As we are all coming off the Ramadan high that was the peak of our spiritual year, many of us are searching for ways to hold on to the progress we made. And while we may not be able to keep up the steady level of worship we had in the blessed month, we can now turn to our studies and focus our energies there.
Shannon Zapata went from knocking on doors as a Jehovah’s Witness to accepting Islam in 2015. A Puerto Rican single mom to a 12-year-old son, Shannon resides in Teaneck, New Jersey, and works as a school nurse for the New York City Department of Education.
At the start of the pandemic, Shannon was looking for a safe online space to continue learning about her faith and began taking classes with Ribaat in 2020. She had originally heard Dr. Tamara Gray speak at a convert conference and liked her ‘real-world application of Islam’ and how down-to-earth she seemed.
I was plagued with worry about ending up alone in this life. Subhanallah, every time I think of this du’a now it gives me a little giggle. After a few years of consistently, diligently making this du’a all through Ramadans, taraweeh prayers, fasting du’a and night prayers, the world changed in a way no one could have expected. It started with chat rooms and email, then messenger, Skype, and Facebook, followed soon after by Whatsapp, Instagram, and Twitter. For a decade or more now, I have found myself virtually surrounded with people near and far, and I am never left alone for a moment. This has its upside and downsides, but to me it is on a very large scale the answer to a very fervent du’a. I have not been alone for a moment for years on end!
Aqsa Akram was born and raised in New Jersey, where she still resides in a multi-generational home with her parents, brother, sister-in-law, nephew and niece. She works as a Health …
Throughout our lives, we all come upon seasons, changes, and new situations for which we need to be prepared. Today, we are nearly at the midpoint of Sha’ban, and have just over two weeks to prepare for Ramadan. This is the month in which the Quran was revealed, the month in which there is a night that is “better than a thousand nights”, and a month in which the Prophet (s) tells us that fasting its days and spending its nights in worship can wash away our sins.
Javon Graham is a new convert to Islam, converting in July 2021. By profession, she works as an accountant and greatly cherishes her family and friends. She enjoys learning about Islam and has been a student with the Ribaat Academic Institute for over a semester. Javon was introduced to the program through a friend, who she considers her sister in Islam.
Ida Nitter grew up in a town on the western coast of Norway but has spent most of her adult life in the United States. She moved to the Twin Cities back in 2009 for college and has done some travels for further studies including overseas to Cairo, Egypt. Currently, Ida is a full-time doctorate student in modern Islamic history, so writing is her main priority right now.