NOVEMBER 18 – 26
When traveling to Muslim lands, we realize that we tread hallowed ground, and so we tread lightly. Though we are visitors, we seek to experience these lands through the eyes of the locals, and not as mere tourists. We forsake luxury, but settle on comfort. We support local businesses and local artisans, especially under the global onslaught of Western multinational corporations. We also pull resources to support one local nonprofit initiative whenever abroad in gratitude for all that we receive.
- Daily prayers at the most historic masājid in Istanbul, including the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque
- Masjid and tomb of the blessed Companion, Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī
- Mimar Sinan’s architectural masterpiece: the Sulaymāniyyah masjid and communal complex
- Traditional dhikr beads and book bazaar
- 1453 Panoramic Museum
- Guided tour of the Topkapi Palace
- Experience of a traditional Ottoman hammām
- Culinary tour of Istanbul
- Visits to local scholars, artists, and artisans
- Visit to the spiritual community of Mahmut Effendi رحمه الله
- Community service and support of local charity (in Fātiḥ district)
- Boat ride on the Bosphorous Strait
PASSPORT AND VISA
- Clothing appropriate for expected weather (59° expected high/ 47° expected low)
- Vitamins and medicines
- 1st aid kit
- Granola bars or light snacks
- Water bottle
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste)
- Comfortable walking shoes
Since attendees will be arriving at different times on the 19th, you are responsible for arranging your own transportation between the airport and the hotel via taxi or Uber (estimated cost of $30 for a 4-seater vehicle). Transportation within Turkey is not included in the registration if our local site is reachable by tram. Registration includes, however, taxi fare to local sites that lay beyond tram routes.
You may schedule your return ticket anytime on November 26, which is the date of our checkout from the hotel.
LODGING AND MEALS
Our hotel is situated in the heart of Sultanahmet near many of the city’s key attractions. We will be staying at Senatus Hotel (Akbiyik Caddesi No: 40, Istanbul, 34122 Türkiye). Registration includes lodging and breakfast at the hotel.
SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Rain is forecasted for the entire day, so be sure to dress appropriately.
|0645 – 0700||Fajr at Hagia Sophia|
|0700 – 0800||Rest|
|0800 – 1030||Breakfast at Senatus Hotel (breakfast area must be vacated by 10:30 to allow staff ample time to prepare the room for our morning session)|
|1130 – 1145||Sūrat Yā Sīn in the hotel restaurant near lobby at Level 2 for those who did not recite after fajr (renew wuḍū’ for recitation)|
|1145 – 1300||Sūrat al-Fātiḥah workshop with Ustādh Ashir Kirk of the Measured Tones Institute|
|1300 – 1315||Ẓuhr at local masjid|
|1315 – 1345||Lunch will be provided in the hotel lobby (to be eaten in your room)|
|1345 – 1400||Walk to Topkapi Museum (bring an umbrella)|
|1400 – 1615||
Topkapi Museum visit and ʿAṣr
|1615 – 1630||
Walk to Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
|1630 – 1745||Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum|
|1745 – 1800||Maghrib|
|1800 – 1915||Dinner|
|1915 – 1930
|1930 – 2100||Recitation of one ḥizb (1/2 juzʾ) or one full juzʾ for communal Qur’an khatm via THIS LINK|
|2100 – 2200
||Reflections at Rumista cafe near hotel & Sūrat al-Mulk
El-Hajj Hisham Mahmoud studied theology, hadith, legal theory, jurisprudence, ethics, Qur’an recitation, and Arabic with scholars in Morocco, Mauritania, and Egypt. He has taught for more than a decade at Yale, Princeton, and Harvard, then left the Academy to institute Lanturna, an educational initiative that intends to establish learning collectives throughout North America. He continues to read with scholars and students in the United States. Currently, Hajj Hisham resides in Pennsylvania with his wife and children.
Saad Omar graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelors in English and a Masters in Nonprofit Management. He studied the Islamic Sciences and Arabic in Mecca, Jordan, Turkey and with scholars in the United States. Saad is a published songwriter and Founder of the Poetic Vision Tour and the Shadows of Light. He is currently building holistic Muslim villages in Sterling, VA and Frederick, MD.
$1000 · Early Registration (ends Sunday, Oct 23)
$1250 · General Registration (ends Monday, Oct 31)
$1500 · Late Registration (begins Tuesday, Nov 1)
Have you ever seen 50 people attend a Zoom program for 6 hours straight and nobody leaves early! Well, I know of a program where I witnessed that firsthand, and I was not the least bit surprised. The interesting thing is that it wasn’t even a main session. It was a voluntary session after the program had ended!
If anyone is interested in attending a literally life-changing sīrah retreat organized by Lanturna, hit me up. That is where I had the experience I mentioned above. My family attended the last one and my wife said, “I felt like I was actually there,” in reference to the session where El-Hajj Hisham Mahmoud was teaching about the Cave Ḥirāʾ moment. They also have an amazing thing they do at the end called “Vanguard,” but I don’t know if I’m allowed to disclose the details of that publicly. What I can say is that it is deeply emotional and may cause tears to flow. I even got choked up a few times. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that you may have never attended a sīrah program like it.
At the dawn of revelation, the Prophet ﷺ was commanded وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ “And as for the blessing of thy Lord, proclaim it!” (al-Ḍuḥā 93:11). And toward the eve of his passing, he instructed those present to inform those absent. If you have found any benefit in our work, then know that it came solely from Allah and His Messenger ﷺ, and with the intention of proclaiming His bounty, feel free to share it with others.