Saturday 14 October marked a day of immense spiritual significance as the Bryan Brown Theatre played host to the much-anticipated ISRA Risala Festival.

This annual event, dedicated to celebrating the life of Prophet Muhammad (s), left attendees deeply moved and inspired. The theme of this year’s festival, ‘Hijrah,’ served as a beacon, guiding us towards personal growth and transformation.

The heart of the festival was definitely the ‘Road to Madina: Hijrah Exhibition.’ The immersive experience took attendees on a captivating journey through the pivotal moments of the Prophet’s (s) migration.

The guided tours by Dr Suleyman Sertkaya provided valuable insights, painting a vivid picture of the challenges and triumphs faced during this historic migration. The Women of the Hijrah Workshop by Dr Mahsheed Ansari was also deeply enlightening.

The festival also featured a powerful keynote speech that resonated with every heart present by Sheikh Wesam Charkawi. The speech illuminated the significance of the Hijrah, emphasising its relevance in today’s world.

An engaging panel discussion featuring Zia Ahmad, Heather Fagan and Ibrahim Khalil facilitated by Tamana Daqiq further enriched the experience, providing diverse perspectives on the enduring lessons to be drawn from the Prophet’s migration and its relevance in our current climate.

These powerful expressions of faith and devotion transported attendees to the heart of the Hijrah, forging a profound connection with the Prophet’s journey.

The festival resonated with the joyous melodies of uplifting nasheeds by the Three Rivers Ensemble, filling the air with an aura of spiritual elevation. Attendees were uplifted by the harmonious sounds, which served as a reminder of the profound beauty of faith.

Meanwhile, the fun-filled kids’ program hosted by author of “A to Z of Mini Muslims”, Mariam Latifi as well as author of the recently published book “Until We Meet in Jannah”, Soumaya Issa ensured that younger attendees were not only entertained but also educated about the significance of the Prophet’s hijrah.

The attendees were also entertained by the VR Hijrah experience hosted by OnePath Network.

Through the collective experience of the ISRA Risala Festival, attendees were able to forge a deep and personal connection with the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Hijrah, a symbol of migration and growth, served as a guiding light for all present. It reminded us of the profound lessons that can be gleaned from the Prophet’s experiences, urging us to embark on our own journeys of self-discovery and transformation.

The Risala Festival 2023 was a true blessing, leaving attendees spiritually enriched and inspired. Through the exploration of the Hijrah, we were able to draw strength from the Prophet’s journey, finding parallels in our own lives.

The Road to Madina Exhibition, the keynote speech, panel discussion, spoken word, duas, nasheeds, and kids’ program all contributed to a day that will be etched in our hearts forever. May the spirit of migration and growth continue to guide us on our individual journeys, as we seek to embody the teachings and experiences of Prophet Muhammad (s).