The time has come for the 49th Executive Committee to take a step back to allow for the 50th to lead. However, before I leave, there’s one more post-event report for your reading pleasure! Do continue to lend your support to NUSMS by dropping by our events(:
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❝So have they not travelled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear?❞
~ Al-Hajj 22:46
Travelling to lands unknown is probably one the best ways for an individual to learn more about the world, as well as discover one’s own self. Allah created the lands and seas not just as a reminder of His might & power, but also as a source of knowledge for His creations.
With that in mind, the annual NUSMS immersion trip was given the theme ‘Spirituality in the City’ – aimed at enriching participants with spirituality despite being in a metropolitan setting. Planning had started in late 2012, but the destination was only determined in April the next year. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was chosen because it still had much to offer, despite it being the chosen destination for the previous trip. A total of 17 participants embarked on the trip, from 23rd to 26th May.
Gathering in school on the first night, the group only reached Putrajaya early the next morning. We were blessed to be given the opportunity to carry out Fajr prayers at the beautiful Masjid Putra, and also to listen to an early morning tazkirah about Nisfu Syaaban. Being in such a big mosque, as compared to the ones commonly found in Singapore, was a refreshing change.
After breakfast, we were then brought to the Islamic Arts Museum, where an hour and a half was simply not enough time to fully enjoy the museum’s fascinating and informative displays. The museum had an entire gallery dedicated to mosques around the world, with miniatures of each individual mosque built to the finest detail.
The group subsequently checked into Silka Maytower Hotel, where we were to prepare for the planned evening at Masjid Muadz Bin Jabal, Setiawangsa. The male participants also got the chance to pray Jumu’ah at a nearby masjid.
The second evening of the trip was spent in attendance at Fiqh al-Usrah, a weekly kuliah by Majlis Ta’lim Darul Murtadza, conducted by Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin al-Hamid. Lasting from after Isya’ to just before midnight, Habib Ali goes through four different topics, lasting for about 45 minutes each: tafseer of the Al-Quran, Riyaadhus Sholihin by Imam an-Nawawi, Bidayatul Hidayah by Imam al-Ghazzali and Sabil al-Iddikar by Imam al-Haddad.
When we were there, we got to hear Habib Ali expound on several verses from surah Ali-Imran, where the miraculous birth of Prophet Isa a.s. was described. He also discussed Imam an-Nawawi’s description of zuhud in both richness & poverty. One of the noteworthy things he mentioned was that ‘the Dunya is a bridge towards the Akhirah’.
On the fourth day, the original plan to head to a madrasah in Janda Baik, Pahang had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. However, we were fortunate enough to be able to visit the Selangor Book Festival, at the Shah Alam Convention Centre. A wide range of books were on display and were for sale, mostly in the Malay language.
Our trip to Shah Alam was not complete without carrying out our prayers at the beautiful Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz, located right in the heart of Shah Alam. It is known to be the second largest mosque in Southeast Asia, and is also sometimes referred to as the Blue Mosque.
We then headed to Kompleks Taman Seni Islam, otherwise known as Yayasan Restu. A non-profit organisation that specialises in Islamic arts, Yayasan Restu houses an Islamic arts college, as well as a display gallery depicting the creation of Quran mushafs.
When we were there, however, we were unable to get a proper tour guide to bring us around. Alhamdulillah for seniors in our group, who eventually became unofficial tour guides. They had visited the place once before, and were able to explain bits of what they remembered from their previous visit.
Our trip to Kuala Lumpur was definitely not complete without a shopping trip, so the last evening was free-&-easy for everyone. Most of us decided to roam around the Saturday night market in the Masjid India area. And some of us were fortunate enough to witness fireworks from the comforts of our hotel room, coming from the ‘Colours of 1Malaysia’ parade from the Dataran Merdeka.
Alhamdulillah, despite a few hiccups along the way, the immersion trip was a success, and it also forged new bonds between the participants. The committee really hopes everyone gained from the whole adventure.