My Beautiful Trip to the AbuBakr As-Siddeeq Seminar
By Idriis Garcia
March 15th, 2006
Beautiful” I hate it. Two thoughts I kept repeating in my head and upon my tongue. Not about the same thing but in fact different matters which are in contrast themselves. The first was like a dream. Being in Makkah, praying at the Haram, making “˜Umrah, learning firsthand from the big scholars, then Madeenah, praying at the Haram, attending the sittings of more big scholars, and every morning being awoken for fajr by a live adhaan” beautiful. While I was enjoying this bliss, I would occasionally recollect what it was like back in this non-believing land where I unfortunately reside. Which brings me to the second matter. Being in this democratic, usury-based system with all their ignorance, nakedness and immorality, waking up to this nightmare everyday startled by an extremely loud, annoying alarm clock” I hate it.
Naturally, my preference would be to focus on the more pleasant things. Upon arriving in Makkah, the first thing my family, companions and I decided was to go to Masjid al-Haraam and perform our “˜Umrah. Then beautiful things started happening. While in awe from the sight of the Sacred Mosque, the adhaan for fajr is called. This was such a trip since I only hear this kind of adhaan from tapes, and this was live! This was just the call to prayer. Imagine how I felt when Shaykh “˜AbdurRahmaan as-Sudays soon led the salaah then started crying, or when I saw the Ka’bah for the first time. Beautiful.
After performing such a rigorous but virtuous act such as “˜Umrah, came more virtuous/rigorous experiences. I arrived at the hotel while still in my ihraam gear, all exhausted. I quickly got cleaned up then joined the gathering of knowledge already in session. It was the hadeeth class being taught by Shaykh Wasee’ullaah “˜Abbaas. This was the beginning of an intensive, brain stimulating, heart rendering course of learning. The classes were one of the most beneficial of my time there. I learned so much. Not just from what was taught but also from the way they were taught. It’s such a blessing to be able to witness how these great Scholars apply what they have inherited from the Prophets.
There were many memorable moments for me. Just to mention a few are: visiting and applying to the universities, being taken on a tour through the historical sites in Makkah and Madeenah, and having dinner at Shaykh Muhammad as-Subayyal’s house with him, Shaykh Wasee’ullaah Abbaas, and the Shaykhs Muhammad and Ahmad Baazmool.
I was initially disappointed when I learnt that, due to our arriving late, I missed out on being amongst the brothers as guests at Shaykh “˜Ubayd’s, then Shaykh Rabee’s houses walaahawlaa walaaquwwaata illaa billaah. Alhamdulillaah, during the course of events, I ended up visiting Shaykh Rabee’s house on four different occasions. Allaahu Akbar. He even served me some tea! When I was in Madeenah, a kindly brother I met at the University (jazaakallaahu khayr akh Khalid) was going to take me to Shaykh “˜Ubayd’s house but I was obligated to go back to Makkah to attend the classes. Another thing I was upset about due to our late arrival was not seeing the Scholars of Madeenah when they gave lectures for the brothers. We met up with the group in Makkah when the Madeenah part of the seminar had already passed. But when me, my brother “˜Irfaan and our wives decided to go to Madeenah from Makkah, I was able to sit at the circles of Shaykh “˜Abdul Muhsin al-Abbaad, Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee, and Shaykh “˜Abdul Maalik Ramadaanee al-Jazaa’iree inside Masjid an-Nabawee. Walhamdulillaah.
Our arrival in Madeenah was just as beautiful as it was in Makkah. As soon as we got out of the car by the Prophet’s Mosque, the first thing we heard was the Qur’aan through the serene voice of my favourite reciter al-Hudhayfee leading the fajr salaah. Later thet day was Jumu’ah where I listened to Shaykh Husayn Aal asShaykh give the Khutbah and lead the salaah.
In Makkah, what touched me the most was when Shaykh Muhammad al-Banna started hugging the brothers after telling them it might be the last time we’ll be seeing him since he might be leaving this world soon due to his old age. A sentimental, tear-jerking moment.
The most unforgettable part was my family’s private session with Shaykh Muhammad Jameel Zeenoo. Our meeting with the great Shaykh was a result of a favour amongst the many favours provided by my brother Aboo Sufyaan Zahid Rashid al-Atharee, may Allaah increase the Ummah with brothers like him. He went out of his way and helped us so much regardless of his busy schedule in organizing and running the seminar. Brother Zahid first advised us, then went to Shaykh Rabee’s house and got the Shaykh’s advise regarding a personal issue. He then brought us to Shaykh Muhammad Jameel Zeenoo’s house and translated for him and us. After serving us some zam-zam water, the Shaykh gave such beautiful naseeha. He was so hospitable, courteous and generous (mash’Allaah and may Allaah preserve him). We were even given a whole box of books, tapes, and other da’wah material.
For the little time I was there, I can honestly say that I’ve learnt a great deal. Not only from the lessons, but from the actions of the Scholars and the brothers. The theme of my story there was knowledge. I’m sure it was like this for the others who attended the seminar as well. They were studying together and teaching each other. Even the translators for the Shaykhs were constantly going through the lessons with us and testing us. From quotes of the salaf in posters to the books of the salaf being taught by our Noble Scholars, this seminar was all about “˜ilm. One thing that amazed me from the “˜Ulamah and Tullaabul “˜ilm was how humble they are. Some people think they know something and then become arrogant but with these people of knowledge, it’s like the “˜ilm increases their humility.
I thank Allaah for allowing me to experience such wonderful things while being able to perform “˜ibaadah unique to these Holy Places. I ask Him to increase me in knowledge and humility and to be with people who possess these virtues. May He grant me Understanding of this “˜ilm and let me adorn it with richly textured righteous actions. O Allaah, please enable me to call to this knowledge. I ask ar-Rahmaan to give me patience and perseverance during hardships in acquiring and disseminating it. Lastly, I seek refuge in Him from the knowledge that does not benefit. Aameen. Wassalaatu wassalaamu’alaa Rasoolillaah.