Winners Testimonials

Here’s what some of them had to say about us:

Abbas Husain
Gold A-Level Award - 2016
“The AT award has given me a wealth of experiences and has enabled me to meet some of my closest friends. I’ve met people who I share, not only my faith and values but also, a respect and appreciation of academia and education. I’ve learned a great deal with them throughout the course of the AT Award journey. The highlight for me was the trip to Iran – it was a truly unique opportunity to learn and grow with like-minded people.
I’m currently in my second year at Oxford studying Engineering Science. I’m a newly elected member of the university’s Islamic Society Committee.
I look forward to reuniting with my fellow award winners at an AT Award event soon!”
Zammurd Abbas
Gold A-Level Award - 2017
Nearly two years on, he describes his experience with ATAward…
“Allamah Tabataba’i award is a journey which has not only helped me to better academically but has also aided me to strengthen spiritually. There have been so many beautiful experiences through this initiative that have been priceless, ranging from meeting new and great people to being blessed with having Hawza classes in the holy shrines. I am currently studying Engineering at University College London and through the guidance of my ATA mentor, I am able to take all the right steps required to excel in this field. ATA gave me an opportunity to meet like-minded people who are making every effort to seek knowledge while living in the west. It is so beautiful when people ask me where did you meet this brother and I reply to them we became friends in the holy city of Qum.
In addition to all these many benefits, I believe that the most amazing thing behind this award is that it is named after Allamah Tabataba’i. There is no doubt Allamah’s life is full of lessons for the youth and through becoming part of this award scheme, you too can learn about this beautiful personality and implement it in your own life.
I would highly recommend anyone who is eligible, to apply for this award for you will surely not regret it.”
Hussain Bukhari
The Allamah Tabataba’i award granted me an amazing opportunity to deepen my connection with Allah (SWT), the Holy Imams, and the British Shi’a Community. I keep my trips to the holy cities of Qom and Mashhad close to my heart, through the regular visits to the shrines, the daily congregational prayers in the most beautiful mosques, and conversations that went on late into the night I found great development in my understanding of Islam, Allah (SWT), and myself. I feel as though I owe much of who I have become today to those trips years ago
Kauther Al-Kaaby
“Although there are many positive things that my experience with ATA has given me, the friendships that I have formed through the award over the past 2/3 years are what I am most grateful for. Through the trips, workshops and award ceremonies, we have supported each other’s growth in all aspects – be it spiritual or academic.
Having been part of ATA since I did my GCSEs, it brings me great joy to watch the community grow and thrive over the years. I myself benefited greatly from the different aspects of the award, and have watched others do so too. So I would really encourage everyone to sign up if they are in yr 11/13, as it is not an opportunity to be missed.
Having also helped out on committee for a few years now, I have learnt many skills and have had many opportunities that I would not have had if I was not part of ATA. I feel like a lot of my growth as an individual and a team member and leader are due to my experience with ATA. I truely cannot wait to see how far ATA goes in the future .”
Rameez Naqvi
The Allamah Tabataba’i Award is an amazing initiative that is much needed in our community. There aren’t many schemes as good as ATA that encourage academic excellence and help likeminded young people meet each other in a beneficial learning environment.

I had the privilege of being awarded one of the prizes a few years ago. Through this, I had the opportunity to travel to the blessed cities of Qom and Mashhad in Iran, along with being offered various mentorship support.

The trip abroad was particularly memorable. Through the trip, I was able to meet some of my closest friends as well as a big group of amazing brothers. Being able to learn and live alongside these brothers was heartwarming. Coming from an environment in the UK which can feel quite isolating, it was a great reminder as to how many young people are similar to me and live in similar situations in the UK.

The AT Award has certainly been a life-changing experience for me and I’m very thankful to the organisers and to my friends that told me about this scheme.

Bronze GCSE Award - 2016
Sowsan was an A-Level Award winner in 2018 and won the Bronze GCSE Award in 2016.
Having won the award twice, she now shares her experience with ATAward…
“The Allamah Tabataba’i Award is an inspiring initiative which aims to provide academic support, career guidance and spiritual enlightenment.
As part of the award I was enrolled into the mentoring scheme and met my mentor at the ‘Meet Your Mentor Day’. My mentor gave me invaluable career advice and guidance for my university application. We have remained in contact since and she continues to support my academic and personal growth.
Through ATAward I have also had the opportunity to meet other like-minded students with the same spiritual and academic aspirations as myself. In my case, spending time together during the subsidised trips, workshops and mentoring events has lead to lifelong friendships where we support each other’s spiritual growth and success.
Allamah Tabatabai was one of the greatest scholars of all time and he showed by example that seeking education can only make you stronger in faith and closer to God (sw).”
Ali Hammed
Having joined ATA in 2017, I can say ATA really has shaped my life to the better. One of the biggest thing ATA has done for me is allow me to form friendships that I know for sure will last a lifetime. These friends made transitioning into university much easier, grew my confidence immensely.
As well as this the spiritual growth the Iran trip gave me is immense. To go to the shrines, be taught about my religion and to be around like minded people really did help me grow spiritually. Being so close and visiting the holy sites that lay in iran, bought me closer to Allah, and has made me a better person since.
ATA is truly a wholistic scheme, offering you spiritual, academic and personal growth, be it by its many workshops, trips or mentorship scheme. I only wish I had joined the award scheme earlier
Maryam Abbas
Salam! I’m Maryam, currently a medical student in my 4th year studying at Newcastle University. I attended the ATA award ceremony in 2017 and then joined the trip hosted by them to Iran in the summer of 2018. It was a blessing to have been able to visit the holy sites, perform Ziyarat and experience the spiritual atmosphere. It was also a privilege to have been taught by so many knowledgeable ulema; the course highlighted the importance of learning about one’s religion in greater depth as well as worldly education. The events arranged by ATA were invaluable – through them, I had the opportunity to meet fellow like-minded people who I still keep in contact with today, and who made the trip to Iran a very enjoyable experience which left me with treasured memories and life lessons about the role of Islam in everyday life. On top of the religious education, it was also lovely to sightsee in Iran, from visiting the Jami’at al-Zahra in Qom, to the day trip in Tehran and shopping for souvenirs.
As well as being amazing experiences in their own right, the events arranged by ATA inspired me to continue learning about religion and enhancing my spirituality in everyday life – I have since attended a pre-Hawza course and have been able to use resources provided to me by ATA to study aspects of my religion further.
Having been with ATA since 2017 has enabled me to not only grow as a person academically, but also spiritually and drawing connections between the two.

There is great emphasis on fellowship in Islam and ATA definitely accommodates this. The life long friendships I’ve gained through this vital initiative allow me to network and build strong community bonds with those in the Shia community.

Furthermore, the mentoring scheme helped me strengthen my academic potential. The support I received from my mentor – an Oxford medic and hawza graduate – was greater than what my school had to offer, due to the individualistic and personal connections formed.

A crucial aspect of the award is the international trip which ensures students in the west are able to build themselves spiritually. It also gives us an opportunity to learn more about the lives of important figures, such as Allama Tabataba’i. Having role models like the great ulema is extremely empowering and highlighted the importance of being knowledgable in all fields – not just the one we go on to pursue.

ATA has shown me that actively trying to fulfil our academic potential and helping the community with the intention of pleasing Allah, can only help strengthen our faith.