our way to the sports centre for our football game. The football was super fun still considering the blisters and abnormal ventilating we had, all’s was good. After football we went swimming. This venue had tons of stuff from having a pool to a sauna, jacuzzi and a steam room. We mostly went around the venue until we stopped to get a massage, causing Bilal, Qasim and I to miss the bus. We finished our massages, went to the Haram, prayed Maghribain and went back to Dar Al Zahra (home).
We then went to the restaurant where our day completed with us having dinner with the rest. Overall the day was filled with fun and adventures.
~ Aasim Rahim, Bab Participant, Afed
DAY 12 BLOG: 6th August 2019
We had an eventful day, starting off with a heated day in class regarding the purpose of hijab. We all benefited from each other’s point of view and particularly learnt a lot when the teacher ended it by summarising (quite interestingly) that both sides were indeed right. We later headed to the blessed Jamkaran Mosque where we visited the Museum of Islamic Law and Life which is situated at the entrance of the Mosque. The museum was huge and had life like sculptures/models of animals and birds with the labels of haram and halal for consumption written under them. Our guide explained us in-depth about everything showcased in the museum and it was really interesting! We then proceeded to pray Maghriban Salah under the open night sky which was followed by a moving recitation of Dua Tawassul. We then headed back to Jamia and reflected upon one of our lessons where we discussed 10 points on the Bismillah in preparation for our classes tomorrow.
~ Fatema Zainab Rajwani; Sara Fatema Bandali, Bab Participants, CoEJ
DAY 10 BLOG: 4th August 2019
Today was our second day in the historical city of Hamadan. All the girls were ready and prepared for a productive and informative day. We prayed Fajr and later had a lovely breakfast at the villa. We had a variety of eggs, sausages, jam and bread as well as traditional Iranian tea which we all highly enjoyed. We were meant to take a ride on the tele cabins but unfortunately the facilities were not working. We then enjoyed a fun and lAugust 2019hter-filled trip to the Ali Sadr Cave. Personally, this was the highlight of my trip. The tour which we embarked on included historical, geology and informative discussions about the depths of the cave, the different compositions about the types of rocks residing in the Cave, on top of exploring an entire 5km of an 18km cave using just paddle boats! We had a tour guide who explained everything so clearly I felt as though I’d learnt so much about the rich history of the Ali Sadr Cave. He also added an element of surprise by scaring us mid tour! He later gifted us some mugs which we all really appreciated. We then prayed Zohr and Asr. Following that, we went for dinner and all of us opted for a very traditional Iranian meal, Dizzy. This consisted of crushing the food, separating the contents as well as soaking bread into the curry with soup as the side dish. It was surprisingly delicious and a unique experience for all of us. It was then time for Maghrib prayers and later we boarded on the coach for a long journey back to Qom!
~ Fatima Ali, CoEJ
Day 11 Blog: Monday 5th August 2019
At 1am, our sleep was instantly broken by the sudden jolt of the bus as it halted. We had arrived at Dar az Zahra after a 5-hour journey from the beautiful city of Hamadan. Our stay was characterized by the shivering feeling of being in freezing damp clothes whether whilst pedalling in the Ali Sadr caves or getting crushed by the rapids of a 30m waterfall. Knackered after such an eventful trip, the crew and I lumbered into our accommodation onto the sufra, where we were welcomed by the heavenly sight of chicken tikka paratha roll. For what reason we were unaware; but we didn't care and proceeded to gobble them down and collapse into a spell of deep sleep. At 5am, we, once again, entered the half-awaken trance very common to us for praying Salatul Fajr.
After breakfast we were privileged to visit a highly respected scholar, who was one of the premier students of numerous esteemed religious intellectuals. He gave us a 30-minute talk about the importance of Aqaid and what logical conclusions may be derived from the Islamic way of thinking. He finished by explaining how smartphones and the internet are effectively our greatest enemies and when given to children unsupervised can cause the destruction of the youth generation. After praying namaaz at the educational and research institute of an acclaimed religious leader, we returned to Dar al Zahra and ate our lunch.
At 6pm, we left for the Haram of Bibi Masuma (sa) to perform Ziyarat before going to the Garden of Martyrs for Salah. Some of the Shuhada buried here are as young as 13.
