The Imam Ali Chair is the first chair of Shia Islamic Studies in the world. Dr. Sayed Ammar Nakshwani will be the first occupant of the chair.
The trip to Iran was a unique experience of its own, a journey unlike any other. It was a journey that left me in awe as I visited Bibi Masuma (AS), prayed under the stars in Jamkaran, sat by the wall of Imam Ar-Redha (AS), and slept in the Jamia, the House of Bibi Masuma (AS). I remember sitting in the bus, tears flowing from my eyes as we watched the Haram of our 8th Imam pass by us one last time. I knew from that moment that I would forever miss the feeling of peace I felt in the holy cities of Mashhad and Qum. I may never again see the beautiful dome of the Haram shining under the sun, or the minarets of Jamkaran glowing against the clear sky. I knew that these were unique experiences, and that this trip was a journey of a lifetime.
As I made my way through this journey, I developed a connection with not only the holy personalities in Iran, but with all the members of the Ahlul-Bayt (AS). This connection was enhanced by the many mind-blowing lectures and inspiring twilight sessions we had. Words cannot describe the sensation I felt as I stood beside the Shuhada on Mount Khidr and realised how alive they are, how they never die, and how their status is one of a kind. We were blessed to be given the opportunity to benefit from a variety of classes and seminars as well where we discussed topics such as the importance of wakefulness, the existence of God, and the various forms of Prophetic Medicine. These discussions gave me the chance to ask questions and further enhance my understanding of Islamic concepts.
As I turned to look out the window of the bus and saw the minaret of the Haram for the last time, I knew that although I may not be able to relive these experiences, I would definitely learn from them. As Sheikh Nadir would mention, ‘Go and don’t come back again’. I can truly say that this journey has given me the opportunities to go as one person, and come back as an improved individual. After all, this trip was a journey of a lifetime!
Written by : By Fatema Khimji from Tanzania
The Saudi Ulema and the Shi‘a of Saudi Arabia
By RAIHAN ISMAIL
Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies, Australian National University, Canberra ACT, Australia
No words or phrases can ever give justice to the experience felt in Iran. Each experience, each moment and each second deserves a written biography, while still leaving you in frustration for not explaining it well enough.