Student of the Month – January

Hanisah Lia Muhammad Salleh is a 38-year-old mom from Brunei Darussalam. She has two boys and works as a social media manager and content creator. She is also an Islamic parenting coach. Hanisah lived in Oman for 6 years but has been back in Brunei since 2020. Aside from her work and family commitments, Hanisah hosts workshops for parents and halaqaat for members of her local expat community.

In the summer of 2019, Hanisah became a student with the Ribaat Academic Institute. She was introduced to the program by her friend and Rabata’s Bosnian chapter’s lead Leila Anwar. 

“My first course was Quran Fluency 101,” recalls Hanisah, “and I have been hooked since. I was so mesmerized by the teachers that I wanted to [learn] more from them.”

According to Hanisah, Ribaat was the result of an answered prayer. She had always wanted to formally study the Islamic sciences but did not know where to start. 

“All it took was one summer course,” Hanisah shares. “My experience thus far has been nothing but amazing. From the courses to the volunteers to the administrators to the teachers, everything [about Ribaat] has changed my perspective in life. My heart is full of love for my religion, my soul is nourished, and my mind is full of knowledge. I feel like this after every class.”

Something important that Hanisah attributes to Ribaat is bringing back the tradition of female scholarship. She states that being able to interact with teachers who are women has given her the conviction to continue on her path to seeking sacred knowledge. 

With her ‘akhirah glasses’ on, Hanisah aspires to obtain her ijazah in memorization of the Quran through Ribaat and graduate with its religious leader certification.

In her spare time, Hanisah likes to knit, crochet and paint with watercolors. She is currently learning to sew and listens to true-crime podcasts to relax. As a visual learner, she tries to draw out the Quranic verses she is memorizing onto a table instead of a piece of paper. Hanisah would love to connect with anyone else who shares this unique learning style.

“I love Ribaat and all my teachers,” says Hanisah. “I can’t wait for the new semester to begin! Thank you to Ribaat for giving me this honor. I would love for every Muslim woman to feel how I feel as a Ribaat student.”

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