Second International Islamic Retreat [IIR 2011]

During my quest for knowledge, I stumbled upon Sheikh Imran Hosein’s lectures on youtube, many of which were from the ‘First International Islamic Retreat’ in 2009 in Trinidad. And when I finally came across his website late last year, I was happy to see that Sheikh Imran was having a second retreat in South Africa in March 2011, which I decided that I would definitely have to attend.

Though I had a bumpy ride on Qatar Airways both coming and going, going was quite horrible as I was stuck sleeping in the Cape Town airport for a day, that didnt take away from the joyous muslim village-type experience I was blessed to have received during my stay close to Simon’s Town in Gordon’s Youth Camp, thanks to the wonderful brothers and sister of the Islamic Network.

The SIIR campsite was far outside of Cape Town, which gave the secluded feeling of being away from technology, though i craved the internet, but the weeklong (March 21-28) retreat took me out of my regular routine, which would allow one to absorb all the knowledge available.

My primary reason of coming was to broaden my eyes about economics/finance from an Islamic perspective and was happy to learn that and more from the many other scholar’s that lectured us, in addition to being in the presence of my favourite discussion buddy, Fahri Hassen, and his wonderful wife, Shireen, my favourite midnight tea buddy. Just like the first days at school, you find yourself surrounded by people that you’ve just met and are keen to get to know, and just like graduation, you have to part from people that have become like family.

Outdoor Lecture Tent

Favourite Lectures: With my new found enthusiasm for economics, Sheikh Imran’s lecture on “Riba” on day 4 was the ultimate treat, followed by Professor Tariq Khan’s lecture on ‘The Open Mithqal Standard’ about the gold Dinar and silver Dirham on day 3.

Answered Questions: Sheikh Imran stated that he believes money exchanges are haram as they are part of the haram monetary system that we are currently in, muslim housing incorporations that share ownership with you and then you pay rent in them until you own the house completely is halal, and that there isnt much difference between putting your money in a riba bank (giving you riba from the front door) and an islamic bank (giving you riba from the back door). Prof. Tariq Khan mentioned that gold to silver ratio at the time of the Prophet (SAW) was 1 to 10. Of course alot more  knowledge was gained, but these were questions I specifically answered. :)

Friends: The two closest delegates I was drawn to were two first retreaters, Rasheed (united states) and Dion (france). I await for them to email me our farewell photograph together, but until then all I can say to them is “Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeef”. They nick-named me the ‘money man’ as I seemed quite knowledgeable when it came to economics and I was happy to share that knowledge with them and all the others who I got into discussions with. My bunk bed buddy was Abdul Malik (united states) and I passed on the most ‘sunnah money’ knowledge onto Ashraf (united kingdom). I’m thankful to all the brothers and sisters that I had the pleasure to meet, as this website wouldn’t have been completed as fast as it has been if not for them.

2nd International Islamic Retreat 2011 Brothers

Favourite Meal: Lunch on the second day was for me the best meal that I couldn’t ever forget. It was sticky rice and daal (lentals), and though i’ve eaten rice and daal for years, as my wife is Indian, I have never tasted it in that way, and am still awaiting the recipe from Sister Shamunissa for it.

Funniest Moments: No doubt, Day 5 (Friday the 25th) had the most laughter in it. We were unfortunately not able to attend Sheikh Imran’s Friday khutbah in the masjid, so we had a Friday khutbah by Shaykh Julla from Zimbabwe in the tent, and we all were cracked up by his acting movements during his lecture. Just when we thought we had all the laughs that we could, a Turkish brother appeared that day out of the blue and during Fahri’s evening presentation on the link between Coca Cola and Israel, the Turkish brother attempted to present more evidence to the link and said that after hearing his points, that anyone of us who drink Coca Cola after that should die.

We lived together, ate together, prayed together, and played together, all experiences that I look forward to experiencing again in next years retreat in Malaysia or Brunei and at the muslim villages that are being setup in South Africa and Trinidad. Photographs of the retreat can be found on flickr and video lectures will soon be available on Sheikh Imran’s website.

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7 Responses to Second International Islamic Retreat [IIR 2011]

  1. brother Dian says:

    as salam alaykum brother Yusuf
    glad to finally hear from you
    hope everything is well for you and your loved ones
    let me be the first to congratulate on your new website im still browsing but im sure it ‘s great inshallah
    nice work jazzakallah khayr

  2. Aisha says:

    assalaam wa’alaikum

    It was wonderful meeting you Yusuf, yes that Fridays’ Khutbah was the best I have never laughed so much in my entire life and even afterwards whenever I remember his antics it just cracks me up :) Ha ha ha. pls does kathleen have a skype ID. Salaams to yr family.

    Oh by the way gr8t job on the net.

  3. Fahrie says:

    As-salaamu alaikum brother Yusuf,

    Congrats on your website. Makes for a great read. I love your piece on the retreat. Just reflecting once again, you made tears well up in my eyes. Keep up the good work.

    With love.

    Fahrie and Shereen

  4. Abdul-Kayum says:

    Salaam Yusuf, Great piece, it was like being back there. Good to hear from you. Keep in touch. Dian, if you still reading these posts, just wanted to pass my salaams.

  5. Faisal says:

    Asalaamu Alaikum Br Yousuf

    I hope you are keeping well. Fantastic little website, very interesting! Have only just come across this… now bookmarked!
    This piece brings back floods of memories… and is whetting my appetite for Malaysia next year! It can’t come soon enough at this rate. Let’s hope Allah protects our wealth in the face of the collapsing dollar for us to be able to attend!

  6. Bahieyah says:

    Asalaamu Alaikum

    I am so jealous ( in a good way) when i read all the wonderful comments. Someone of UK attended the second International Islamic Retreat and his heart is crying to have the honour of attending Sheikh Imran’s classes. He want to study under the auspicious of this great Sheikh. Can anyone help with information as to when Sheikh Imran will be back in his country and how to contact him? I have read on Sheikh Imran’s website that the third International Islamic Retreat has been posponed indefinitely. My heart is heavy upon reading this because I wanted to attend. Will Almighty Allah (SWT) grant me my hearts desire to attend at least one of his lectures in the physical in my lifetime? I missed the second International Islamic Retreat due to work commitment. Please pray for me……

    • Yousuf says:

      Salams Bahieyah,

      The best way to contact Sheikh Imran is through his email address inhosein [at] hotmail [dot] com, but he has stated recently that he has been overwhelmed with emails. I am also heart broken that the retreat wont be happening, but things will likely be get very complicated in the next year or so around the world, so we must prepare.

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