Student of the Month – October

Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Rabia Nagda moved to Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of 14. She immigrated in pursuit of a higher education. She now lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and three children. Along with her family obligations, Rabia works as a pediatrician and regularly speaks in her local community on topics regarding parenting, nutrition, and improving mental health in teens. She serves on the Texas Committee for Nutrition and Health and is working with other volunteers to provide easy access to health and nutrition for more pediatricians in the state. 

New Beginnings

Here we are at the start of a new season, a new academic year. The summer can be a fun and crazy season, with travel, trips, and visitors. Here at Rabata, the summer was full of beautiful gatherings and inspiring achievements. With the Ribaat Retreat, we had a gathering of beautiful souls, Ribaat students, teachers, and volunteers in one place learning, growing and worshiping together.

Student of the Month – September

Amina Wasi currently resides in Bentonville, Arkansas, and grew up in Toronto, Canada. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science and has worked as an educator at an Islamic school for several years. She is in the process of pursuing her master’s degree in Information Systems Security but is taking a break as a new mom. Amina became a student with the Ribaat Academic Institute in 2020 when she began her journey with the Ribaat Tajwid Program. 

But Why Arabic?

“But isn’t this what is stated in the Quran?” “But isn’t this a hadith?”
I hear this type of question all the time, with someone citing a verse of Quran or hadith in English Most often the translation being cited is inaccurate, incomplete, or downright incorrect. An extremely uncomfortable situation, to which I find myself needing torespond: you really need to learn Arabic. I can translate this for you, but I will never be able to give you the full understanding of the true meaning and beauty of that phase.

Student of the Month – August

Born and raised in Michigan, Amani Hamdallah eventually moved to Ohio after marriage, where she still resides. The mother of four is of Yemeni descent and has been a student with the Ribaat Academic Institute since 2019. She had been hearing of the program for a while, but it was not easy for her to join. Amani had been putting it off because she thought she could not balance her home and family life with her studies. Once she became a student, she quickly realized otherwise.

Faith & Action

In the last edition of the Ribaat newsletter, I wrote about the creed of Islam, la ilahailla Allah. This is the first pillar of Islam: belief, and testifying to this belief forms the door to enter into Islam. This makes one a Muslim (one who accepts Islam), but how can we graduate to the next level of becoming a mu’min (a true believer)? How can we enrich and beautify both our inner beliefs and our outer actions?

Student of the Month – July

Heather Elsayed is currently living in Houston, Texas, and was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is an entrepreneur, a certified fitness instructor, and spiritual life coach with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing and minor in Women’s Studies. Heather volunteers to teach fitness and nutrition to senior women as well as provide a variety of personal growth workshops for teen girls and women. She also offers interfaith workshops for a safe space of learning and asking questions.

The Glorious Unity of Lā ilāha illā Allāh

Recently I was asked to give a talk on ʿaqīdah. I turned it over and over in my mind and after thinking it through I asked to speak on a different topic. ʿAqīdah is the foundational study of creed or faith, and while I find my faith deeply rooted in my mind and heart, I didn’t think that I had a whole hour of things to say about it. My faith is summed up in the hadith of the Prophet (s) when a companion asked, “Tell me something in Islam which I will not ask anyone other than you,” and he (s) replied: