Asalaam Alaykum wr wb.
My journey began when I was around the age of 11/12 years old. My uncle had been watching tads, the arrivals and found the Black Banners. At the time, I was too young to understand to what was going on, what the black banners were etc, so my level of understanding wasn't high at all. We were a simple family living in the UK until our lives changed.
My uncle began spreading the tads and the arrivals to the rest of my family and had told my mother to watch them. My aunt, uncles and mum believed and watched.
From there, my uncle left the UK and traveled to Egypt, where he met Abdullah Hashem. He lived there along with the other brothers and sisters. There was only a small community there to begin with. Think about it like this, it was 10 strangers living in an apartment together. In the apparent it isn't normal at all, but the way that they were living was so pure and it was like a true family, believing in the same cause and supporting one another.
Meanwhile, the rest of my family were still in the UK until we traveled to Egypt.
I didn't know Abdullah Hashem before we traveled, but my family did, because he was the inspiration of Tads and The Arrivals.
When we arrived in Egypt, it was nothing like I could have ever imagined. When we stepped off the airplane, that warm blast of heat would brush past your face. It was cool, yet warm at the same time as we had arrived late midnight so it was generally cooler at night. We were picked up and taken to the apartment which my uncle was living in. We arrived and met his wife, as they were going to get married. She was the only one we met then, the rest of the ansar we met later. I remember the way the apartment looked, from its yellow walls to the brown couches in the main room when you walked in. I remember there were 2 bowls by the door, one filled with water or milk and the other with food on the floor because they'd let in cats to feed them from time to time.
My grandparents had come to Egypt with us too to attend the wedding, but after a week they left. Me, my mum and my brothers stayed for an extra 2 weeks.
The wedding was amazing and we had met the ansars. The energy I got from them was amazing and I felt so welcomed by everyone who was there. When my grandparents left, we had the opportunity to meet Abdullah Hashem. My grandparents didn't believe and we were able to go to the hawsa. We were living like the ansars were and we would attend lectures and classes at the hawsa and we met all the other pure brothers and sisters. I also had the oppertunity to give a lecture to the brothers and sisters. Keep in mind I was 11 or 12 at the time, infront of a room full of people reading the Stories Of Bahlool. It was one of the most memorable moments in this dawa that stuck with me and other ansars remember about me too.
We would all eat together, pray together, learn together and be with each other - it was so beautiful it is not like any other community or experience that anyone can relate to. Instantly you feel this connection with the brothers and sisters which allowed you to create that instant bond with them.
We also had the experience of going on a boat ride on the River Nile, the same Nile our teachers in school would teach us about as well as the Pyramids. I remember being next to the pyramids, with the singular bricks piled so high you couldn't even see the top. The bricks were so much bigger than us as well. It was amazing, there were camels everywhere and market stalls before you'd walk through. The Nile ride as well was beautiful, it was cold, but it was an amazing experience. How many times in their lives do people get to say they went to the Pyramids or went on a boat ride on the Nile?! Not many!
Before we knew it, our 2 weeks were up. It was time to head back to the UK. The final goodbyes were the hardest ive ever had to say or do. I remember saying goodbye and i remember my aunt was crying when she had to say bye and I was giggling away before we got in the car at her. Ironically however, once we got into the car I started to cry. I didn't want to leave these amazing people behind, I knew once I went back it wouldn't be the same. I missed everyone the second we got into that car.
We returned to the UK and our lives were never the same again. It was different returning back because before, I'd never had to wear hijab, whereas shortly after returning we wore it. I never questioned why we had to but I put it on because it was what I believed in and what I believed was the right thing to do. It became a permanent part of me as I'd wear it to school, I'd wear it when I went out, everywhere I went it.
On January 23rd, 2015, the death of King Abdullah caused the rise of the Black Banners.
It was also revealed to us that Abdullah Hashem was Aba Sadiq (PBUH), the second Imam. I remember being told and I wasn't sure who that was so I did some further research and my expansion on knowledge of the religion in its self-became bigger and thats also when I came upon the Black Banners episodes which really taught me alot and opened my eyes.
I had watched the Black Banners episodes which exposed the white banners and the false office. Each episode showed the truths which were revealed by Ahmed Al Hassan (PBUH) and formed the deeper level of understanding the religion.
In 2018, when I was 16 I had just finished my high school exams and my and I family made the decision to move with the ansar and live together again. It was the best decision we made.
My journey continues everyday with the amazing people I'm surrounded by and I am so thankful that I have become a part of this dawa and have the opportunity to serve my Imam and the Ahlulbayt (PBUT).
The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step or a single click. Join us as we share our journey and highlight our most memorable moments to date on this path.
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