For this year’s 2nd annual Ribaat Retreat, registrants were able to attend even if they were not Ribaat students yet. The condition was that they had to commit to signing up for a course for this Fall semester.
Alaa Mohammad of Wisconsin was one of the beneficiaries of this exception. She was introduced to the program through a local friend, who is a teacher and student of Ribaat. Prior to this, she had met Anse Tamara Gray at a convention, who told her about Rabata initially.
“I had a lot of passion to further my knowledge of Islam, and Anse Tamara presented Rabata to me with this amazing glow in her eyes,” recalls Alaa. “I was hooked from that moment and would catch recorded sessions of Anse’s talks whenever I could. I wanted more, though, and found what I was looking for at the Ribaat Retreat.”
At the all-women’s spiritual retreat, which took place at the Shire in the Woods in McGrath, Minnesota, Alaa was able to spend more time with Anse Tamara and the other Ribaat teachers, as well as connect with students and members of Rabata. She describes her experience as being part of a beautiful sisterhood and quickly registered herself into two classes shortly thereafter.
For Alaa, learning and teaching the deen has been a very intricate part of her life. Following the footsteps of her inspiring mother, who has been teaching Quran and Arabic for over 30 years, Alaa leads a Quran program in her community – for which she has developed the curriculum to help students grow a strong relationship with Allah. The psychology student is also working towards gaining inclusiveness for individuals with psychological and developmental needs in her local community.
With this same kind of sincerity and diligence, Alaa has been working hard in the Ribaat program.
“I feel so motivated not just in gaining knowledge but improving myself as a worshipper and servant of Allah,” Alaa shares. “Being with Ribaat has given me so much energy and helped me refocus my priorities. I used to think I wouldn’t have the time to accomplish everything. Now I feel like there is so much more blessing in my time and energy, Alhamdulillah.”
Alaa hopes to acquire her `Alimah certificate through Ribaat. She is even looking forward to the possibility of joining the Ribaat Master’s degree program in the near future.
“It’s such a personalized and convenient program, and I find it to be so empowering,” says Alaa. “My teachers begin their classes by personally greeting each individual. We are given the comfort and time to ask questions as they arise, attain clarifications, and make the acquired knowledge relatable. My experience thus far has been amazing. I am absolutely humbled by each and every one of my Ribaat sisters and am grateful to be among them.”