The final article in The Labayk Series looks at people's most memorable moments from the entire Hajj experience.
The excellent and renowned Madinah and Bab Summer Courses are one of the highlights of the year at The World Federation. The Islamic Education team is committed to ensuring that the courses continue to reach new heights of excellence, through the spiritual, moral, and educational development of the course participants. To help achieve this, Islamic Education appoints and trains mentors who are part of the course to help support the development of the participants. Learn more about Madinah and Bab here. Read further to find out who will be mentoring this year.
Shaykh Abbas Ismail
This year all our mentors will be trained by Shaykh Abbas Ismail
Abbas Ismail was born in the UK and pursued his BA degree in Qum. He then returned to the UK and worked as an asylum and human rights caseworker.
In 2005, he moved to London where he took the role of a manager for The World Federation’s Islamic Education department. He was able to manage and lead a number of projects within Islamic Education for 9 years.
He also served as resident alim of Essex Jamaat for 4 years between 2014-2018.
He now runs his own businesses, including www.editnow.co.uk which provides professional editing and proof-reading services to a range of clients.
MEET THE MENTORS OF THE BAB & MADINAH SUMMER COURSE 2019!
Yasar completed his Honours degree in Sports, Health and Exercise Science from the University of Gloucestershire, UK in 2005. He then went to South Africa and worked as a Sports Administrator, while waiting for his educational visa from the Islamic Republic to arrive.
He attained his bachelors in Islamic Studies in 2017 from Al-Mustafa International University in the holy city of Qum, Iran, and is currently pursuing his MA in the said field.
This will be his first year as a mentor.
"Insha Allah, am looking forward to serving and assisting the students and sharing with them the experiences I have gained from living in three continents."
Hussein Fayyaz Dhirani, 24, was born and bought up in Arusha, Tanzania. He has studied a joint honours B.Sc in Marine Biology and Zoology at Bangor University in North Wales, U.K.
He graduated in June last year and worked as a research assistant on the Bangor University Zanzibar Red Colobus project for 8 months. He intends to apply for Masters in conservation/project management Insh’allah.
He has been a mentor at an Africa Federation youth camp and at university. However, he says that this is by far the most exciting camp that he has been selected for as participant or a mentor.
"It promises to give us a glimpse into a total Islamic way of life. Inshallah we will also benefit from being in close proximity to holy personalities such as Bibi Fatema Masooma (sa) and the 8th Holy Imam (as). I can’t wait to share what I have learned, with my mentees and learn from them as well."
Zaighma Fatima Mirza
Zaighma Fatima was born in Mumbai, India. After successfully finishing elementary and high school education she moved to the holy city of Qum for religious studies in Jamia al Zahra. Fatima is currently enrolled into the master’s program in Philosophy and serving her community as a preacher in her homeland.
In her free time, she enjoys reading books on philosophy and aqaid and having self reflection sessions. Fatima has attended various short-term courses both in India and Iran which have helped her to enhance her skills. She is looking forward to the course and hopes to employ her rich experience while mentoring the participants.
“I am looking forward to learn new skills while serving the zuwwars of Imam Rida and bibi Masuma” she adds.
Bedrija Imamović was born in Tehran in 1996 and spent her first six years of life in the holy city of Qom. Upon her return to Bosnia and Herzegovina, she finished elementary school and The First Bosniak High School in Sarajevo with a continuous engagement in volunteering and attending classes in her jamaat. She has received a bachelors degree in Architecture in the spring of 2019.
Bedrija has attended the Bab course in 2014 and ever since then has aspired to be engaged in the future organisations of the camp. The camp has fostered a spiritual renewal in her critical ages and she is looking forward to helping this year's participants to fully benefit from the lectures, ziyarats and the religious environment, as well as to establishing long-lasting friendships.
"I expect to renew my spirituality and further connect with Ahlul bayt, as well as to introduce more healthy habits into my life through this year’s camp experience. Moreover I am prepared to share all my enthusiasm and support with other participants and mentees and go through this spiritual journey together."
Originally a resident of Dubai, after finishing her school, Abeer made a decision to move to the holy city of Qom and pursue Hawza studies. She is in the third year of studies now.
In the summer of 2013, Abeer had attended the Madina Bab course as a participant. The course was a turning point and a source of inspiration for her to make the decision to pursue hawza.
Abeer hopes that she can make strong bonds with the participants as well as learn from each other. She says,
"I am excited to see what Allah (swt) has planned for all of the participants and mentors and what path He has chosen for us to reach closer to Him through this course."
