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.
Long ago, scholars would travel far and wide to study from a scholar, hear a specific hadith, or sit and learn from gatherings of knowledge. Medina, Damascus, and Baghdad were some of the centers of knowledge which budding scholars would travel to in the early Hijri centuries so they could meet the notables of their time, join circles of knowledge, and learn as much as they could while they were there. This kind of travel was mainly undertaken by men, as travel was difficult, conditions were harsh, and roads unsafe.
In 19th century West Africa, Shaykha Nana Asma’u found a solution to this issue, with students coming to her to learn and returning to teach in their communities. She worked tirelessly to train women as teachers called “Jajis.” Some of these Jajis were older women, finished with the responsibilities of raising children and managing households, and others were young trainees, without home responsibilities to tie them down yet. Countless women around the world must have had similar ways of teaching and learning, much of it surely undocumented.
Closer to our time, young men and women from every continent would travel to a variety of destinations in the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, and the Middle East to learn Arabic, tajwid, and the Islamic sciences of hadith, fiqh, tafseer, seerah, aqidah, usul, and more. With the technologies of phones, cars, and planes, travel became easier for women, and many chose to study at an Arabic immersion program in places like Damascus, Cairo, Amman, and the Gambia. Others chose to take a gap year to live and learn their deen before moving on to the next phase of life, whether that be earning a degree, raising a family, or pursuing a career.
Nowadays, the internet has become the easiest way to search for knowledge, and it certainly has much to offer in terms of quenching that thirst. How authentic this knowledge might be is sometimes questionable, however, and a quick Google can easily return such confusing and contradicting results to turn a student away from seeking knowledge entirely.
Through Ribaat, we are offering a full curriculum of traditional sacred sciences to bring access to real, in-depth learning to female students of knowledge. If you are Muslim woman in search of scholarship who speaks English and has access to internet, your search ends here – and there is no need to travel to access it.
Engage in real-time classes with instructors who understand your world. Read books from verified sources, write assignments, conduct research, and sit for exams. Learn to reflect in deep and meaningful ways on the verses you read and the hadith you hear every day. Understand the words of the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad (s) in the language in which they were shared. Receive certification to teach and lead in your own community.
As you plan out your summer, do leave time to take advantage of the Ramadan high before it wanes. Whether staying home or traveling this summer, you can register in a summer course as a steppingstone along your path of scholarship and make learning part of your daily routine wherever you are in life and in the world.