2014 Zawiyah Retreat on Tazkiyat al-Nafs

Information & Registration

Assalaam Alaikum,


Purpose of the Zawiyah Retreat on Tazkiyat al-Nafs (Purification of the Soul)

From its rustic location in the Adirondack Mountains, the Zawiyah Retreat on Tazkiyat al-Nafs offers an excellent opportunity for Muslims to experience a unique Islamic Retreat to purify one's soul.

Camp activities will comprise of teaching as well as practice. Sessions will cover what the ailments of the Nafs and Qalb (heart) are and how to change the state of these inner ailments from our hearts. Throughout the camp we will emphasize Ibadah with Fikr (contemplation & reflection) and Dhikr in accordance with the Sunnah. By this way we will connect with Allah's creation and enjoy with spiritual focus the natural beauty that surrounds us. Other activities include hiking and canoeing.

We will learn to feel the pleasure that comes with Taqwa (consciousness) of Allah through an enjoyable spiritual experience, Insha' Allah.


Important dates

Retreat Dates: Saturday, June 7th to Tuesday, June 17th, 2014. The Registration form will be available on April 28th to May 2nd. All forms are then reviewed and confirmations will be sent in the weeks to follow.

*Due to space and retreat spiritual considerations, not everyone can be accepted. Acceptance is NOT based on first-come/first-serve. Registration fills up very quickly, so try to register as soon as you can. All applicants will be reviewed. We expect hundreds of applications and will notify everyone of their status as soon as we can, inshaAllah.

Retreat registrants MUST come on the first day and leave on the last (OR Sunday, if you absolutely have to due to work). Please keep in mind that you are missing three days of the complete retreat and will not be given priority in acceptance. Do not buy and airline ticket until you are confirmed.


Sessions will be taught by Sh. Mokhtar Maghraoui.

Originally from Algeria, Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui is a nationally renowned Muslim scholar and a frequent speaker at numerous Islamic conferences throughout North America. Shaykh Maghraoui is an active participant of interfaith trialogue with the Jewish and Christian communities in the Capital District of New York area.



[Note: There is a $20 Registration Fee. See details below.] The cost is a daily charge which includes a per night charge by the camp facility for the lodge or cabin housing and meal cost for the food. There also may be a fee for transportation from Albany airport/train station to the retreat site. There is no cost for the retreat itself or the teacher. There are 4 packages, each with a different cost (USD$). Payment is due when you arrive at the retreat.

  • 10-Day Lodge - $400
  • 10-Day Cabin - $250
  • 8-Day Lodge - $320
  • 8-Day Cabin- $200

    The 10-Day Lodge Package

    - Lodge Accommodations
    - 2 Meals a day each full day of the retreat (breakfast & dinner)
    - Suhoor and Iftar on days of fasting
    - Dinner on the day of arrival, Breakfast on the day of departure
    - Total price: $400

    The 10-Day Cabin Package

    - Cabin Accomodations
    - 2 Meals a day each full day of the retreat
    - Suhoor and Iftar on days of fasting
    - Dinner on the day of arrival, Breakfast on the day of departure
    - Total price: $250

    The 8-Day Lodge Package

    # Lodge Accommodations
    # 2 Meals a day each full day of the retreat (breakfast & dinner)
    # Suhoor and Iftar on days of fasting
    # Dinner on the day of arrival, Breakfast on the day of departure
    # Total price: $320

    The 8-Day Cabin Package

    # Cabin Accommodations
    # 2 Meals a day each full day of the retreat
    # Suhoor and Iftar on days of fasting
    # Dinner on the day of arrival, Breakfast on the day of departure
    # Total price: $200

    Cash (USD) or checks, to be paid at the retreat site.


The retreat site is located in a remote area of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate NY. NOTE that it takes about 2 hours to drive from the nearest major city, Albany (airport code: ALB, train station:Albany-Rensselaer, NY (ALB)).

All those driving should plan to

  • arrive on Saturday the 7th before 5pm

    and should plan to

  • leave either Sunday, June 15th after 1 pm or Tuesday, June 17th after 1 pm.

