Dedicated to the pillars of service and education, Soofia Ahmed has led teaching initiatives for street children in India, taught in UK Islamic schools, and has taught in both public and private schools in the USA. She has also spoken at Amnesty International, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and Islamic Society of North America conferences. She was one in sixteen American students to receive an internship regarding the promotion of religiously pluralistic mentalities through Interfaith Youth Core and was invited to the White House by Hillary Clinton as part of the Generation Change youth initiative. She was both volunteer and program coordinator for Indian Muslim Relief and Charities’ Summer Volunteer Program. She also facilitated “Humari Dunya,” an interfaith service initiative to India through Worldfaith. She was invited to Oprah Winfrey and Good Morning America shows to speak regarding issues of faith. Through her college, she received the prestigious Founder’s Day Medal of Honor and the Niebuhr Center’s Gandhi Internship for International Justice. In Scotland, she worked as the Black and minority ethnic lead support worker at Inverness Women’s Aid. She was Inverness Masjid’s coordinator of women’s, children’s and new Muslim affairs and outreach.
She graduated from Elmhurst College with honors, majoring in secondary education, English literature, and intercultural studies with a social justice focus and a middle school history teaching certification. She is pursuing an M.S. in project management. Soofia is currently a curriculum developer at Rabata and is the project lead for Rabata’s Leadership and Legacy educational campaign. She teaches the next generation of positive cultural change makers through Rabata’s Dragonflies and Rabateens youth programs.
Dr. Mona Islam has been deeply engaged with the American Muslim community on various levels for the past thirty years. Her greatest passions and areas of contribution lie in developing Muslim women and youth. She is an avid advocate of female scholarship. A committed lifelong learner, Islamic Studies teacher, and tarbiyya facilitator, she has studied under Dr. Yusuf Zia Kavaci and with Shaikha Dr. Hanaa Gamal closely, among many others.
She currently serves as vice president of the Multicultural Center in Houston, a leading humanitarian center, where she leads the Education Department. She has founded a girl scout troop which grew to over 160 members, and a co-founder of a boy scout troop which now has over 320 members in Southeast Houston. She regularly contributes to and publishes Islamic Studies books for high school and middle school level youth. During COVID she offered over 200 online sessions for youth which included teaching the Quran cover to cover twice, seerah, hadith sciences, and purification of the heart.
Dr. Islam holds a Masters in Educational Administration and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. She lives with her family and five children in Houston, Texas.
Hazel Gomez is a faith-based community organizer and student of the Islamic sciences. She is a Puerto Rican and Mexican Muslim convert of nearly 20 years hailing from Chicago’s westside and currently living in Detroit. Hazel’s passion for studying Islam was heightened while at Al-Azhar University with a delegation of Latino and Latin American Muslim students where they studied a myriad of the foundational Islamic sciences. She began volunteering at Rabata shortly thereafter and has been a Ribaat Academic Institute student since its inception. She teaches in the Rabata Dragonflies and RabaTEENS programs. She also has an ijazah in the Forty Hadith of Imam an-Nawawi.
Hazel is an avid reader of all things about Muslims in America and is interested in the research and creation of an authentic Latino Muslim experience. She also dedicates her time as a convert mentor, non-profit board member, and social justice trainer. Hazel graduated from Loyola University Chicago with double Bachelor’s degrees in Forensic Science and Biology. In 2021, she was named by the Center of American Progress as one of 21 faith leaders to watch: https://www.americanprogress.org/article/21-faith-leaders-watch-2021/
Tayyaba Syed is a multiple award-winning author, journalist, keynote speaker, and performer, and thus far, has conducted 150+ literary and faith-based presentations for a variety of schools, communities, and organizations both online and in-person.
She has written 20+ book titles for kids including Encyclopedia Britannica and has had bylines in numerous publications such as NPR, Chicago Parent, and Chicago Crescent. Her most recently published works include The Blessed Bananas, a children’s picture book, which has won 3 gold literary awards, and her newest board book Hafsa’s Kisses, winner of the Daybreak Book Award.
Tayyaba has traveled extensively sharing her love for reading and writing. She is known to be a fun storyteller, weaving great lessons and hearts into everything she does.
She has been a student and volunteer with Rabata since its inception in 2012. Tayyaba is the first graduating class to receive a teacher certification through the Ribaat Academic Institute in 2020 and offers many diverse classes online. For the last decade, Tayyaba has been leading a local women’s halaqah to bring traditional knowledge and a sense of belonging to over 100 moms just like her. In 2021, Tayyaba was elected with the most votes as a member of her local public school district’s Board of Education. She works as a curriculum writer for Monarch Academy and lives with her husband and three children in Illinois, where she enjoys being outdoors, exploring nature, and volunteering in her free time.
