Ribaat Blog

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:

Student of the Month – June

Many of the women at a local halaqa that Rukshana attends have taken classes with Ribaat and recommended the program to her. Two years ago, Rukshana officially became a student herself with Ribaat. Her focus has been Quran and Tajwid classes and has found the experience to be wonderful.

In Search of Scholarship

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.

Student of the Month – May

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.

The Power of Du’a

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!