Zainab Alsmadi is an entrepreneur who lives with her family in Montreal, Quebec. She had been hearing of Rabata for years and was officially introduced to the organization during Anse Tamara Gray’s visit to Montreal in 2018. Zainab was moved by the strength of women working and worshiping together. Thereafter, she joined a Circles of Light worship thread on WhatsApp and began a community Joy Jots book club with another local Rabata member and friend, Marlene Pouline. This led Zainab to sign up for a Ribaat class, and she quickly excelled as a student.
“Ribaat has made me a more self-aware and reflective individual,” shares Zainab, who is a mother of four. “I find myself constantly reflecting on my actions, behavior, words, and intention. I also pay close attention to how my time is spent and have become more productive in my professional and personal life as well as in my acts of worship. I am now aiming to read more, seek Islamic knowledge, increase in daily worship, and create a peaceful and cooperative environment in my home and work life.”
It is easy to get caught up in the mundane. For Zainab, she was feeling stagnant in her level of faith and worship. She attributes her growth to a culmination of her recent studies with Ribaat, the book club and the sisterhood she has found through Rabata.
“Rabata as an institute has helped me examine my purpose as a Muslim woman, friend, wife, mother and business owner,” tells Zainab. “Rather than focusing on the big picture, it taught me to focus on myself first and foremost – with the promise of big things to come. Once all the little pieces started fitting together, I was able to see my purpose. When you move closer to Allah with good intentions, you won’t be disappointed.”
By making small and consistent changes, Zainab states that she is now seeing key improvements in her life. She doesn’t feel so overwhelmed, because she is taking ‘baby steps.’
“As women, we sometimes undervalue what we do every day,” says Zainab. “I began to look at my daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and taking care of family as acts of worship. I started to love doing those things and took pride in my purpose and role as the woman of my house. I was surprised that when I chose to take time for myself, read Quran daily, and spend time alone in worship, I could indeed do it all.”
Zainab plans to take more classes with Ribaat and continue the Montreal Joy Jots book club.