Justice advocate by day, Ribaat student by night. Kamilah Pickett, inspired by her faith, leverages her degrees in Public Health and Law to uplift underserved communities throughout the nation with her policy work, racial equity consulting, youth special needs advocacy, and so much more. Along with these efforts, she can also be found contributing to numerous noble endeavors around the country in the pursuit of justice, such as Believers Bail Out. In the midst of these pursuits and possibly even inspired by it, Kamilah longed for a more formal way of Islamic learning.
After hearing continuous passionate testimonials from colleagues and friends, Kamilah decided to register for her first Ribaat class in Fall of 2021. Over the past two and a half years, Kamilah covered the full scope of Ribaat classes – from Arabic to Tajwid to Islamic Sciences. With each of the Anisaat impacting her in different ways, she finds they all helped foster her love of Qur’an and the Prophet (s) and learning for the sake of Allah (swt).
She reminisces about her first class with Anse Samah, in which Anse said that there are two types of people who will not learn: the one who is arrogant (because they will assume they know) and the one who is shy (because they will not ask). This perspective shift in producing a learning environment steeped in humility and curiosity struck Kamilah as a whole new experience compared to the world of academia. This new experience spilled over into other classes, such as Anse Shehnaz’s Hadith class, where Kamilah appreciated Anse Shehnaz’s prioritization of quality over quantity. Anse encouraged students to really reflect on each hadith and to identify its application to their lives. She still finds herself connecting back to these sayings and finding their relevance in her current realities.
Ribaat offered a breath of fresh air for Kamilah, who shared the limitations she found growing up in America with limited access to female scholarship and learning for young girls. While her brother, may Allah have mercy on him, could attend hifdh school, Kamilah’s mother struggled to find the same opportunities for her daughter. She found local teachers to help and Kamilah studied in different spaces over the years, but never found the level of structure and intentionality that she now has in Ribaat.
Kamilah’s mother, a convert, yearned for her children to be raised as Muslims and sought out learning spaces for them. Now, decades later, Kamilah hopes to pursue the Tajwid Ijazah, the Forty Hadith Ijazah and the Scholar Certification, inshaAllah, through Ribaat. One cannot help but believe that Kamilah is living inside the answered prayer of her mother.
Learn more about Ribaat Academic Institute at ribaat.rabata.org