Having lived in Iran until the age of seven, Zahra now lives in the UK. She constantly tries to learn more about Islam and really enjoys having discussions. This passion for learning motivated her to attend the Madinah al-Ilm course as a participant last year, and now she is returning as a mentor. She feels extremely blessed to be able to serve the zawwar of our holy personalities in Iran and hopes that everyone can benefit from this trip just as she did, insha'Allah.
Zahra is currently a second year medical student and is very keen to support the hard-of-hearing through sign language. She also enjoys playing badminton and netball and likes listening to tafseer lessons online.
While looking ahead for the course, Zahra says "I am very excited to meet everyone else on the trip so that together, we can learn, develop spiritually, and have lots of fun!"
Zahra was born and brought up in Mumbai, India. She pursued Arts at University level and has completed her Graduation in 2017, majoring in History. Since then, Zahra has been working with The World Federation India office on various projects and in the capacity of a Project Manager for the Madinah and Bab Al-Ilm Course. Prior to joining the WF, Zahra has had the experience of being a Madressa Teacher and has undertaken several personal developmental courses like the MDP, MCE and a few others.
This will be Zahra's first ground experience and she couldn't be more excited about it.
She says, "This course has come into my life as a blessing and I'm very grateful to the Almighty for this. It will be an amazing experience meeting the diverse and eager to learn young individuals from around the globe and spending time with them. Having read reviews and reports from the previous courses, I really look forward to it."
Would you like to be a mentor for next year? Or do you know someone that would make a good mentor? If so, please email [email protected]
For more information on the Madinah and Bab Summer Courses email [email protected]
The mentors undertook a three-day intensive training ahead of the participants arriving. Read below to find out how each day went.
Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim
With the invitations of Imam Rida (a.s) and Hazrati Masuma (s.a) we have been truly blessed to gather in the city of Qum on 22nd of July to start our training in order to get acquainted with our roles and duties as mentors of this year’s camp. The mentorship training was held in Dar Al Zahra where four girl mentors, project manager sister Zahra Merchant, hawza student sister Fatima Abbas and two boy mentors were guided by Shaykh Abbas in terms of logistics, personality types, communication skills and anything that could best equip us in fulfilling our roles of khadims of zuwwar of two holy personalities.
The day one covered introductory word, few ice breakers and MBTI personality types explanations. By the end of the day, everyone had found out their distinct four letters and had discussed their perspective on how they could affect our mentoring. At the end of our session, everyone had to describe the day in one word and our fellow mentors had found it very informative and entertaining. We finished the day with our Ziyarats seeking for help of Sayyeda Masuma (sa) to help us with our goals and make us all bond with our mentees on a spiritual level.
- Written by Sister Bedrija Imamovic from Bosnia
On the second day of our mentor development program, we continued discussing our role and how to build strong relationships with the participants by sharing our experiences. Personally, I attended the Madinah course last year, and so I look forward to relating my experiences with theirs.
We were reminded of cultural sensitivities and the expectations of both mentors and mentees to ensure the course is as smooth and effective as possible InshAllah.
By the end of the session, we realised how the activities planned and the Ziyarah of our holy personalities will InshAllah inspire us all to take a step forward in our journey and grow spiritually.
Later in the evening, we went to the haram and had conversations which helped us bond further. We returned to Jamiatuz Zahra after Maghrib salah and discussed some ideas to make the days as enjoyable as possible for our fellow mentees. We are very excited to meet everyone in the days to come!
- Written by Sister Zahra Ismail from CoEJ
Again we began the day at 9:30 am at Dar Al Zahra. As the previous day went a bit off schedule necessarily, we began with reviewing our personality types via a drawing exercise. Shaykh Abbas then introduced us to a set of skills which would assist us during the coming weeks. After each skill, he would then ask us to role play previous actual scenarios that had occurred on the course that had been described by former mentors with their reactions and outcomes. This part of the course was quite enjoyable and fun. The four skills that were presented to us were active listening, empathy, questioning and feedback skills. We then broke for lunch and prayer.
After prayers and a butter chicken lunch, we started by listening to the experiences of Sister Bedrija, who was a Bab participant about 5 years ago. She gave her thoughts on what could be improved within the course. We continued with a few more role-play exercises. The advice that were given by Shaykh Abbas during these exercises were really priceless. We ended the session with a conference call with the marketing team of the WF who explained what was required from us and a review of our expectations of the training course.
- Written by Brother (Shaykh) Yasar Ebrahim from Qum
The Brotherhood Iftar Party is the first interfaith activity that has been observed to have brought peace and harmony among the various religious communities in the country. Read more about this interfaith event here.
This is the second book in a series that will cover 180 questions and answers about a vast range of issues covering belief, practices, history and current issues that affect Islam. A must-have for any home!