In summer 2017, the third annual summer course was hosted by the Risalat International Institute (RII) in collaboration with the International Institute for Islamic Studies (IIIS). The courses were held in two languages, Arabic and English, and focused on some textbooks compiled by RII, namely Islamic Belief System and Lessons on Imamah and Wilayah.
The summer courses included the following:
• Instructors included:
• Hujjatul Islam Dr. Mohammad Ali Shomali
• Hujjatul Islam Mohammad Reza Mohaddeth
• Hujjatul Islam Mahdi Rastifar
• Hujjatul Islam Hasan Doagoo
• The following topics were covered:
• The participants for this year included 24 brothers and 22 sisters from Canada, Oman and the UK. We were also honoured to host a group of youth from the Allamah Tabataba’i Award.
• The participants performed pilgrimage to the holy shrines of Imam Ridha (a) in Mashhad. In addition, they visited the museum of the holy shrine. In the holy city of Qom, they performed pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Lady Masoomah (a) and Bayt al-Noor. In addition, they visited Jamkaran Mosque, Mount Khidhr, Ayatullah Mar’ashi Najafi library, Golzar-e-Shohada, Computer Research Centre of Islamic Studies, Jamiah al-Zahra (a) as well as an exhibition on the 12th Imam near Jamkaran Mosque and had a trip to a water park in Mashhad.
• The summer course provided fertile grounds for building Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood for the participants. The course also provided much needed opportunities of learning about various topics from trustworthy scholars and reliable sources. During the trip, the participants bonded well and there was a strong sense of community.
• During the closing ceremony at the shrine of Imam Ridha (a), everyone expressed their heartfelt appreciation and thankfulness to the RII and IIIS staff for their numerous efforts. Participants also shared their feedback and thanked those involved in making this course available and those mentors and teachers who gave their precious time to teach for such a good cause.
• Survey results reveal an overwhelming satisfaction and appreciation for the course and most participants rated the course as “Excellent”.
The Risalat summer course on Islamic Belief System has invoked a loud introspection in the realm of our self-recognition. This is due to the teachers’ competency and the curriculum’s scientific structure and content which classifies the different compositions of an individual (self) and all creation. Our perspective on our souls and the capacity of our fitrah has been altered forever nourishing us with more love and submission towards our Creator, Allah (swt).
We realized the second part of the course on Imamate and Wilaya was an integral part of the curriculum because it awakened a fervent connection between us and our imam Al-Qaem (af). The fruits we bear in Islamic Belief System is a necessary foundation to comprehend where and how to build that connection with our Imam as we journey in our role for his advent and reappearance.
Socially, the experience reinforced our bond of Wala’ between us (believers) training us to be compassionate towards each other as a family. We recognized that this wala’ is a great contributor to attain felicity.
-Dr. Salam and Sr. Dima
Attending the Risalat course was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever encountered. Not only were we blessed with the opportunities to visit the Holy personalities in Qom and Mashhad but we were blessed with being in the presence of learned scholars and mentors to guide us through the trip.
The course enabled the youth to question and challenge which is a rare opportunity when hearing lectures. We were able to benefit from the guidance and wisdom of the mentors who did an outstanding job at ensuring the trip went smoothly. The organization and commitment of the mentors was admirable and we cannot thank them enough.
The Risalat course is the perfect opportunity for anyone who wants to gain knowledge alongside Ziyarat. Meeting people on the same wavelength as yourself and creating relationships is also a strength of this course.
I pray this course continues and that Allah SWT rewards every individual who was part of the running of this course and that it expands year on year through His Blessings.
It was a life transforming experience!
The first day I was going to quit! I thought no way I can stay in a room with four strangers who seem like they came from a different world!
When our teacher in the first lecture mentioned the social Wilaya and said ‘The sign is how much we can overcome our differences’; I realized that this was my test!
I felt a deep peace of soul and mind and within few days we were close friends and sisters helping each other to overcome our problems and enjoying each other!!
The social part was a wonderful transforming experience.
The lectures were excellent, given by outstanding scholars who proved to be great teachers and educators. The way they delivered the topics was through discussions which made us all absolutely engaged in the topics to the extent that I didn’t want the sessions to end. Honestly it’s the first time I enjoyed being a student. I wished we have more lessons. The learning process was continuous throughout the day, from our fantastic sheikhs and teachers who were role models in their manners, knowledge, wisdom and hard work, to our supervisors and mentors.
The program combined learning and tourism. The choice of places to visit was excellent. We enjoyed those trips knowing that not many people are lucky enough to get such a chance.
Coming back home, all I am interested in is to carry on studying and revising the material to make sure I do not forget a word. Looking forward to a continuation to this course and meeting all those great people again.