June 2018 Ribaat Student of the Month – Ricki Butler
Ricki Butler moved around a lot while growing up but has spent most of her adult life here in Missouri, right in the center of America. However, it was traveling halfway across the world to Morocco that would bring her to Islam almost 5 years ago.
It started with signing up for Arabic just to fulfill her language requirement towards earning her university degree.
“I could never explain to people why I decided to study such a random and difficult language,” recalls Ricki, “but through my Arabic studies I was awarded a fellowship to study Arabic for a summer semester in Morocco. That is when everything changed for me.”
In Morocco, Ricki met practicing Muslims for the first time. She was taken aback by people’s generosity and kindness towards her.
“The Moroccans I met were all so content and at peace with their lives,” Ricki shares. “This feeling of true peace was something I had been searching for but didn’t realize that I was being guided right towards it. Now, Subhan Allah, I believe that every seemingly random choice I made in my life led me to Islam by the mercy of Allah. Alhamdulillah.”
This journey of faith then brought Ricki to Ribaat. She took her first class this past Spring semester to enhance her studies in Quran.
“My experience with Ribaat so far has been extremely rewarding and nothing like I expected it to be,” says Ricki. “Because of Ribaat, I now think about the Quran a lot more often and am able to share bits of knowledge with my husband. Before I joined Ribaat, I felt like I just had basic Islamic knowledge. Now I feel like my knowledge is actually increasing instead of remaining stagnant. Ribaat has made me realize that there is still so much for me to learn but it feels like an attainable goal.”
Ricki came to Islam with the aspiration to learn as much as she could about her newfound faith. She is working towards reading and understanding the Quran in Arabic and appreciates the structure of Ribaat’s programing.
“Before I started with Ribaat, I was frustrated and overwhelmed with the fact that the knowledge I was seeking was either too elementary or way above my head,” Ricki says. “So when I first signed up, I was skeptical but hopeful.”
From the first class, Ricki was hooked, and she developed a broader scope of goals for herself. Ricki states that obtaining large amounts of beneficial knowledge from qualified female scholars from the comfort of her own home has been instrumental in her progress.
“My goal now is to work towards my Ribaat Murabbiya ʿĀlima Certificate inshallah,” Ricki aspires. “I want to be able to share everything I learn with my local community and then eventually to my children.”
This summer, Ricki looks forward to meeting other Ribaat students in person as well as some of the program’s teachers at the annual Raise Me Up Ribaat Retreat in Minnesota. She hopes to connect with other women who share her love for sacred knowledge and is grateful for this outlet.
“I am very honored to be nominated and would like to take this opportunity to make du’a: Ya Allah reward every single person that has helped me on this journey, especially the women of Ribaat and my husband’s late grandmother, Mama Rabia. Ameen.”