Allah (swt) has bestowed honour upon Abdullah, an 18-year-old Imam, who has been leading the Taraweeh prayers for hundreds of men in Sad Bin Abi Waqas Masjid, Karachi.

Tell us something about your early education and your journey to becoming an Imam.

I started my education at Bright Star Academy. Simultaneously, I also began my Quranic education at Sad Ibn Abi Waqas Masjid. My father was an Imam there. Then, I enrolled into Madrassah Bait-ul-Islam as a full time student of Hifz (memorization of the Quran).

I studied in the Madrassah from morning till Isha and in the next 9 months, completed my Hifz programme. In 2005, I learnt to lead Taraweeh prayers with the help of another senior Imam. In 2006 and 2007, I was assisted by another Imam in leading Taraweeh prayers. Alhumdulillah, for the past three years I have been leading Taraweeh without any assistance.

How did you conceive the idea of leading Taraweeh prayers?

My father was my main inspiration and guide, who sowed the seeds of love for the Holy Book in me. Unlike other households, we never even dreamed of watching television or listening to the radio. Since the Quran was all that we ever heard as children, there were various Surahs and Ayahs that we learnt by heart, before even beginning our formal education of Hifz.

At the age of 9, my father encouraged us to practice leading as Imams in the Masjid. Alhumdulillah, mainly due to consistent auditory learning at home under my parents’ guidance, I developed an interest in all my exercises of the Quran and began leading Taraweeh at the age of 13.

What are your future plans? Would you like to become an Imam in a Masjid, following in your father’s footsteps?

I do not worry too much about my future. I have trust in Allah (swt), Who will guide me to the right path.

As for my career as an Imam, firstly, I wish to lead a life of a responsible Muslim now and in future too. Secondly, it is my desire to be associated with the Masjid. I don’t want to impose myself on anyone. If the Masjid requires my services, I will do that. I would love to be associated with it in any way I can to please Allah (swt).

Would you like to leave a message to our youth?

I would only like to say, what the Prophet (sa) said: “In the difficult hours of Yaum-e-Qiyamah, there will be seven kinds of people, who will be granted shade under Allah’s (swt) throne. One of them will be the youth, who committed their time to obeying and worshipping Allah (swt) and following His Messenger (sa).”

This doesn’t mean that a Muslim youth is expected to hibernate in the Masjid. Rather, our Messenger (sa) used to encourage and pray for young people to engage in trade and earn lawful means of sustenance.

Nowadays, youngsters forget that they are not here forever. They ignore the Shariah, indulge in forbidden stuff and use all available tools to acquire what they want, daringly disobeying the Lord.

Another important matter is to ensure that the good deeds done are in accordance with the ways of the Prophet (sa) and not self-created or prescribed by a certain spiritual leader.

May Allah (swt) grant inspiration to others to follow in Abdullah’s footsteps and give to our Ummah young, well-guided and dynamic leaders. Ameen.