Student of the Month – February

As salaamu alaikum. My name is Maisarah Skaka, and I'm 33 years old. I am half
Australian and half Malaysian and have lived in many different places around the world,
but Sarajevo is the place I call home. I have four children and am a homemaker by profession. In today’s world of pursuing careers, being a housewife and mother is not always seen as valuable. Although it is a daily struggle, I take pride in being of service to my family and taking care of our home. I’m truly grateful to be able to take classes through Ribaat as a homemaker.

I have been a student of Ribaat since 2012. I took Anse Tamara’s first pilot class
on the Companions, and since then have taken several classes on and off. Alhamdulillah it has been an amazing journey. I love how the classes are really practical and heart-focused, rather than being too intellectual or in the head as a lot of Islamic scholarship often is. I love the fact that the assigned homework is practical in nature – things like smile more this week, give charity, kiss someone on the forehead, and send a gift to your mother. It’s real knowledge put into action, not just acquiring information for
informations sake.

The experience has definitely been life changing for me. At a time when I had
young children and no options locally to learn Islam, Ribaat has been a source of constant light. The sisterhood is also a great bonus. It brings together women from all over the world. In addition, Ribaat has helped me to bridge a huge gap in my life of knowing a lot of theory or information without really transforming me as a person.

Since education is my passion, I initially started out with Ribaat simply to be sure
of my own Islamic education. I wanted to properly pass on the knowledge I learned to my children. I have since developed a dream and vision of opening a community school here in Sarajevo, and so my studies with Ribaat are a big step in that direction.

I hope to complete the Islamic Studies certification program to have a really
strong foundation in the Islamic Sciences. There really is no limit to where you can go
with Ribaat, I’ve also recently begun the first level in the Quran, and there are amazing
opportunities to learn tafsir, tajwid, complete a khatm and even pursue Quran
memorization. I would even love to begin their Arabic program too, and one day be able
to read texts in Arabic.

Yes, I have struggled to complete my courses for several years, and at one point
stopped registering out of the shame of not completing them. However, Anse Tamara was always so encouraging, and she said not to worry about not finishing but just to begin. Every semester she would tell everyone to register. So, after many years of not being able to complete the courses, I feel so blessed to have had the support and encouragement not to give up. Keep your focus to be progress not perfection. It's all part of the journey. Alhamdulillah, Ribaat has been such a blessing, and I hope it continues to grow and flourish.

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