The Atfal from the North East Region were hosted in London for a three-day residential trip, with 20 places allocated amongst the different Qiadats. We were joined by the Midlands and Scotland regions, and Alhamdulillah all the atfal forged new bonds and relationships, which they will hopefully develop throughout their lives. Following is a day by day summary of the activities and events that took place.
- The day started off at around 18:00 PM, with Atfal from Bradford North, Bradford South, Leeds, Keighley, Hartlepool and Newcastle coming together at Masjid Al-Mahdi in Bradford to offer congregational prayers. Following this the atfal were given some food and we set off for Bait-ul-Futuh together at 19:00 PM. In total, 4 cars left for London.
- We arrived at 23:00 PM, and were received by the organisers of the event. The atfal were then provided with a dinner consisting of fish, rice and chicken curry.
- As the atfal were quite tired after the long journey, they were allocated sleeping spaces in the Tahir hall, and the lights were turned off shortly after.
- The atfal woke up early in the morning to offer Fajr Prayers at 5:30 AM. This was followed with breakfast at 6:15 AM of croissants, toast, cereal and omelettes, which they all greatly enjoyed.
- At 8:00 AM, the Atfal had the good fortune of a discussion session with Noman Raja sahib, where a lot of them asked questions and discussed answers, with a common theme of brotherhood and companionship. This lasted for about 45 minutes.
- Following that, the Atfal were taken to the archery club, which was a one-hour session where all of them had the opportunity to learn how to use a bow for the first time. This was particularly popular amongst the atfal, as a lot of them wanted to stay for longer. Unfortunately, time constraints meant that we couldn’t do so.
- The atfal were then changed into a dress code (white shirt and black trousers) for their Q&A session with Hazoor. We arrived at Fazl Mosque at 11:45 AM, and the atfal were seated based on their regions. The session started at 12:15 PM, with Hazoor (A.B.U.H) answering the questions of the ever-inquisitive minds of our young atfal. Alhamdulillah this was a great opportunity, and labelled as “the highlight of the event” by many. The atfal and accompanying khuddam/local nazimeen then had a picture taken with Hazoor (A.B.U.H), who also gave everyone a pen as a gift.
- Next, we offered Zuhr prayers behind Hazoor (A.B.U.H), after which a lunch of chicken and chips was served just opposite to Fazl mosque.
- At about 14:30 PM, we departed for Islamabad for Kitaa Khass, and here the atfal got to stretch their legs in the fields surrounding the main buildings. Unfortunately, however, as we were running behind schedule, the football tournament had to be cancelled. Although this was a shame, the atfal were impressive in how maturely they dealt with this, with very few complaints being presented.
- This was followed by a short twenty-minute drive to the nearby Jamia building, where the atfal were given some light refreshments, as well as a tour and history of Jamia by current students. This was well received by the atfal, with some expressing how impressed they were with the facilities on-site.
- After offering Asr prayers, we left the Jamia for Makhzan-e-Tasveer, arriving at 19:00 PM. Here the atfal saw a chronological record of the history of the Jama’at, with a couple discovering pictures of themselves amongst ones on display.
- As we wanted the atfal to be in the first few rows at Fazl mosque for Isha namaz, we arrived at Bait-ul-Fazl at 20:00 PM, where the atfal, especially the young ones, showed great patience in sitting silently for half an hour.
- Dinner this night was a BBQ with the Ameer sahib UK, which started at 21:00 PM. The atfal had burgers, kebabs and chicken pieces to choose from, as well as a healthy salad. The dinner went down well with not only the atfal but the local nazimeen as well!
- The cohort then came back to Bait-ul-Futuh, and as all the atfal were feeling the effects of a long, jam-packed day, a lot of them turned in early.
- Sunday started even earlier than Saturday, at about 5:15 AM, due to the fact that we went to Bait-ul-Fazl to offer Fajr behind Hazoor (A.B.U.H).
- Breakfast was provided to the atfal at 6:15 AM, again with a variety of choices such as Nutella, toast, omelettes, croissants, pain au chocolats, cereal and fruit.
- This was followed by a small resting period here most of the atfal opted to do a fun quiz, led by Ghalib sahib, as well as games such as “Heads down, Thumbs up!”.
- We then headed towards Guildford spectrum, arriving there at about 8:45 AM.
- The atfal first got to do some bowling for about half an hour, which was particularly exciting for a few who hadn’t done it before.
- Following this was one of the most highly anticipated events of the residential; swimming. The atfal had an hour and a half to splash about in the pool and use water slides, which was all a great deal of fun for them.
- We then went back to Bait-ul-Fazl for Zuhr and Asr prayers, which was followed by lunch. This consisted of fries and nuggets, as well as biryani and raita. The atfal were also given ice cream as treats.
- The final event of the residential was a short presentation at 14:15 PM by Abid Khan sahib, who’s the press secretary for Hazoor (A.B.U.H). The atfal got to hear quite a few short stories and incidents relating to the current Khalifa, and after this they asked questions, such as those regarding Hazoor’s (A.B.U.H.) daily routine.
- The day concluded with dua and some group photos, after which the atfal departed for the North East.
- They all enjoyed the jam-packed three days of fun, got to meet new people and most importantly gained Allah’s blessings through offering prayers behind Hazoor (A.B.U.H.) and mulaqat with him.