Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Second Largest Collective It'kaaf in the World ...

For several years now, Minhaj-ul-Quran's It'kaaf has been the second largest collective It'kaaf in the World, second only to the It'kaaf held at Haram Sharif in Saudi Arabia. We were expecting about fifteen to twenty thousand participants this year, but all were pleasantly surprised by the actual turnover: thirty-seven thousand men and women, about one-third women (12,000) and two-thirds men (25,000), all gathered for the remembrance of Almighty God. Participants came from every corner of Pakistan. We also had several hundred participants from all over the world - from Europe, America, Central Asia, Afghanistan, and India.

I could not sit in the It'kaaf due to an evil combination of professional and family issues, but I did sit as a volunteer doctor in one of the dispensaries for the Mu'takifeen from Asr to Isha. There is something special about serving the guests of God: one becomes a guest himself. For me, the most memorable time of the It'kaaf came when Qibla Shaikh-ul-Islam said that he was pleased with the performance of the Medical Committee and announced a special gift for the doctors who gave voluntary services at the dispensaries. Can you guess what that gift was? It was Irfan-ul-Quran, which is Qibla Shaikh-ul-Islam's translation of the Quran in Urdu along with the Arabic text. I have never received a more beautiful gift in my entire life.

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