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03 August 2020 / 13. Zil-Hajj 1441

An Eye-Opening Experience, testimonial by Fattimah Hamam from Canada

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.”

I have always had high expectations about the experience of travelling, with a certain inescapable lure. Visiting distant lands, learning about foreign cultures and languages, meeting new people and exploring sights were all things I was looking forward to prior to leaving for Iran. However, I was not aware of what an impact this trip would have on so many aspects of my life.

Travelling to the Middle East and being removed from an environment I was familiar with allowed me to broaden my understanding of the world and specifically on this trip, my religion. I was given a new perspective on the things I was always taught in Madrasah, Islamic ideologies and daily rituals. The perfect balance of spiritual revival, physical activity, cultural experiences and class time added to this experience. Whether it was praying in congregation amongst thousands of others, climbing Mount Khidr and looking down onto the city of Qum, or absorbing the underground wonders of the Ali Sadr cave. There was wisdom and a lesson behind everything, every place we visited, everything we saw, we could see Allah (SWT) and feel His omnipotence. This gave me a strong sense of the all-encompassing presence of Islam in our lives.

I began feeling this impact through the power of tears, which were always coupled with feelings of peace and contentment. Being in the Holy Shrines, seeing the beauty of nature and visiting extraordinary personalities put me in touch with my spiritual and emotional side. 

There is something refreshing about reading Dua Nudba in Masjid Jamkaran or seeing Shia’s from all over the globe gather at the Imam's shrine that evokes this sad, yet happy feeling. I cannot organize the words and thoughts in my mind together to truly articulate how I feel and what I experienced during my time in Iran. It is this feeling that left its mark on me, a sort of spiritual energy that I took back home to Canada after an eye-opening and truly holistic experience.

Written by: Fattimah Hamam from Canada


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Entering into the Holy City of Qum and feeling a blast of spirituality and peace. Home-coming and contentment.
Waking up to the melody of the beautiful Munajaat of Imam Ali (a.s.) followed by the Adhaan of Fajr.
Witnessing a glorious sunrise while listening to Dua e Ahad. Praying Salaat in Jam'ah.
Witnessing the gorgeous and peaceful gardens of Jamia-tuz Zahra as night softly falls and moonlight brightens the night around.


The Madinah and Bab al-Ilm Iran programme marked its 14th consecutive anniversary in the summer of 2016, with this being the first time that I decided to embark upon the course following my university education. This was also the first ever year in the programme that participants were bestowed the honour of being guests in the holy city of Qom for the birth anniversary of Sayeda Masouma (sa), as well as being in Mashhad for the corresponding celebrations for Imam Ridha (as).

This trip was about starting a one way journey towards self improvement and self building. It was about getting closer to The Almighty and actively awaiting the return of Al Hujjah (afts).