Allah invited me to perform Umrah with a group of female medical students. Alhamdulillah, it was the most blessed experience I have ever had!

When I made my New Year’s resolutions at the start of this year, I asked myself what my one biggest wish for this year was, and immediately, my heart answered, “Umrah”.

As I wrote it on my list, I wondered how that would materialise, but I reminded myself that all I need to do is make a sincere intention, and then Allah will create a way.

A few weeks later, I found out from the Australian Islamic Medical Association (AIMA) that the Islamic Medical Association in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (IMAKSA)/World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) are organising and hosting their 13th Umrah program for medical students as nominated by Islamic Medical Associations (IMAs) and Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA).

My immediate thought was, “Allah is creating the way”!

For those unfamiliar with these organisations, AIMA and IMAKSA are national organisations that aim to unite Muslim healthcare to serve humanity in Australia and Saudi Arabia, respectively. FIMA aims to do the same on a global level.

I have been a student member of AIMA, a non-profit health promotion charity, for several years. I have participated in many volunteer and community health promotion initiatives that AIMA runs in Australia.

I have been a student representative for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), co-ordinating various initiatives and linking other Muslim medical and allied health students in ACT with AIMA.

I applied to the program via the expression of interest process to AIMA two days later. AIMA accepted me into the program, and they nominated me to FIMA for the Umrah program. One week later, I was on a plane travelling to perform Umrah. Alhamdulillah!

As soon as I saw the Kaaba, tears started rolling down my face. I forgot about my long list of duas, and all I could repeatedly ask for was forgiveness and Jannah for myself, my loved ones and the entire ummah.

It put into perspective what truly matters and what I should strive for through my medical career and all other aspects of my life.

Not only did I get to visit the Kaaba, but I also formed a great sisterhood.

I will never forget completing Umrah with 27 sisters in a long chain with our arms linked and praying my five prayers in Masjid Nabawi alongside my sisters.

Tears were shed during our farewell. I remember saying, “I am surprised I have developed this much love for all the sisters in just five days”.

A sister responded, “It is because we all love each other for the sake of Allah”.  Alhamdulilah!

I cannot thank Allah, AIMA, FIMA, IMAKSA/WAMY and all the sisters enough for making it a memorable experience. I hope sharing my experience will inspire other medical students!

Recording of various previous AIMA events and details of other activities conducted by the Australian Islamic Medical Association is available on the website: www.aima.org.au