September 2020 Ribaat Student of the Month – Alaa Abdeldaiem
Born and raised in Crown Point, Indiana, Alaa Abdeldaiem is a graduate of Indiana University – Purdue with dual degrees in Journalism and Psychology. She has worked for numerous publications including the Muslim Youth of North America. After graduation, Alaa began her career in sports journalism in New York. She will be starting her Master’s in Social Work and Non-Profit management at the University of Chicago this fall. For the last year, she has also been a student with the Ribaat Academic Program after going to Hajj with Anse Tamara Gray in 2019.
“Being a Ribaat student has been a transformational experience for me,” shares Alaa, who attributes much of her inspiration to her teachers and classmates.” Even when I can’t attend classes live, I sit and listen to recordings and feel like I’m being cleansed. The character, demeanor, and advice of the teachers seems like I’m reuniting with a loved one – all from the comfort of my home. Everyone should take advantage of this opportunity, and I am so thankful for it.”
Before joining Ribaat, Alaa states that she was not someone who actively pursued Islamic knowledge. She attended the occasional conference or camp, listened to online lectures every now and then, but never made the intention to learn beyond that. After meeting Ribaat students at Hajj, Alaa saw a new meaning to being ‘akhirah-minded.’
“Ribaat has changed me,” Alaa says. “I truly feel like I see the world in a different lens now. Everything I do, every decision I make, it’s rooted with the akhirah in mind. I feel like I have direction now and know what I should be prioritizing in my life: my Creator. May Allah keep us on His path and grant us steadfastness and sincerity in our endeavors towards Him.”
Alaa hopes to use this knowledge to practice her faith better and ultimately become a well-rounded Muslim. She will continue exploring the many subjects Ribaat offers like Fiqh, Sira, and Tafsir as a resource for herself, the youth she mentors, and her own future children in sha Allah.
“I want to create a household that exudes Islam and the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon him) teachings in every single facet of life,” states Alaa. “I also want to go about making change in the world with that same frame of reference, knowing that the path I am walking is one that would please Allah and His Messenger. None of that is possible without knowledge. Ribaat is one of the few programs I wholeheartedly recommend to any woman who is seeking spiritual illumination. It’s nothing short of life-changing, and I pray Allah allows many more to change their lives through Ribaat and blesses all its teachers and volunteers.”
Alaa loves to read and write. She is a big sports fan, enjoys good company, and likes to make new recipes. She also likes to see things neatly organized – whether at home or on a spreadsheet for work.