Updated 27 November 2013
Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya wish to express its sincere gratitude for the continuous support received from the Africa Federation Tableegh Board (AFTAB) and IEB of the World Federation in sponsoring annually participants to attend the “Madinah and Bab Al Ilm Short Summer Courses” which is held in Qum, Iran.
This year, two students Khadija Muweye, from Jafferiya Centre, Mackinon Road and Leila Mwaka from Amani Centre, Dembwa were selected for the Course. And for the first time, Sis Ruiya Salim from Zahra Madrasah Mombasa was selected as mentor for Madinah and Bab Al Ilm Short Summer Courses.
Below are the experiences of the participants in their own words, they wish to share:
Khadija Muweye of Jaffery Centre, Mackinon Road Village.
“Alhamdulillahi, I would like to take this wonderful opportunity to thank the Almighty for having given me this chance of travelling to Iran. It was such a wonderful moment for me and my family. Nobody expected this to happen but Allah (s.w.t) is all knowing.
About the experience in Iran, I may say a large part of ignorance has worn out and now I feel like I am more educated than before. This is as a result of the lessons taught especially on matters relating to our lives today. We had a lot of time to share ideas with the teachers and the mentors as well. This encouraged me so much. The environment also was conducive, religious activities were well managed. It helped one to grow spiritual well being. It was easy for one to be influenced by the culture. First and the foremost, the dressing code and behaviors were the major observations which actually made my mind upright and straight forward. Nobody dared to tell you but the “Nafs” itself controls with time and I finally found myself on the same boat.
Secondly, the behaviors where the men and women usually walking while their head bowed down were an amazing act. In our home area some do practice it but not all. This is majorly practiced in Iran, Mashaallah! Moreover, their cultures do not allow intermingling of boys and girls even if we went for a Ziyarat and/or when boarding a vehicle.
The trip to Mount Khidr, was conducted on Friday morning. The day seemed brilliant and hopeful. The recitation of Dua-e-Nudbah at the site creates a beautiful scene to all of us. The rising of the sun seemed like wonderful information will come from either side as it shrinks.
Visiting of the Holy Shrines of Lady Fatima Masuma (s.a.) and Imam Ridha (a.s.) among other shrines feels one spiritually in heart. I felt like both of them were with me all the way around. This made my mind feel at peace thus I had nothing to depend on except Allah (s.w.t) and the close contact of them.
Concerning the lessons taught, the most touching part according to me was fiqh especially on worship where we were taught Wudhu and its secrets. It was an amazing lesson because I didn’t know them earlier.
I am taking this last opportunity to thank all the people who managed to send me for such a course. May the glory of Allah (s.w.t) be upon all of you. I also pray for the coming generation insha’allah to have the same chance so as to create and build our religion. I think I have a lesson to narrate to the others so that they may be able to gain what I got fofromrm the holy city of Iran”.
Leila Mwaka of Amani Centre, Dembwa Village
“First I would like to thank Allah (s.w.t) for the opportunity He gave me to visit the city of knowledge, Qum. I would also like to thank Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya for the chance they gave me to apply for this course. May Allah (s.w.t) bless you all.
My trip to Iran was very educative and I do not regret leaving behind my exams and going for the trip. Initially I was worried about my exams which I didn’t do but when I arrived at Iran I felt that the trip was more important than my exams.
Following the importance of visiting the lady Maasuma (s.a.) and Imam Ridha (a.s.) that “whoever visits Maasuma in Qum is like the one who has visited me”. Imam Jaffar Sadiq (a.s.) also said “A lady from my children by the name Fatema will be buried in Qum. Whoever visits her (shrine) with ma’arifah will certainly be admitted to heaven”.
The important of visiting the Holy places made me forgot all the worldly things and I felt closer to Allah (swt) than before. My experience in Iran was good. The lectures we had highly improved my spiritual development and changed my life.
The part I liked the most was praying with a hundreds of thousands of people during every prayer and all of them are followers of Ahlulbayt (a.s.).
Their dressing code was good as everyone was in a black chadar, a sign of the unity and strong faith that people of Iran have. It was a very touching moment when Dua e Kumayl and Dua e Tawasul were recited, everyone would weep.
I had doubts about the difference between sunni and shia and had some questions which were asked by my sunni friends to which I had no answers. I have now learnt how to respond when a sunni brother or sister approaches me and this time round I have more strong points and information to give them and books to read for them to find out the truth”.
MY SPIRITUAL JOURNEY – Ruiya Salim
“It started on the day I was leaving for Qum, Iran. I felt elated because I was going to the shrines of two great personalities, Imam Ridha (a.s.) and Bibi Maasuma (s.a.) whom I had read about for so long and now I was going to stand my humble self in front of them and with the great expectation of seeking forgiveness to Allah (swt) of my sins and my prayers answered through their intercession.
Beside this great expectation, I also had a fear that had been in my heart ever since I had been chosen for the mentoring position. It was the first time an African mentor was chosen and I feared rejection. Well, I had to go to find out and so I went. I undertook this journey as a mentor and Alhamdulillah things went on well from my perspectives.
The things I had to do as a mentor was to be a model for the mentees be their colleagues, help them in case they needed it, guide them and also be a support to them in their times of need.
This trip has taught me many things like how to be patient, to make the best of everything and to be ready to offer help without expecting any in return. As a mentor I had to give fiqh classes to the mentees as well as answer any questions that were asked.
Mentoring is a nice experience as one can take advantage of being there and attend the classes as well and do Ziyarats together with the girls. It has been a very nice experience for me and I am ever thankful to Bilal Muslim Mission management for sending me to Iran.
From this trip I learnt that it doesn’t matter about the color of someone, what matters is what is carried in the heart. If someone has a pure heart, he will be at home even among strangers.
Many of the girls showed me that I was special to them and they have also shown it by the many emails that I get daily urging me to keep in touch with them and not to break the nice friendship we built there, this is one of the many advantages of being together.
I also learnt that with prayers one can succeed in anything. I am thankful to Allah (swt) with His blessings, and the spirit of spirituality and attachment for being nearer to Imam Ridha (a.s.) and Bibi Maasuma (s.a.) throughout the course”.
Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya wish to convey its appreciation to the participants, we are very grateful to the Africa Federation, the World Federation and the Africa Federation Tabligh Board (AFTAB) and the World Federation Islamic Education (IEB) for sponsoring the Bilal participants for the three weeks’ Madinah and Bab Al Ilm Summer Short course in Iran.