Student of the Month – March

As salaamu alaikum.

 

My name is Fozia Bashir. I am from Union City, California, and am a first-time mom of a

2-year- old boy. Until recently, I worked as a Geographic Information System (GIS)

Analyst but now spend more time at home with my son.

 

I have been a Ribaat student for several years. I took my first class with Ribaat

back in the Fall of 2013. The very first class I took was Companions.

When I started practicing Islam back in 2012, I used to attend a weekly women’s

halaqa with Dr. Rania Awad in Fremont. She mentioned the Ribaat program to us. One

thing led to another, and I decided to sign up. That same year I had the opportunity to go

for hajj, and it was the beginning of an amazing transformative spiritual journey for me.

 

I love that I get to learn from these powerhouse women with all sorts of

backgrounds and accomplishments. My teachers are amazing homemakers and

professional women. They completely understand that we women are constantly wearing

different hats, but they emphasize maintaining and solidifying our relationship with Allah

first and foremost. The Ribaat classes are tailored to build this amazing relationship with

our Lord. This program has been a source of deep peace and blessings in my life.

Through Ribaat, I have found other great resources like the tahajjud WhatsApp

threads, the Pilgrims at Home worship competition, and the monthly women’s halaqa

with Anse Tamara Gray. Ribaat empowers women with all these various programs to

become women of worship and spiritual connection with Allah (SWT).

 

I truly believe that we women need this reserve of spiritual energy since so many

people depend on us every day. Without a strong bond with our Creator and a deep

conviction in our faith, it can all seem very overwhelming. Looking back, I used to

struggle with wearing hijab for the longest time. Once I heard Anse Tamara say in one of

her talks that the hijab shows that you are a woman of God. From that moment on, I have

wanted to be a woman of God.

 

Thanks to Ribaat, I also now have a serious love and yearning for the Quran. I

took the Juzu’ ‘Amma class back in 2014 with Anse Tamara Gray. I was paired up with a

tajwid teacher, and it was a very tough experience for me. I was disappointed in myself

knowing that I had let my abilities to read and recite the Quran dwindle so much over the

years. After completing the course, I found a very patient Quran teacher and started

working on my reading.

 

During this time, I became a first-time mom. I had been toying with the idea of

memorizing some portions of the Quran for a while but never thought I could do it. With

the birth of my son, I would read Surah Mulk to him and the light from my phone really

bothered him. So I decided to memorize it, which took about 2 to 3 months. As a mom of

a newborn, I had never been more tired in my life. However, all the advice of being

a woman of Quran that I learnt from my Ribaat teachers kept me going. My very amazing

Quran teacher encouraged me every step of the way and never allowed me to quit. Once I

memorized that surah, I wanted to do more. I was still working as a GIS Analyst then,

too, but kept doing one or two verses a day. I was able to memorize some more surahs

and now am working on putting all of Juzu’ ‘Amma to memory.

Never in a million years would I have thought I could do this if it was not for

 

Ribaat and my inspirational teachers. I am keeping my goals reachable doing a little bit at

a time but hope to be able to memorize a lot more over time.

I am really praying that Ribaat starts a Master’s program, so I can take my Islamic

studies to the next level insha Allah. I would love to be amongst the first batch of

graduates from such an elite program.

 

I advise each of you to take a class, any class, join a worship thread, or sponsor a

student and be a part of the revolution. Even if you cannot complete a course or attend

live, just having these empowering women sharing their spiritual knowledge will make

you closer to Allah. Little by little, you will see the impact in your life. What you learn

will surprise you and will bring a deep sense of peace in this maddening world.

 

After becoming a mother, I really needed all the calming wisdom of my female

teachers. They understood exactly what I was going through and always acknowledge

moms of young children. They get it, since they have been there, too. Ribaat has

made motherhood less lonely for me and has really inspired me to be a role model for my

son. I imagine a world of spiritually strong Muslim women raising the next generation of

Muslims. It gives me goose bumps. Ribaat is a revolution in the lives of ordinary Muslim

women like myself.

 

May Allah reward everyone involved in this endeavor, and may Ribaat continue

to thrive and offer more and more programs so women like me can continue to better

their relationship with God and others.

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