Heather Mahmoud joined Rabata only two years ago, but her impact and presence can be seen in many of its spaces. Heather started classes with Ribaat in Spring of 2021 with a student-favorite, PUR 101: Training the Tongue, Purifying the Heart with Anse Marah. She credits this course as the catalyst for the best Ramadan of her life in 2021 and determined herself to pursue the Teacher Certification, insha’Allah.
As the daughter of an Army officer, she spent much of her youth moving states, and following in the footsteps of her father, Heather too went into service. After graduation, she joined the Coast Guard for 10 years and 10 months, and finally settled in her last placement: North Carolina. Living in Cary, Heather now works as a Human Resources Technician for the state, is a mother to two, and still finds time for her many roles at Rabata and in the community.
Embracing Islam just over seven years ago, Ribaat and Rabata have given her a safe and loving space to grow. In hopes of providing that same experience for others, Heather decided to launch the Rabata Chapter in Raleigh where sisters can connect and serve their community. She continues to take classes with Ribaat, finding value and benefit in each, sharing how Allah guided her to each Anse when she needed their lessons the most.
Ribaat opened Heather’s eyes to female scholarship. Learning from amazing women and witnessing many peers on this path, she is excited about the rising tide of female scholarship for the next generation. Understanding the current challenges we face, she sees the opportunity this tide provides in preparing women to stand as positive role models for our children.
On reflecting on her time with Ribaat and Rabata, Heather shares: “Anse Tamara has changed my life forever for the better with the creation of Rabata. Anse Marah opened my heart and eyes to lessons of purification that led to the best Ramadan I ever had in 2021. Anse Farhana has shown me what true patience and gentleness look like. Anse Fadiyah was my first Halaqa teacher through the most difficult year of my life and holds such a huge place in my heart.”
When not taking classes, Rabateering, or working, Heather can be found outdoors in nature, exploring ice cream shops, and reading. We pray for her path and continued studies as she pursues her certifications, and that Allah ta’ala continues to strengthen her as a positive agent of cultural change.
Learn more about Ribaat Academic Institute at ribaat.rabata.org