We recited Surah Fatiha at the graves of 2 Imamzadeh, and all the martyrs. We were then gifted by a recitation of latmiyah by Uncle Sibtain Ghulam Hussein as well as an explanation into the stories of certain martyrs and how they never actually die. Some were found in perfect condition after 10 years and some were academic superstars, but willingly left what they could have become for a greater cause.
That night we each slept feeling connected to our religion with a greater understanding of it, but also with stronger core beliefs. The lesson I learnt which struck me as the most powerful can be summarised by Prophet Jesus (as) when his disciples asked him, 'O Spirit of Allah! With whom must we sit?' He replied, 'With those who remind you of Allah when you look at them, whose speech increases your knowledge and whose deeds draw you to the hereafter.'
- ~Hassan Mithani, UAE
Day 9 Blog: Saturday 3rd August 2019
Hamadan Day 1
We woke up at 04:45, prayed, and half asleep, we boarded the "VIP" bus, and surprisingly to a reclining seat that had a seat belt. On the bus, some of the brothers decided to have their own X-Factor. An Islamic version of course :-).
Our first stop was at the park surrounding Baba Tahir's resting place, where we had our first taste of Iranian Saffron ice cream. We climbed the stairs towards the tomb of the famous, mystical poet. Shaykh Nadir Jaffer, being the knowledgeable person that he is, narrated to us about Baba Tahir and his transition from being a knowledge-hungry illiterate to a famous Saint. We were then fortunate enough to hear one of Baba Tahir's poems, recited in a traditional Hamadani style. Unfortunately, it was rather difficult to understand, but it was still a new experience.
Next; we visited Bu-Ali Sina's museum full of ancient artifacts, ranging from different injection syringes to ancient forms of Hijamah (cupping). We were then given a short biography of the great Muslim philosopher, scientist, doctor and mathematician, known in the West as Avicenna by Agha Ja'fari, and it was translated by Shaykh Yasir.
A few hours later, once we had checked-in to the chalets that over-looked the valleys, we rested up and headed towards the Ganjnameh waterfalls. A group of us, climbed up the cliffs until we were above the actual point of the waterfall. We continued climbing until we reached the cliff edge where we sat with our legs hanging, gazing at the radiating lights through the mist. On the way down, Bilal jumped off the cliff edge and thankfully, just about landed on a flat Rock 3 feet down. Eventually, when we reached the bottom, we took some photos under the waterfall. Then for Dinner we went to a fast food joint and we ate some tender and very crispy fried chicken. Then we returned to our chalets after a long, exhilarating and eventful day.
~Asad Merali, Bab Participant, CoEJ
Day 8 Blog: Friday 2nd August 2019
"Qadqa Matis Salah, Qadqa Matis Salah"
We woke up early at 3:30 am and prepared ourselves for the eventful day ahead. We set off to pray our Fajr salah in the Haram of Bibi Masuma (sa). This was an exceptionally beautiful and spiritual start to the day. We later arrived at Mount Khizr, where we listened to the heart touching recitation of Dua e Nudbah by Br Sibtain Gulamhusein at the bottom of the mountain, which had a mesmerizing view. We used our spiritual mind-set whilst simultaneously embarking on our journey to the top of Mount Khizr.
Upon arriving at the top, we visited the mosque attributed to Prophet Khizr and admired the breath-taking view of the beautiful city of Qum.
After clicking some pictures and descending down the mountain, we thanked Allah (swt) for granting us this amazing opportunity and to give us taufeeq to make the most of it.
Another one of the highlights of our day that truly caused us to contemplate and reminisce our actions throughout our lives was when we visited the family and the Garden of Martyrs, where we paid our respects and, with that, we ended our day and returned home.
- ~Sajeeya Esmail, Bab participant, Afed
Day 7 Blog: Thursday 1st August 2019
We started our day as usual with fajr prayers before resting to prepare ourselves for the upcoming events.
After breakfast we went to our first class which was on the theme of tawheed. We learnt to prove the oneness of God which aided us in our own understanding and equipped us to be able to answer common questions received back home. The lesson also helped us to bring reason to our previous knowledge. Personally, I was able to realize that every action, every movement and every event only takes place with Allah’s permission.
We then proceeded to our second class on Imam Mahdi (a.s.) This was our final lesson on this theme and so we concluded it by discussing how to build a relationship with the Imam, we were enlightened on the importance of building a connection with Him as we have a responsibility to lay the groundwork for His return.
In the third class we learnt about Ghusl e Mayat which we felt was very important.
