Ten years after embracing Islam, Kelly Darwish picked up a copy of the Holy Quran and cried. This was the first time that she was able to read Surat al-Fatiha in Arabic on her own.
“I have attended Arabic courses in the past, but nothing ever really clicked for me before Ribaat,” shares Kelly, who is a first year student with the Ribaat Academic Program. The stay-at-home mom of one boy recently heard about the program when Rabata board member Dr. Saadia Mian presented an inspirational talk on women in Islam at Kelly’s local mosque in Maine.
“It was a beautiful lecture that couldn’t have come at a better time for me,” recalls Kelly. “I was on a spiritual journey and was at a point where I wanted to dedicate my life to Allah and pursue Islamic studies. I also wanted to learn to read Arabic and Quran.”
Kelly joined Ribaat this summer for her first Arabic class and was immediately hooked, signing up for four more classes in the fall. She has excelled quickly, and her sincere efforts have already paid off. Now she plans on studying fulltime with the intention of obtaining the Murabbiyah ‘Alimah certification eventually.
“My goals are to be able to teach Islam to my own son and future children,” says Kelly, who also blogs online about her spiritual journey and life experiences. “I also hope that one day, Allah uses me as a tool to benefit others with the knowledge I obtain. I would love to go on to teach at an Islamic school as well as other women.”
Aside from Arabic, Kelly associates her recent spiritual growth to two other classes: Companions and Purification. She states that she was facing personal turmoil, and these classes were life changing for her. Kelly describes the experience thus far as if she has fallen in love with Islam all over again.
“I am so grateful for my teachers and what I have learned from them so far,” Kelly states. “I am so glad I found Ribaat. It has helped me in my own personal development by opening my senses. I enjoy learning about my faith more and more every day thanks to Ribaat.