Minhaj-ul-Quran London’s Youth League once again organised and delivered, again another highly successful national 3 day spiritual retreat (youth itikaf). The event was organised and hosted by Muslim Youth League’s Syed Usman Shah Gillani and presided by Shaykh Muhammed Zeeshan Al Azhari – Director of Minhaj-ul-Quran London.
The itikaf was attended by 34 youngsters who sacrificed their weekend for the sake and pleasure of Allah, with the youngest retreater being 13 and the oldest being 46.
The organisers Syed Usman Shah and Shaykh Zeeshan also decided to give this spiritual retreat a new edge which included many new initiatives. Some of which were:
- This was the first time for a spiritual retreat to happen outside of Ramadan where fasting was recommended and fulfilled by all retreaters
- This was the first time a special movie night was arranged where the movie ‘The Message’ was played to all retreaters
- Jamaican reggae sensation Ahmed Ikhlas performed his nasheeds for the youth
- Congregational study circles
- Congregational circles of Hadrah and Dhikr
The spiritual retreat itself was not short of great scholars, with the likes of Shaykh Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui Al Azhari providing philosophy on the importance of Salah. Many youth had said afterwards that Shaykh Sohail’s insight had woken them up and made them realise the value of regular salah.
Shaykh Zeeshan Al Azhari himself taught two sessions of Aqeedah and Hadith, again educating the students on why it is a must for them to have the right Aqeedah.
Minhaj Welfare Foundation’s lead co-organiser and also Al-Azhari scholar, Shaykh Adnan Sohail also provided a lengthy discourse on Ghusl and its necessities, a subject which is not taught often. All students had after stated that they learnt much what they knew not from this course.
Finally, at the end of the retreat Syed Usman had organised and hosted for a presentation event where all retreaters were congratulated on completing the 3 day spiritual retreat. The presiders and award distributors were Shaykh Zeeshan and Shaykh Adnan Sohail. All the retreaters who were under the age of 14 were given a bespoke special gift bag to congratulate them for being guests of Allah at such a young age. Then after, every retreater was presented with a personalised certificate by the eminent shayookh. Finally, Director of MQI London, Shaykh Zeeshan had presented Syed Usman Shah with a certificate of appreciation for organising a very successful youth itikaf.
The reception and feedback generated by the youth itikaf has been exceptional with many parents calling for a monthly spiritual retreat, however the next spiritual retreat has been scheduled for the next student holidays within the Easter Break.
Report by: Syed Usman Shah Gillani