As salaamu alaikum. I am Alimatunnisa Abdul Ghani, Alimah for short, and a Singaporean residing in Singapore. I was born into a Muslim family and studied in fulltime Islamic schools from kindergarten up until university level alhamdulillah.
I am a full-time Quranic and Islamic studies teacher in Singapore, and I also volunteer to help the female Muslim community here with their questions and concerns either as a speaker or an event coordinator.
In January 2017, I was in charge of accompanying Anse Tamara Gray and the other visiting Rabata sisters around Singapore during their brief stay here. I was so stunned by their amazingness that I had to register for Ribaat straight away. I immediately enrolled for that upcoming spring semester to continue benefiting from Anse Tamara.
Now I call myself a “Ribaat addict” and love every single class I have taken thus far. My experience has been amazing masha Allah. I really dread when Ribaat is off for break. If I have to take a class at odd hours of the night due to the time difference, I will. It is worth the small sacrifice of losing some sleep. However, having the class recordings as a back up is great as well.
I do get questioned why I joined Ribaat when I already have a degree in Islamic studies. I realize that the more I learn, the more I don’t know. There is really no end to seeking knowledge no matter how many times you learn and relearn the same things. There are always new things to absorb every time. Even if it is not new, there are still always a lot of benefits in doing revision.
Ribaat has also helped strengthen my guard against my nafs. It distracts me from things that lack me benefit and provides me with a beautiful, uplifting alternative instead. Ribaat keeps me grounded as well. I love the support and motivation I receive from the teachers and sisterhood, and it really has been helping me so much with my spirituality Alhamdulillah.
Throughout my 20+ years of learning Islam, I have always learned it in either Malay language or Arabic. With Ribaat, I am learning things in English, which is helping me get familiarized with many English terms related to the subject. In turn, my confidence is building to better communicate with the English-speaking Muslims here in Singapore and help them however possible.
Personally speaking, I am counting on Ribaat for my own spiritual growth and to help me do better da’wah work in my community. Through Ribaat, I am able to surround myself with good company and amazing female scholars. I aspire to gain that kind of scholarship one day inshaAllah. Allah is al-Kareem.