Leadership for the Heart


For a Muslim youth, there is no better way to develop leadership in an applied way than performing an Umrah. The ILIA Umrah program, ‘Leadership for the Heart’ is developed for youth ages 16-21 to inculcate concepts learned during weekend schools and practice attributes of a Muslim young man. Performing Umrah at such a young age definitely have a great impact on the personality and character of a person as a Muslim.

Inshaa Allah your teen will develop tremendous skills, experience and maturity upon completing this program. From getting exposed to a world of experiences and activities to learning about the prophets and messengers of the past, your teen will connect with his Muslim character. The program is designed to completely transform your child’s daily activities from the routine of a young Muslim man in the US during a school break, to a focused and intensive format with a diversity of activities such as spending time with a scholar at the Masjid Al-Haram, to praying jummah with tens of thousands in front of the Kaaba, to visiting orphan kids in Jeddah, to getting exposed to a different culture, to visiting the battle fields of the past, and reading Quran foot steps away from the Kaaba and in the Rowda Al-Sharifa.

Importance of Performing Umrah

Although there are many verses from the Quran and hadits of the Holy Prophet which can be stated to prove the importance of Umrah but we are going to present a couple of those here.

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Keep on doing Hajj and Umrah, because they both eliminate poverty and sins just like a furnace eliminates the dirty impurities of iron, gold and silver.  And an accepted Hajj has no reward less than Paradise!” (Tirmithi, Nisaa’i, Ahmad). Ibn Umar (R) narrates that Prophet (S.A.W.) said, ‘The warrior in the cause of Allah, the pilgrim and the one who is performing Umrah are all the delegation of Allah. He called them and they responded and they will ask of His bestowals and He will give it to them.’ (Ibn Majah

Visit to Important Places

The students will also be provided the opportunity to visit several historical places i.e. Jabal al-Nour, Ghar i Hira (Cave of Hira), museums (Museum of Al Madinah Al Munawwarah, Islamic Museum near Masjidul Haram) and the Islamic University of Medina.


  • Worship activities (umra, prayer, Quran tajweed, Quran tafseer, sadaqa,  fasting).
  • History (Masjid Al-Haram, Masjid Al-Nabawi, Masjid Thulqibalatayn, Uhd Mountain, stories of Ibrahim, Ismail, Hajar, Muhammad and early Muslims,

museums in Jeddah, visit to Islamic University in Madinah)

  • Recreation & culture (walking, shoreline/beach, picnic, soccer, frisby volley, swimming, shopping).
  • Social (visit orphanage)
  • Leadership trait development (patience, humility, sincerity, submission, self-confidence, vision, mission, humbleness, modesty, initiation).

Local Transportation                  

Transportation between Madinah and Makkah will be inshaa Allah by air. Local transportation within cities and urban area is by bus or taxi. Travel between Jeddah and Makkah is by bus.


Hotels will be 4 stars in Makkah and Madinah inshaa Allah.


Program fees include two meals and light snack. Participants are encouraged to bring pocket money for other snacks or items they wish to purchase. ILIA serves only halal and healthy food, no junk food/snacks are served, however cannot guarantee meals served on airlines are halal.

Pocket Money

Participants are encouraged to bring pocket money for the following purposes: sadaqa, gifts, souvenirs, calling back home, snacks, extra set of ihram, books.

Eligibility & Restrictions

  •      Program is open to youth ages 16+.
  •      Teens participating in the program must provide two recommendation
  •         forms, and write a short letter of interest (250 words – limited to one page).
  • –       Parents may join the group if there are available spaces.
  • –       Participants must have a valid US passport.
  • –       Electronic games, iPods, cell phones, laptops & other electronic gadgets are not allowed on trip, exceptions are for educational devices with no email and SMS capabilities.
  • –       Participants must sign a form to abide by all trip rules and regulations.
  • –       Parental consent forms are required.
  • –       Cameras and camcorders are allowed as long as not built into an electronic gaming or communication gadget. However ILIA is not responsible for lost or confiscated devices.
  • –       All attire must be abiding by Islamic shariyah.
  • –       Youth will not be allowed to leave group at any time and must be accompanied by a chaperone throughout the entire duration.
  • Group

Program is limited to 12 youth. The ratio of chaperone to youth is 1:5, which is twice the national industry standard of 1:10. Chaperones are above the age of 30, have past experience in Umrah and hajj, traveled to Saudi Arabia in the past and are qualified to teach Islamic studies, Quran and Umrah and hajj rituals. Some chaperones are Hafiz of Quran. All chaperones have experience in dealing with youth.


A CPR and first aid chaperon certified by the American Red Cross will be available on trip inshaa Allah, our ratio is 1 chaperon per 5 kids, the program is developed by professionals educated and trained in leadership. Chaperons have experience in youth programs, and have conducted out-door programs at for several years including trips and other off-site programs.

Material & Supplies

All required informational material, booklets and handouts will be provided and are approved by the ILIA board of trustees, a board of scholars that advise ILIA program directors on shariyah issues. The current board of scholars is led by Dr. Salah As-Sawy.


Interested parties must complete a registration application online and mail a check for $200 payable to ILIA, no later than 3/7/2014. Fee will be refunded in case your teen is not selected, your child has an emergency or trip canceled, and is non-refundable for any other purpose. No refunds of the deposit are possible after the full payment due date. Full payment will be required no later than 3/1/2014.


Exact fees will be determined in a few weeks once group size is determined and feedback is received from the travel agent and Saudi embassy. Fees include the following:

  •      Air transportation from DC/Baltimore area to Saudi Arabia, and between Madinah and Jeddah
  •      Local transportation in Saudi Arabia
  •      Two meals a day and 1 light snack
  •      One set of ihram garments
  •      Duaa book
  •      Umrah and Hajj booklet
  •      Umrah workshop prior to date of travel
  •      Activities above,  tentative
  •      4-star hotel stay in Makkah and Madinah

Recommendation Letters

Applicants should follow these guiding points:

–       Each participant needs to submit two recommendation letters; one is preferably from a school teacher.

–       Letters are accepted from teachers, coaches, Masjid Imam or employer.

–       Letters should reflect the recommender’s opinion on the applicant’s level in the following areas: (1) leadership, (2) teamwork (3) listening skills, (4) maturity, (5) motivation and initiative level (6) attitude and flexibility and (7) articulation.

–       Letter should indicate the relationship of the recommender to the applicant.

–      Letters should be sent to ILIA via email at info@islamicleadership.org or via postal service no later than Feb 25 2014 to Islamic Leadership Institute of America, 3290 Pine Orchard Ln, Ellicott City, MD 21042.

Participant Interest Letter

The interest letter should be no more than a single page, and no less than 250 words. The letter should reflect the reason the participant believes it is important to join the trip/program, the benefits that the participant strives to acquire and how the program will benefit the participant in his life and hereafter.