Student of the Month – June

Lisa Nyabinghi, Ribaat Academic Institute’s June Student of the Month, embodies her gratitude to Allah ﷻ in all arenas of life. As she faced the reality of a life-altering health diagnosis with a dim prognosis, Lisa soon developed a deep consciousness of the control of her Lord, regardless of the claims of doctors. It is in the light of her gratitude for life and a sense of purpose that she serves others with such generosity and graciousness. A psychologist who specializes in grief counseling, Lisa focuses on serving BIPOCC (Black, Indigenous, People of Other Cultures and Colors) and Muslim clients, oftentimes at no-cost, hoping to make paths to healing accessible to all. Through her studies at Ribaat, she seeks to become the most beneficial version of herself to her community, children, and clients.

 While Lisa came to Islam many years ago, she found Rabata and Ribaat only recently, by the recommendation of another Muslim woman. In 2023, excited to find a program dedicated to female scholarship, Lisa registered for her first course in the fall and then, after resonating with the style and content, she registered for three courses in the spring. She refers to her time thus far with Ribaat to be humbling and rewarding, in awe of the expansive horizon of knowledge. She now hopes to pursue the Ribaat Scholar Certification. “I see her strength in her eyes, hear her strength in her words, and feel her strength in her spirit.  She is an inspiration to me and my journey in Islam,” Lisa says of Anse Dr. Tamara Gray. She senses a similarity in experiences navigating the struggles and successes of journeying with Islam. Through the course Fast & Friendly Fiqh: An Introduction to Worship Essentials, her favorite class so far, she found clarity and insight on her journey as a Muslim woman. She knows that continuing her studies will not only expand her knowledge but will impact how she interacts with the world, allowing her to pass what she learns to her two children and to those she so compassionately serves. She says that it will allow her to speak from a space of knowledge, facts, and a strong foundation. 

Born in Chicago and now residing in Charlotte, North Carolina, Lisa comes from indigenous roots from the Taino Indian nation in Puerto Rico. She keeps in close touch with her roots, maintaining an active association with her Yukayeke (Taino village or community), where she offers her tribal members therapy and counseling. She also loves to spend time in nature and homeschools her 14-year old daughter.

Lisa Nyabinghi serves as a beautiful example of living a life imbued with gratitude, navigating trials with the light of faith, certain in the perfect plan of her Lord. On reflecting on her studies, she shares, “I have learned on this educational path that you get out of it what you put into it.  You need to make a commitment to Allah ﷻ and learn all that He has presented for us. He has placed sisters along the way to assist and aid in our growth and it is up to us to take advantage of this opportunity.”

May she continue to serve and as she brings healing to others, may she find complete healing. May her studies be blessed and may she be a light of Islam wherever she goes.

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