Over the weekend of 26th to 28th July 2013, Muslim Youth League organised its fourth consecutive Spiritual Retreat, this time at Minhaj-ul-Quran International London and was attended by over 45 youth from all over London.
Registration for the Retreat started at 7pm on Friday 26th July. Once the attendees were registered, they were welcomed and each person was handed a Spiritual Retreat Welcome Pack which consisted of an introduction to the retreat, information about the guests, the schedule and a name badge.
After Iftar and Salat-ul-Maghrib, all attendees were welcomed by Brother Zohaib Akram who also ran through the rules and etiquettes of participating in the Retreat. The welcoming was followed by an icebreaker session lead by Brother Umar Naveed where all the attendees introduced themselves and told everyone what was the reason for them attending the Retreat. It was then time for Salat-ul-Isha and Taraweeh Prayers. After the prayers, the youth had a powerful Mehfil-e-Dhikr along with a Nasheeds session. This lead to Suhoor, after which the participants prayed Salat-ul-Fajr. Straight after the prayers, Shaykh Adnan delivered a talk on “The End of Times” in which participants raised some interesting points. The participants were then told to rest as they had a busy schedule the next day.
The next day started with a session of “Fiqh (Islamic Law) on Purification, Ghusl, Wudu” which was lead by Shaykh Zeeshan. The youth took quite an interest and learnt many new things. After Salat-ul-Zuhr, a “Tajweed” session was run, lead by the young Huffaz who lead the Taraweeh prayers. The Huffaz were also attendees at the retreat. The session was a unique opportunity for the participants to test themselves and by the end of the session they all realised that they have somewhat to learn.
Later on in the day, Shaykh Rehan delivered a thought provoking talk on “Concept of Rewards and Punishments in the Grave” which made everyone think about whether they are prepared for the grave or not. Over the night, a session of Dhikr and Nasheeds was held which was followed by another talk by Shaykh Rehan on “Freedom from Sins”.
On Sunday, we began with a workshop on “Fiqh of Salah” which was lead by Shaykh Zeeshan, where at first he taught verbally and then got everyone to stand up in rows and taught practically. This lead to a talk by Shaykh Shanawaz Qadri who spoke on the topic of Spirituality and “How the great Sufi’s changed”. He ended his talk by explaining Minhaj-ul-Amal and suggested the youth act upon it on a daily basis. All participants were given Minhaj-ul-Amal Charts to help keep track of their amal.
Towards the end of the Retreat, Shaykh Rafiq did a quick talk on the importance of Dawah and the best way to go by it. This was followed by a quick talk by Brother Sarfraz who is the head of Minhaj Dawah Project London. He talked about the project and urged the youth to get on board for this project. Brother Zohaib then informed the participants of the current and future planned activities of MYL London. Brother Umar and Brother Muzammel then took to the stage and asked for everyone’s feedback which was then followed by a brainstorming session where the youth were asked what they would like to see MYL do in their respective areas to which very good responses were received. The Retreat ended with all the participants being given a Gift Pack each which consisted of a book from MYL, a CD/DVD on from Minhaj Dawah Project, a MYL information brochure, some leaflets from MWF and a discount voucher for the Minhaj Book Shop.
Upon asking for feedback, everyone was positive about the Retreat. They said that whatever intentions they had come to the Retreat with were pretty much fulfilled as they got a lot to learn. They also said that they are looking forward to more of such types of events in the coming months.
During the Retreat, the Youth were blessed with a surprise which was a carpet that belonged to Riyadh-ul-Jannah (Masjid-e-Nabwi). The carpet was unexpected for the youth and they all were overwhelmed to see it. They made the most of it by praying Nawafil and doing recitation of the Holy Quran on it.
Report by: Zohaib Akram (London Co-ordinator)