Dr. Anjum Ali is a mother of three and a biomedical engineer by profession. After having her third child, she decided to focus on family and take some time off of work. Once all her children began school full-time, Anjum was able to continue her passion for learning through the Ribaat Academic Program.
As a resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Anjum attended weekly halaqas but longed for the opportunity to expand her Islamic knowledge even further. Having been in academia for a large portion of her life, Anjum was keen on learning in a structured environment with regular assessments for better retention of material.
“I also desired to learn Arabic formally, so as to better understand what I was reading in the Quran and be able to teach my children our religion in a more meaningful way,” says Anjum, who came to the States from Mumbai, India, as a graduate student in 1999. “Then a few years ago, I met Ustadha Sana Mohiuddin in my local community. She happened to direct me to Ribaat. I looked up Anse Tamara Gray’s lectures and knew that this was the right place to start.”
Anjum states that her experience with the program has been a very positive one thus far. She appreciates the level of interaction between the students and the teachers and finds that to be as a motivation for her as she continues her studies. Anjum also likes the flexibility of being able to take classes from home and watch recordings as needed.
“That’s a lifesaver for moms like me!” exclaims Anjum, who is an avid reader and a history enthusiast. “Ribaat has thoroughly enriched my life academically as well as spiritually. The Arabic classes have improved my reading and understanding of the Quran, while the Islamic studies classes have made me appreciate my faith more as a conscientious Muslim. As for the sīra courses, they have helped open my eyes to the life of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the sacrifices that he and his companions made for Islam. I find my love for the Prophet (s) and his sunnah has increased significantly. It has made me more grateful to Allah (swt) to be blessed with this religion and the guidance to practice it. I am able to teach and answer questions that my children (ages 10, 7, and 6) ask about this faith and why we do things a certain way. The spiritual courses have enabled me to assess my relationship with my Creator and also with others in my sphere of influence. I have learned to better prioritize my time and resources towards service to Allah and His creation.”
In a single class, Anjum has found classmates from Malaysia, UK, Canada, Bosnia and beyond. She loves the ability to connect with so many different women from around the world and be able to listen and learn from their experiences and struggles.
“It makes one feel like she is not alone even when she may not have many Muslims nearby,” notes Anjum. “Just one class can make such a difference in one’s day, week, month and even life!”