September 2018 – Walia Wahid

Walia Wahid has always been an active volunteer in her community, as service is
an important factor in her life. She was highly involved with multiple non-profit
organizations in Toronto and continued her volunteer work after moving to northern
California. She takes on different roles and projects, many of which require working with
In 2013, while working on one such project for a women’s conference in the Bay
Area, she learned about Rabata and its academic program Ribaat from the guest speaker
Anse Tamara Gray.
“When Anse Tamara spoke about Rabata, I instantly knew this was a program I
wanted to join,” recalls Walia, who is the mom of a sweet toddler named Hafsa. “I was in
a new phase of my life after getting married, graduating, and moving to a new country
and found myself desiring spiritual growth. I knew I had to seek traditional knowledge if
I wanted to start that growth process, but I didn’t know how or where to start.”
According to Walia, she was in the right place at the right time when she met
Anse Tamara and learned about Ribaat. Walia states that it was exactly what she was
looking for in terms of at-home accessibility and learning from qualified female scholars.
She signed up the very next semester and has been diligently taking courses ever since.
“Ribaat has completely changed my life in the last four years,” shares Walia.
“Prior to Ribaat, I had spent my life working towards my secular degrees, but I didn’t
really know much about Islam. I wore the hijab and prayed 5 times a day but didn’t
understand my faith. For 23 years of my life, I did not learn how to read the Quran and
finally learned after taking Introduction to Arabic with Ribaat.”
Through the help of the Ribaat Academic Program, Walia hopes to develop a
thorough understanding of Quranic Arabic, receive certification in the recitation of
Quran, and gain the confidence and expertise to teach her children and community about
Islam. She wants to continue working to bring people together in faith and feels stronger
spiritually since embarking on this path of knowledge.
“You know what you are learning has a sound chain going back all the way to
Prophet Muhammad (s),” Walia says. “You build a sense of sisterhood with your
classmates and develop a close relationship with your teachers. It is absolutely amazing
to have access to incredible, knowledgeable women, who are willing to answer any
question you may have and guide you to goodness. I pray that Allah brings immense joy
and openings for you out of Rabata and Ribaat as it has for me.”

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