Student of the Month – March

Aalia Siddiqui was born in Pakistan and moved to the States right after high school. She settled in Illinois, where she started a family and her career. The mom of two grown kids has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and started her own consulting business. She now lives in Atlanta and is captivated by its warm weather and people. She has volunteered with many humanitarian Islamic organizations. Aalia also spends a considerable amount of time in New Jersey helping her youngest sister take care of their mother. She holds a Master’s degree in Leadership and Coaching and is a certified life coach, having expertise in Islamic scripture and social/emotional intelligence research. 

In the summer of 2019, Aalia was searching for an Islamic retreat and stumbled upon the Ribaat Retreat. She had never heard of the organization or taken a class before but decided to attend. She instantly fell in love. Since becoming student, Aalia has already taken 12 classes. 

Like many students, Aalia feels inspired by Dr. Tamara Gray’s energetic and engaging style, while she also appreciates the different styles, personalities and methodologies of the Ribaat teachers in helping students understand the class material. From PowerPoint presentations, charts, and tables to fluid conversations, Ribaat celebrates the diversity in today’s female scholars.

Recently, Aalia’s life changed drastically after her husband suffered a brain injury in an accident. She has taken on a caregiver role for him as well as having to fend for their economical wellbeing.

“Ribaat classes are like a lifeboat in this storm that I am weathering,” Aalia says. “Learning is a major yearning of mine, and it is being met beautifully with Ribaat. ‘School’ is the only thing that keeps me going these days.”

Aalia plans to pursue the Ribaat Teacher’s Certificate and eventually a Religious Leader Certification, from which she wants to eventually apply all this knowledge to a doctorate program. Her other interests include exploring, traveling, swimming and eating out. She loves to learn about many topics such as history, psychology, neuroscience, existentialism and sociology and enjoys reading and crafts. Aalia states that dawah is a way of being and how she presents herself to others: as a proud Muslim woman.

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