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Madinah Al Ilm Summer Course 2011

Bilal Muslim Mission Of Kenya would like to express their sincere gratitude to the Africa Federation Tableegh Board and IEB World Federation for sponsoring 3 less fortunate students from rural centres of Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya in the recently concluded “Madinah Al Ilm Summer Camp 2011” and making the difference in their lives.

Below is the first hand information received from the students

Report by Khadija Athman of BMMK – Amani Centre, Dembwa

My most gratitude’s goes to Allah (swt) for enabling me and giving me the opportunity to visit the Holy City of Qum and Mashhad.  The experience I got while I was there will always be a part of me throughout my life.

I was surprised that back in my country my shia sect was so small and nearly unrecognized, there I felt at home because one could be an Ahlul bayt follower without being pointed finger at.  I learned the values of my faith and now I think I have the correct understanding of Shiaism and I can answer any questions my friend poses to me.  I used to live in a dark of this but there is so much light in me that am happy and grateful for that.

I now know that Islam is not a religion of just very strict laws.  I know there is so much fun especially when you take everything you have as a gift of rahma/mercy from Allah (swt).  It was hard to know that Islam requires so much of us that its demanding, how I know that whatever I do is for my own good here and hereafter and do all masails in fulfillment that I am pleasing my creator and not anyone else I am grateful I know that now since it has made my life now more meaningful than before.

Being in these holy cities drew me to closer attention of these great personalities.  I did visit it was a great honor for me and I still feel lucky till now to do their ziyarats.  I now know just loving the Ahlul Bayt is not enough, following them, remembering them and protecting their image is what our Holy Prophet (SAW) meant when he gave us his last will.  I know when I stick with them they will not let me down.  I am growing a close connection with them since I know how holy these people are and they can draw one in into perfection, because Allah wants us to be perfect.

In Iran we had a blessed and successful trip.  We learnt in almost all aspects, from the lectures we attended, from the society around and even among ourselves.  I was amazed how my fellow campers could have so much knowledge as well. Our visits also had big influence on us since it gave us special connection towards such places and Ahlul Bayt (AS).

In Qum, we were able to attend and do our Ziyarats every evening.  It was a good experience since some of us had never done it before.  At the Haram of Bi Fatema Masuma, which is the jewel of Qum City, we performed most of our namaz there. Before every Ziarats they taught us how to do it and their significance and meanings. Also in Qum our lectures were amazing, from Aquaid to Tafsir of Quran and were widely explain by our teacher Sis. Naajiya.  In Qum also we met big scholars and mujtahids like Ayatullah Musavi Lari who as a present gave us each a book from his own publications.  We also shopped for books at the famous Ansariyya Publications which we brought home and inshallah pass the message across.  The peak of my Qum stay was visit at the Masjid Jamkaran, we had our maghribain namaz and dua tawassul there. We felt to be part of Imam’s party to be at this famous spot.  Subsequently the climbing of Mount Khidri and watching sunrise from above was a beautiful scenario.

Our train journey to Mashhad took us to this holy city which I believe was a special call to me.  In my life it was the most memorable place to visit and I am grateful to have gone there. On the way we visited the graveside of Bibi Shahista who lived in the times of Imam Musa Al Kadhim (as).   She was a great lady we learnt that.  Also at a place know as Ghadamdar we saw the miracle footprints of Imam Ridha (as), on the black stone and his famous springs which originated on his arrival at the spot.

In Mashhad the appearance of the haram was so beautiful and we felt honoured to be visitors of Imam Ridha (AS).  I cannot forget a single ziyarat because it felt special all the times I did them.  The haram was so full of people but yet you could feel the special personal closeness to the Imam.  Alhamdulillah.  We also had a chance to pray Juma Prayer here and a special Iftaar just for us.  Lectures here also were exceptionally eye – opening.  We covered Philosophy, tafsir of Sura Noor in detail, marriage issues, Tarikh of Imams and duas of Sahifa Sajadiyas.  A lot was covered there and we brought home lots of knowledge Alhamdulillah.

Back to Tehran we visited the haram of Imam Khomeini and his son Behshe – Zahra which was the burial place of all the shahids of war and also the prison of savak at that prison during Islamic Revolution in Iran.  It was so sad to leave Iran.

One can never finish saying what we learnt but I believe we came back better than we left our homes to Iran.  I feel more priviledged to have gotten that unique opportunity and pray that others too get such chances too.

Lastly, I can’t express all my gratitudes to my sponsors but I do remember them in my duas and I pray Allah will be pleased with them for what they have contributed to my life and many others.

