Monday, 6 April 2015
Eden family retreat at Birmingham
Alhamdulillah we have had an amazing family retreat at Eden, in Birmingham. It was from 22nd to 25th of August 2014. The event was packed with lots of lectures and activities. For lot of people traffic was bad on Friday. We left after jumuah at 2:30 and we reached there at Aston university at 5:30. We used the satnav on my phone which has the option to use routes with lesser traffic alhamdulillah. It took us 3 hours to get to our destination from London alhamdulillah. When we reached there, checking in was quite quick alhamdulillah
We booked one big room but they gave us two rooms for health and safety reason. The restaurant had various halal food alhamdulillah. We had to book the activities. I booked archery and swimming sessions. Unfortunately lot of brothers couldn't book for the swimming session. Kids had activities through out the day. We had to drop them off after breakfast and collect them at 12 for lunch and drop them off again after lunch and collect them for dinner at 6. Alhamdulillah this arrangement made it possible for us to attend the lectures and workshops without the hassle of looking after kids. It was like proper "me time" alhamdulillah. I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures. Sister Fatima Barkatullah talked about Islam and feminism (whether we Muslims need feminism), sheikh Abu Bilal talked about the importance , sheikh Abdul Bary Yahya talked about the importance of dua and qiyam at night. I attended parenting workshop and surah Fatiha workshop. Tried to attend marriage workshop but it was too crowded and couldn't really concentrate. Sheikh Aa'la did great lectures mashAllah. There were panel discussion on unity among Muslims and oppression. There were funny chai chat after Maghrib Salah. I enjoyed a night out in the prayer marquee with friends till 2 am alhamdulillah. We sisters rarely get a chance to chill out with our girl friends. So it was my opportunity to spend some time with friends. There were couple of stalls near the reception such as Little Explorer magazine, Al-Kauthar, National Zakat Foundation, Charity Right, IEat, imam hijab etc. I wish they had more stalls and tuck shops for snacks and drinks.
Alhamdulillah it was a great family treat for us. We have really enjoyed every single day of the treat. Time passed so quickly! We were quite sad at the last day of the retreat. Kids were missing their daylong sessions. Alhamdulillah we have learnt a lot too. It was a great Iman boosting event. We are looking forward to future Eden events insha Allah. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala accept their efforts and make the event full of Baraka for Muslims in the UK. Ameen!