The Arabic word “ribaat” in its origin means to stand at the frontline of danger against the enemy of God and to stand in such a way as that there are no gaps in the line. (Lisān al Arab)
Today we face an enemy more dangerous than the enemy that carries sword and dagger – and that is the enemy of ignorance.
This plethora of ignorance is a danger to our communities, our families and our afterlives. Our rising divorce rates (50%), convert recidivation rates (70%), and low percentages of Muslim people’s at mosques (6%) all speak to this danger. In this fifteenth hijrī century we have the lowest number of female scholars ever in our history, and male as well. It is the post-colonial coma.
We need to become educated in our faith. We need to be able to access our own sources of information with Arabic, or at the very least be able to tell when something is ‘fishy’ in the translation. We need to be able to tell our families stories of the companions and demonstrate their lives in the way we live our lives. We need to be able to answer the questions put to us by cashiers, cousins and co-workers – not with pat answers, but with educated and well thought out discourse. Islam needs us to come alive with information and excitement about our faith. We need to stop the arguments based on ignorance that cause anger and rancor in our communities. We need to learn and live our faith.
We at rabata.org are thrilled, thankful and excited to announce the launch of Ribaat – the academic online program for Muslim women. It is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Here Muslim women can learn Islamic sciences, grow spiritually, and develop community with classmates. Here we will join together to fill in the gaps and bring forth an educated generation; our own generation, and the upcoming generations that we are responsible for.
The program itself is academic and interactive. Students will not pay to view pre-recorded videos, but to engage in an on-line class that includes assignments and assessments. The curriculum is rooted in both classical learning and modern theories of curriculum and instruction. Students will find that both their knowledge base and their skill base grow and develop throughout the program. The female faculty brings both a lifetime of learning about Islamic subjects and a practical life experience to the classroom that the student body will be able to learn from and imitate. Perhaps most importantly, the program is designed to help students grow and develop through the schools of Islam, Imān, and Iḥsān.
Join us in this endeavor to learn and grow together. Register today for the Fall 2013 Term. Let us together stand in ribaat; let us stare down the monster of ignorance and bring forth the gentle breezes of knowledge. Together as women, let us close the gaps, protect ourselves, our families and the next generations. Let us bring the victory of Islam into our homes and hearts. Let us become learners, and teachers. Ameen.