Above all I have acquired knowledge of good Islamic morals from good hijab and respect to other people I have already started passing this message to my fellow girls at my centre Dembwa.  On Idd day I had a talk with them of all my experience in Iran and am glad they took it positively.  I now take any opportunity to pass across all what I learnt since I know good knowledge is that which is learnt then taught.

Reported by Leila Abdallah of BMMK : Zahra Madarasa, Mombasa

I begin by thanking Allah (SWT) for having given me the golden opportunity to visit such a beautiful country. Alhamdulillah, I was and still I am very happy for the wonderful trip.  I have no words to explain the country there; it was such a peaceful, religious and harmonious place to be. Beautiful mosques; houses; landscapes and even the people. Mashallah.

I got the chance to do ziyarat for the first time in my life at a very good age, talked to different Ayatullah’s, visited some historical sites and museums, taught clearly and openly about the Islamic revolution in Iran. It was so interesting and motivating mashallah, although lots of lives were lost.

I really benefited mentally, spiritually and physically.  I also met and made new friends from different parts of the world who are muslims too.  We learnt a lot from each other and we still communicate until now.  This trip I should say has had a very positive impact on my self Alhamdulillah, it has changed the me I used to be; to a different one.  Inshallah, I pray that we all live as per how we are taught and maintain that for our betterment.

To add onto this, I really thank everyone who did his and her extra best to make the trip a success.  They worked very hard, may Allah (swt) grant them all their wishes. Inshallah.

The moment I saw the harram of Hazrat Maasuma (AS) for the first time in Qum, I felt a spirit of excitement and presence of the Ahlul bayt (AS). The beauty and recitations inside the mosque made me feel at peace, subhanallah. It was AMAZING. It was good that we went there often. We also visited the graves of different Ayatullahs and were given brief history of their devotion in Islam, I did my ziyarat, recited duas, subhanallah the feeling I felt while there was extraordinarily awesome. The same happened in Mashad in Imam Ali Reza (AS)’s harram. The people are very welcoming, I felt at home. The fact that we went there at night after iftar made me feel strong and had the energy to talk more to the Imam. We went more often too and had much time there too. Alhamdulillah I feel the Imam heard and answered me Inshaallah

While in Iran, we visited a number of restaurants for dinner, the food there was nice and delicious mashallah.  We ate to our satisfaction.  We also went to visit so many graves; for the Imam, Bibi Fatema Masuma, different martyrs, legends and some relatives of Imam Ali Ridha.  This was very much of an experience.

What I liked most is the Islamic dressing code of people there.  Both the men and women observed proper hijab, especially the women.  This was very motivating.  Also the beautiful art of the mosques was eye-catching Mashallah.  The country itself is naturally beautiful with the hilly and mountainous landscape, very beautiful indeed.  I also like the teachers and the lessons we were taught.  They taught us what is needed at this particular time of the world so as to guide us  e.g. Free masonry, philosophy of religion by use of intelligent and the question and answer session.  All the questions that I had were excellently answered. Alhamdulillah.

During the stay in the camp, I learnt how important the hijab is in Islam and how the people fought tirelessly for and its benefit in this world and the hereafter.

With the motivation and lessons that I learnt, I have set my objectives of change.  I am seriously studying for research in order to know the difference in the different sects especially sunnism and shiaism. Recite the different Ziyarat’s for the Imams everyday. Learn more about Imam-e-Zamana and prepare myself for his return.

Whatever I learnt, I will pass it on to my sisters and relatives Inshallah, so that they also benefit.  My aim also is to try and clarify the misconception of my near people about Shias. I hope will achieve this with the help of God.  Shukran.

Report by Ali Paul Hamisi of BMMK – An Nabi Centre, Nzavoni

In Qum, we learnt a lot from the teachers, went to the Haram of Lady Fatuma Masooma and played different kinds of sports. We were invited to different occasions where I participated in recitation of qasidah. It was about the birth of our Holy Prophet (saw). Everybody was happy for it and I was given the holy Quran as a present. I performed poems on different occasions. I was also asked questions in those occasions and Alhamdulillah I was able to answer them.  Mountain climbing was one of the best acts that made everyone to be happy.  In Mashahad we also visited the Haram almost daily.

At the closing ceremony, I was requested to recite a qasidah. I took this opportunity to talk about the best of the Holy Prophet. We were all given certificates and started our journey back home.

Finally I’d like to thank and appreciate you for your precious opportunity to take me to Iran. Thank you very much and may ALLAH (SWT) BLESS YOU ALL!!!

September 2011

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