AWAKEN YOURSELF, AL-HUJJAH X RETREAT
Al-Hujjah X aims to bring attendees towards a state of awakening, a realization that spiritual journey towards Allah (hijrah) is necessary to attain a good life (hayatan tayyibah). Through three days of engaging activities, workshops and interactive trainings, we will cover traverse the topics of companionship, spiritual negligence, love and disdain, decision making, reflecting on the signs of Allah, and more.
New for this year, we plan on facilitating continued growth throughout the year post-retreat by creating avenues to receive ongoing mentorship from selected speakers. Attendees who remain in contact with their mentors will be eligible for the tier 2 retreat later in the year. Our tier 2 retreat is a small intimate group retreat aimed at personal growth in partnership with scholar/mentors focused on building on spiritual and intellectual progress.
A wide variety of qualified speakers have been invited to this year’s retreat to ensure that the maximum benefit is attained.
- Sh. Ahmad ModarresSh. Ahmad Modarres
Sheikh Ahmad Modarres was born in the holy city of Mashhad. His initial interest in Islamic Studies began when he was eight years old, being motivated to become a haﬁz of the Holy Quran and attend the Hawza of Mashhad. He received his bachelors in philosophy and theology in Mashhad. He moved to the United States in 2008 and traveled to diﬀerent states to deliver English speeches at seminars and Islamic centers. He is currently the resident Al’im of Masjid Al-Rasool in Simi Valley, CA. His main focus is to spread the true message of Islam and the Ahlul-Bayt (AS) and help youth develop a strong Muslim identity.
- Sayyid Sulayman HassanSayyid Sulayman Hassan
Sayyid Sulayman Hassan was born and raised in Western New York where he attended both school and college. While still in high school, he would attend classes in Arabic and fiqh at the Hawza Ilmiyya in Medina, New York, after which he attended the University of Buffalo and received a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1997. Immediately after graduating from college, he went to Qum, Iran, to study at the Hawzah. In Qum, he soon studied the standard texts taught within the Hawza and proceeded to the advanced study of fiqh, during which time he also taught several of the standard Hawzah texts and translated several books and articles into English. Sayyid Sulayman is currently pursuing his doctorate at the University of Chicago. He is the co-imam at Baitul Ilm Academy. He is also the founder and president of the Ahl al-Bayt Islamic Seminary and a long-standing board member and content editor of the Islamic Texts Institute.
- Ustadha Fatemah MeghjiUstadha Fatemah Meghji
Fatemah Meghji is an MA candidate in Qur'anic Tafsīr, and an editor for the Madrasah Centre of Excellence. She is currently based in her hometown, Vancouver, on unceded First Nations Territories. She received her BA in English Literature and Religious Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2010. In the following years, from 2011 to 2016, she studied at Jamiah al-Zahra in Qum, Iran, and is now writing her dissertation. Her research interests include the Qur'an, its exegesis, ethics, and contemporary social issues, especially the struggles of women in modernity.
- Hajj Muhammad AliHajj Muhammad Ali
Hajj Muhammad Ali is a Masters student at Bayan Claremont. Muhammad is currently a Muslim Chaplain in California State Prison. He is a graduate from Thomas Edison State University with a degree in Psychology. His senior project investigated the effects of spiritual care and religious programs on the lives of inmates during and after their prison term. He also holds a certification in Clinical Pastoral Education from UCSF Medical Center after a year-long residency program in which he ministered to hospital patients of all faiths. Hajj Muhammad is the son of African-American converts to Islam. He has a long history of Arabic and Islamic education beginning as a child at the American Institute for Quranic Studies in Blanco, Texas. As an adult, he has dedicated his young life to learning and teaching Islam as taught by the Prophet Muhammad and his Holy Household. Muhammad also enjoys the support of a loving wife and the task of raising four young children.
- Hajj Kauther KhanHajj Kauther Khan
Kauther Khan is a humble servant leader and community organizer in Los Angeles, he has helped found Yaseen Educational Foundation, one of the most successful Islamic organizations in Southern California. He is a regular community lecturer on a variety of topics, religious, leadership and spiritual. Brother Kauther has oﬀered AMYNA and IMAM strategic direction, especially in developing their mission and vision as an organization. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
- Br. Trenton CarlBr. Trenton Carl
Trenton Carl, originally from Houston, Texas, now resides in the Chicago area. He graduated from DePaul University in 2011 with a BA in Islamic World Studies. At DePaul, he was on the board of their MSA and was the VP of DePaul's Students for Justice in Palestine. After graduating, he worked in the Islamic World Studies program as a research and teaching assistant for Dr. Aminah McCloud. Currently Trenton is a student of traditional Islamic studies at the Ahl al-Bayt Islamic Seminary. He is an editor of al-Sidrah, the seminary's publication, and one of the facilitators for the seminary's summer program, L.I.F.E. [Living Islam Faithfully and Ethically]. In addition to his work at the seminary, Trenton works as the Youth Director of the Irshad Learning Center.
Nestled in the beautiful mountains of Mentone, California, the retreat grounds were blanketed with soft, low cloud-cover and fog—the perfect setting for a retreat entitled Awaken, the theme for al-Hujjah’s 10th annual retreat. The agenda was of 3 full days of groundwork to launch into life well-equipped for further holistic development. Foundationally, the participants were placed into “Sahaba” groups, peers that you would work with, eat with, and bond with throughout the retreat; this created bonds of friendship from the beginning, putting everyone in a comfortable, relaxed state. Intellectually, a number of speakers and ʿulamāʾ provided insights on contemporary social tensions, relevant points of Islamic law, holistic takes on decision-making, and spiritual best-practices for taking on spiritual slumber and heedlessness. Attendees also engaged in competitive activities that tested their intellectual and ethical aptitudes. Spiritually, the retreat sprinkled duʿāʾ sessions through the days and offered a number of activities intended to guide participants through periods of reflection, more self-accounting, and a simulation of the soul’s journey after death overtakes the body. This robust schedule was broken up with ample opportunity to develop relationships with other participants, speakers, and ʿulamāʾ while breaking bread, over coffee, during hikes in the mountains, and in front an ambient fireplace setting.
Al-Hujjah’s program seeks to create deeper levels of spiritual growth through the mentorship program. Attendees who were interested signed up for the program and will be in contact with their assigned mentor. They will have weekly calls discussing their spiritual growth and ups and downs with the mentor. There will be assignments and homework given to the mentee. If the mentee continues the relationship they will be invited to attend the second tier Al-Hujjah happening next year. Eventually after the 3rd retreat the group of mentees will go on a ziyarat trip with their mentor to further solidify the relationship but also as a reward.
A WEEKEND OF SPIRITUAL REVIVAL
A very special weekend is planned filled with activities and exercises to help ignite a spiritual ascension.
Photos from the Retreat
RESOURCES FROM THE RETREAT
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