“I Wish I’d Been There”

by Farzana Meru

Writer is an astrophysicist

I am struggling to narrow down all the moments in Ismaili history that I would love to have experienced. As I journey through the modern day trying to understand the past, I often ponder what it would be like to rewind time and experience a number of occasions in Ismaili history. But if I could only choose one of the vast number of spectacular incidents, I would go back and experience the beginning of Ismaili history, the key events that sparked the origin of our religion, the dawn of a new era: the time of our Prophet Muhammed (SAS) in seventh century Arabia.

I would love to have experienced first-hand the living conditions and lifestyles of the people in those times. I would want to understand the culture, the tribal systems, the harsh desert conditions that people had to move through on camels. I would want to see how the Prophet himself dealt with the pressures of leading a community which started off very small but grew rapidly and flourished. I want to understand how people transitioned from the way of life in pre-Islamic Arabia into the new times. As a fly on the wall, I could watch the seventh century Arabian world go by, in awe. I would want to experience “where it all began”, an era that would mark the beginning of Ismaili history.



About the writer: Farzana Meru is an Astrophysicist carrying out research into the theory of planet formation.  She performs computer simulations to try and understand how giant planets, such as Jupiter, may have formed.  She is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Exeter, UK.  Prior to this, she did her undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge, UK, where she studied Natural Sciences, specialising in Astrophysics.

Please visit her Web site. Click Farzana Meru Homepage


1. For a complete list of readings, and to contribute to this series, please click » I Wish I’d Been There

2. We welcome feedback/letters from our readers. Please use the LEAVE A REPLY box which appears at the bottom of this page, or email it to Your feedback may be edited for length and brevity, and is subject to moderation. We are unable to acknowledge unpublished letters.

2 thoughts on “Beginnings….

  1. In a few words, but very well articulated. All the best in your career as an astrophysicist, and we hope to see smart people like yourself in key Jamati leadership roles in years to come.

  2. With continuing contributions, this series is becoming more and more exciting, not only with reference to what is submitted, but to see how young educated members are aspiring to go back into history and wish they were there. Farzana Meru, a young astrophysicist researching the theory of planet formation, is going back in time to contribute to both the present and future. She has come up with brilliant thoughts in her wish and I hope that others are inspired to follow Imam’s words: “Learn from your history”. – Simerg! All the best with the series. And congratulations to all the other contributors.

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