We then embarked on our journey to do the Ziyarat of 40 stars and Musa Al Mubarqah, the son of Imam e Jawad. We felt moved to be in the presence of the grave of the son of Imam e Jawad (as). Once we completed the Ziyarat, we all prayed to be called back to Iran again so that we could perform the Ziyarat again.
After that, we headed towards the house of an esteemed scholar and were specifically moved by its simplicity. It made us reflect on our own lives as we can get so caught up in this materialistic world that we forget what really matters. As we walked around the house we learnt about the struggles faced, especially during the Iran-Iraq war. To finish our day, we prayed under the open sky which enabled us to connect deeper to Allah.
Finally, we recited Dua e Kumail inside the Haram. The atmosphere was spiritually uplifting which helped us to connect more to the words of the Dua.
Overall, we had a very eventful and enjoyable day and we can’t wait to see what is in store for us in the upcoming weeks!
~Saamia Tejani and Hannah Mamdani, Bab Participants, CoEJ
Day 6 Blog: Wednesday 31st July 2019
"Wake up Asadfatima, at 08:50 my mentor came to me. I woke up and got ready for breakfast and after that we headed towards our classes, starting with Aqaid, Mahdawiyyat and Fiqh. I really got into those topics and felt how merciful Allah (swt) is and indeed Allah (swt) is the best of the planners. In the afternoon we had a reflection session in which we reflect ourselves through the topics and try to implement further in our life.
At 17:45 we left for the best day, yes, the English bookshop, as I like books and shopped from there. There were varieties of books to be picked from and after that we visited the 3rd largest Muslim library in the world, the Library of one of the Scholars where Shaykh Nadir gave a brief introduction on the library and the life, nobility, humbleness of the Scholar and about how he preserved his library and reached to such a level with the duas of his parents.
Unfortunately, we couldn't see the library as it was closed during the holiday season, but we were spiritually uplifted and then headed towards the Haram for Maghribain prayers. At 21:15 we had to leave for outside dinner, where we had crispy fries, cheesy pizza, delicious burgers and refreshing mojito. We enjoyed alot and finally and we came back to the Jamia and got ready to sleep and our mentor Abeer told us, "Light out girls!" and here we ended up a great day.
~Asadfatima Bhimani, Bab group, India
Day 5 Blog: Tuesday 30th July 2019
On our first Tuesday morning in Qum, we began our day with classes that were interactive and filled with knowledge. We decided to play volleyball in our free time as the evening program in Jamkaran was after 18:00. As we were playing, the time flew by so quickly without us realizing, that we got late for the program, again.
As we reached Jamkaran mosque, Shaykh Nadir began the program by giving us a talk on our duty in regards to the Imam of our time (ATF) and the connection with him. He also described what it meant to the people who travel for hours every Tuesday just to be there. They usually spend the night at the mosque and leave the next morning.
The following event was a speech from Maulana Syed Nusrat Bukhari. Being a huge fan of his online videos, I was eager to hear what he had to say. He said that his goal was to use media to have a positive influence and spread Islamic teachings to every corner of the world. He also mentioned some shows and movies that I had watched and described how oblivious we were of the hidden messages that they contain which preach unislamic things.
He also told us about two anecdotes that were linked to the 12th Imam, one of which was the story about a young man who studied in Paris but was from South East Asia. To summarize the story, the boy was in trouble and he asked Imam Mahdi (atfs) that if He came to help him, he would recite his prayers on time. Soon after, he saw a man come and solve the problem and before the man left, he approached the boy and told him "Don't forget your promise!" and that's when the boy realized that the man was none other than Imam Mahdi (atfs), and from that day on, the boy kept his promise that he made to the Imam (atfs).
After our meeting with Syed Nusrat, we proceeded to the most emotional part of the night, probably and arguably of the whole course, a dua Tawassul that struck the heart with every verse as Jamkaran lit up with the passionate chorus of Ya Wajihaan Ind’Allah. And as the night ended, this was the first time we all slept on time.
- ~Qassim Lalji, Bab Participant, CoEJ and another Bab participant
Day 4 Blog: Monday 29th July 2019
We began our day with the twilight program which included a reflection session. In our reflection session on the right-hand side we could see the whole of Qum and on the left-hand side we could see Mount Khizr with a shining dome that brought peace into our hearts. When we looked to the hectic city, I realised how our life can be so attached to worldly matters and materialism. But when I looked up at the mountain, I realised that my spiritual growth should be the real ambition.
