July 2020 Ribaat Student of the Month – Salwa Barhumi
Salwa Barhumi is a Chicago native who has been in Tampa, Florida, for the last 6 years. She is the mom of two kids (ages 7 and 4) and volunteers with her local Muslim community to help facilitate spiritual gatherings of knowledge and worship for women. She also works with a specific organization that helps empower Muslim women by supporting existing local nonprofits.
Alongside all this, Salwa has been a student with Ribaat since its inception in 2012. Over the last year, however, Salwa has greatly improved her efforts to complete her classes and now hopes to work towards the teaching certification.
“Ribaat has transformed me from being a ‘passive’ Muslim to an ‘active’ one,” shares Salwa, who enjoys walks, drinking tea, and reading books in her free time. “I have not found another program like this that offers courses, tarbiyah [upbringing] and worship programs. You end up gaining a sense of belonging amongst women that transcends culture, age, language, socioeconomic status, and interests.”
From early childhood to high school, Salwa attended Islamic school. She feels her transition into adulthood is smoother now, though, due to what she is learning through Ribaat.
“Initially, I would audit my Ribaat classes as a dose of weekly inspiration,” Salwa recalls. “However, once I completed my doctorate program, I realized I should dedicate the same amount of time to my Islamic studies.”
Going forward, Salwa hopes to use the knowledge she gains to help others leave lasting legacies and bring confidence and substance to their daily lives with practical, deep faith. She attributes much of her own growth to her Ribaat teachers.
“These women give so much of their love, care, and tenderness to us,” Salwa says about her experience with her teachers thus far. “They don’t just transfer their knowledge to us, but they raise us and advise us, making themselves accessible to their students. It’s an unmatched educational experience that molds us into better Muslim women. I advise anyone to begin with just one Ribaat course, even as an audit. There is always time; it’s just a matter of making it a priority.”
Salwa would also like to add the following disclaimer: Ribaat classes are extremely addictive. Once you take one, you just can’t stop!