No other arrival/departure times are accepted.

We will only provide transportation inshaAllah at the following dates/times:

  • Saturday June 7th at 3pm and 6pm from the Albany area (airport, train, bus station, etc.)

  • Sunday June 15th at 1pm return to Albany (arrival in Albany will be 2 hours later [3pm] so plan flights/tickets accordingly)

  • Tuesday June 17th at 1pm return to Albany (arrival in Albany will be 2 hours later [3pm]
Plan your flights/travel arrangements accordingly.


There will be a lack of emphasis on the food. We will have two meals per day (breakfast and dinner). This simple diet will help enrich our diet of spiritual learning and practice.


There are two choices for accommodations: the Lodge or the Cabins. Please note that the cabins are very basic, have few amenities and are further from the main lodge, hence the less expensive cost. It gets very cold at night. Although there is a bathroom in each cabin, there is no heat and no hot water. There is a shared shower house with hot water. If you are staying in a cabin, you will need a sleeping bag, extra blankets, pillow, towels and linens. These accommodations may be extremely uncomfortable for some sisters and older participants. See a picture of inside a cabin. The cabin, however, is much more spacious than the rooms in the lodge.

For those in the Lodge, please keep in mind that space is extremely tight. Each room in the lodge has two beds, but due to limited space, a third person will need to sleep on the floor and will need sleeping bags as well.

*Choosing the lodge package may not guarantee that accommodation. Priority in the lodge will be given to older people and those with special needs. Due to the limited amount of rooms in the lodge, we may ask certain people to move to the cabins.

What to Bring

The retreat is intended to be a time of focus on purification and discipline of the nafs, with a de-emphasis on material things. We ask that you bring with you only what is needed. Pack lightly, but make sure you have everything that is needed, as there isn't much room in the cars or in the lodge. Some suggestions:
- toiletries
- sleeping bag and pillow
- warm clothing (there is no access to laundry facilities)
- a copy of the Qur'an
- notebook and writing utensils
- alarm clock
- flashlight
- towel
- hiking/canoeing clothing for multiple days
- mosquito repellant, bug spray
- hiking boots
- jacket and rain gear
- and most importantly, a sincere niyyah.

Retreat Policies


  • Cell phones are not allowed except for emergency use only. Otherwise they should be turned off and kept in the rooms. A phone is available in the lodge, for use with a calling card.
  • Children are not allowed due to space and the consideration of other participants.
  • The retreat campsite is not open to anyone before or after the stated arrival/departure times.
  • Dress code: Both genders should wear loose fitting clothing. (Sisters if wearing pants should wear a top that reaches the knees.)
  • No one is allowed to leave the retreat site without permission.


Details on Registration

  • All applications will be accepted online starting April 28th. Registration will be closed on May 2nd. Any applications received after these dates will be automatically placed on the waiting list.
  • New participants are encouraged to apply.
  • Please fill out a different registration form for each person, including one for a wife and one for a husband.
  • Applicants must be over the age of 18. No children are allowed.
  • Applicants must be able to attend the complete 10 days (unless you are staying until Sunday). This is to ensure a serene and peaceful atmosphere throughout the retreat without constant accommodation changes/arrivals/departures that harm the spiritual harmony of the retreat. Acceptance priority is given to those who can attend the complete retreat.
  • Financial assistance may be available. Please contact us. Apply even if you are unable to pay or can only pay a portion of the amount. Inability to pay does not affect review of your application inshaAllah.
  • Every application is subject to review and approval by Sh. Mokhtar.
  • We will notify you if you have been accepted as soon as possible and expect your confirmation, along with your itinerary within 2 weeks..
  • We ask that people make definite plans and commitments to attend as space is very limited. If there is a need for cancellation, we ask that you notify us immediately, so that we are able to give enough time for those on the waiting list to make travel arrangements accordingly.
  • If you are having problems viewing or completing the application form, please contact us.


If more information is needed

For more information please email zawiyahretreat @ gmail.com

I have carefully read all the above information, agree to it and would like to apply for the retreat inshaAllah!

Alhamdulillah :)