We went to visit the house of light, and as soon as I entered, the first thing that caught my attention was the mesmerising mehrab in which Hazrat Fatema Masuma (sa) spent her last days and nights in prayer. There I stood in complete awe and I poured my heart out to her. Within a few minutes, I felt as if Hazrat Fatema Masuma was right by me listening to me.
Despite spending only seventeen days, she departed from this the world leaving her positive energy and blessings which we all take home and cherish.
~Fatema Zahra Damji, Bab Participant, AFed
Day 3 Blog: Sunday 28th July 2019
The day started by waking everyone up for Fajr in the morning after a long night of getting to know each other better.
After prayers, we all went to sleep and woke up to a variety of choices for breakfast at 9am. We then proceeded for our first morning of classes which began with Shaykh Asad's deep insight into the relationship between Aqaid and Imaan, and how important it is to us. We then had Shaykh Jabir Chandoo, who introduced the topic of whether we are on the right mind-set to lead an Islamic way of life and finally we had Shaykh Ali explain how the most important concern of our lives should be the whereabouts of our Imam and why we can't see him yet.
In the afternoon, we visited Bayt al-Noor and learnt about its historical significance as being the residence of Bibi Masoumeh (sa) in Qum. We were blessed to have an inspiring talk from Sayyid Razavi. After praying our respects, we went to the Haram for Maghribayn prayers which is always a pleasure and an experience we cherish. We then came home, had a delicious dinner and went to bed.
~Bab Participant, CoEJ
Day 2 Blog: Saturday 27th July 2019
wn of the 27th of July 2019 the girls and I at Bab-al-ilm and Madinah-al-ilm wake up and gather in the common rooms of our apartments for our daily Fajr prayers, a beautiful start to a highly spiritual day. After a few hours of getting to know and breaking the ice with the newly arrived CoEJ girls, the mentors come to transport us to the swimming pool at Jamiatuz Zahra’s Sports Facility. We all enjoyed the relaxing and therapeutic swim session along with jokes, laughter, fun and games. We all return to the Jamia to wash up, have lunch and prepare for the visit to the Haram. This was, without doubt, the highlight of our day. We enter the Haram and commence on our individual spiritual journeys. The moment my eyes fell upon the blessed Dhari of the Holy personality Bibi Masuma (a.s) tears wouldn’t stop falling, it was as if my entire life played before me, everything falling peacefully into perspective. The tranquil atmosphere at the Haram motivated all of us to contemplate our lives, to humble us, give us the patience and the strength to take on the world as representatives of the awaited Imam (atfs).
We prayed Jamaat Namaz at the sehen of one of the greatest shrines in the world and prepared to return home emotionally uplifted, simultaneously leaving with a lot of personal thinking to do. As we arrived to our rooms we got into our Pyjamas and gathered at the common room for our dinner. We devoured the delicious shawarmas and had a long session of introducing ourselves and cracking jokes. Just as I prepared to go to my room, the mentors start chanting “Happy Birthday” and I saw a gigantic cake coming my way, we all took loads of photos and cherished every single second of that memorable moment. At the end of the day, the most divine present I could ever receive was to spend my birthday with Bibi Masuma (a.s) in the Holy city of Qom along with likeminded individuals in the same spiritual struggle as me.
~Zainab Saboor, Madinah Participant, AFed
Day 1 Blog: Friday 26th July 2019
We woke up around 11 am, ate breakfast and performed Ghusl Jumuah. We then walked to the Musallah for the Friday prayers. On our return, Shaykh Yasir explained the khutbahs to us in English. After lunch, we played UNO and dodgeball before getting ready to go to the Haram for Ziyarat and Salat Maghribayn. From there, we went to an area called Zaytoon and visited a 'zoo'. Finally, we went to a nice buffet restaurant, ate dinner and returned back to our accommodation and remained awake until Fajr Salah.
~Bab Participant, Dubai UAE
Madrasah Centre Excellence has come a long way since inception - we've highlighted our key milestones for you. Learn more here.
On the occasion of the Shahadat anniversary of Ameer al Mo’mineen (as), our esteemed scholar, Shaykh Murtadha Alidina outlines for us the characteristics that enable us to become people whose company the Imam (as) himself yearns for.