Qurat Mir studied Tajwid in Damascus, Syria, and received her ijaza to teach the Hafs recitation in 1999 from the late Syrian scholar, Shaikh Abu Hassan Mohiuddin al-Kurdi. She also studied Biology & Chemistry at the University of Missouri, earned B.S.N. and R.N. degrees from Rockhurst University and The Research College of Nursing, respectively, and is currently an M.A. candidate in Education from the University of Central Missouri. Qurat has been an active member of the Muslim community in her home town of Leawood, KS, in Boston, MA, and now in Northern Virginia. She established a home schooling & enrichment consultancy, New Cordoba LLC, and she is a founding member and currently serving on the board of Rabata, an organization dedicated to the building of spiritual ties between women, the spiritual upbringing of women by women, and the establishment of the female voice in scholarship.
Dr. Saadia Mian is board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. After completing an undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Michigan, she went to medical school at Michigan State University.
During this time she went to Syria to study Arabic, Quran and sacred knowledge. She received her Ijaza in the Hafs recitation from Shaykh Abu Hassan Al-Kurdi (May Allah swt be pleased with him) and also from Shaykh Raji Krayyim. She completed the memorization of the Quran and is currently working on obtaining an ijaza al-ghaib (ijaza in memorization). She helped to launch the Ribaat Quran program and teaches tajwid for Ribaat.
She is a member of the founding board of Rabata and continues to serve while working full-time as an endocrinologist. She is also a member of AACE (American Association Clinical Endocrinologists, Endocrine Society, and Women Physicians for Humanity. In her free time she likes to volunteer for medical mission.
Sonia Cader is a practicing Surgical Oncologist in Vancouver, Canada. She has an undergraduate degree in kinesiology, and received her medical training in Vancouver, Edmonton and Chapel Hill.
She studied intermittently in Syria from 2001-2005 and obtained an ijaza in the Hafs recitation from the late Shaykh Abu Hassan Al-Kurdi in 2005. She currently teaches Tajwid for the Ribaat Qur’an program in addition to heading the marketing division of Rabata, and serving on the board.
She enjoys traveling, fiction, movies and taking Ribaat classes.
Maryam Salman spent time in Damascus during the late nineties studying Arabic, Shafi’i jurisprudence, Quran and Sacred Knowledge. She completed the memorization of the Qur’an and received an ijaza in Qur’anic recitation from the late Syrian scholar, Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Kurdi. She is actively involved in teaching both privately and in classroom settings to women, teenagers and children. She continues her Islamic studies at the Ribaat Academic Institute and teaches a Tajwid class for Ribaat. She graduated with a degree in early childhood and elementary education and resides in Chicago with her husband and three children
Dr. Nazneem Wahab is a Cardiologist with clinical specialties in Echocardiography and Obstetrical Cardiology. In addition to her full-time practice, she is an educator for Adult Cardiology and Echocardiography fellows, medical and surgical residents, medical students, and practicing physicians. Dr. Wahab has a Master’s degree in Global Health in Non-Communicable Diseases. She is involved in collaborations focused on providing impactful education and effective healthcare strategies for low and middle-income countries.
Dr. Wahab has been involved with Rabata since the organization’s inception and is a student of the Ribaat Academic Program. She is an advocate for women’s education at all levels of scholarship. She firmly believes in the vital role of empowered and educated women in establishing healthy and successful families and in developing inspired and industrious societies.
Born to convert parents, Safiyyah Salaam was raised in Alabama, where her family and Muslim community instilled in her a thirst for community development and social justice. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama in Birmingham where she was fortunate to study abroad in Mexico and eventually earned her Bachelor’s in Spanish. After briefly teaching abroad, she returned to the States and obtained her Master’s in Education (Collaborative Teaching) from Auburn University Montgomery.
She has taught Special Education in Georgia and Alabama and currently teaches English as a Second Language to students from over 10 different countries in one of the largest urban school districts in America. She has been a Ribaat student and volunteer since its inception in 2013. In addition, she has coordinated and led a local upbringing program for Muslim girls ages 6-9. Currently, she serves as an instructor for Ribaat while she aspires to complete her ijaza in tajwid, her studies with Ribaat, and further da’wa in America. She is a wife and proud mother of three daughters who she hopes will carry on in the tradition of learning and disseminating Islam.