During Women’s History Month we honor our predecessors and now that the end of the month is upon us, I would like to honor some of the women that help make Rabata the amazing organization it is.
To be clear, there are hundreds of women working to further the goals of creating community, developing scholars, and deepening spiritual lives, and while I do not have the space to mention each one by one, I know that their names are written with the One who Knows and rewards. I say to all of you, thank you for reaching out, thank you for working hard, thank you for your secret donations, thank you for your heartfelt devotion to this work. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work, because no single person works alone and anything I do is because of you.
The women I am highlighting today make up our board of directors (in alphabetical order).
Pharmacist by training, Anam has been our ‘Jane of all trades’. She is willing to jump into any project and pick up the slack. Her contributions to Daybreak Shop, the Rabata website, and Rabata events have been numerous over the past years. Anam is pursuing her certification in Islamic studies, Arabic and Quran through Ribaat. She is thoughtful, energetic and ready for action!
Eamaan is the sweat, blood and tears behind Ribaat Academic Program. She works tirelessly to ensure that the program is of educational benefit to our students, that our teachers are cared for and our large admin staff supported. Eamaan is working toward a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, works as a 4th grade classroom teacher in Dubai, and is fully bilingual in Arabic and English. Her Islamic studies began in Syria and continue in Dubai and in Ribaat classes. Eamaan has an eye for detail, a soft heart, and a busy brain!
With a Master’s degree in business, Maryum watches over the non-profit goings-on of Rabata. Maryum studied in Syria, received her ijaza in the Hafs recitation of Quran, and is active in her local Flint community. She is a woman of vision, loyalty and laughter.
Najiyyah Diana Maxfield:
Author of Sophia’s Journal and editorial director of Daybreak Press, Najiyyah encourages new authors, builds community in the press and publishing worlds, and gives rise to women’s voices! Najiyyah teaches creative writing for Ribaat and is pursuing her certificate in Islamic studies, Arabic and Quran through Ribaat as well. She is creative, enthusiastic and ready to empower everyone she meets!
Maryam is a quiet powerhouse. She spent years studying in Syria, is Hafitha and has her ijaza in the Hafs recitation of Quran. Maryam is a born organizer. She organizes our conferences, takes care of our website, and teaches tajweed for Ribaat. Maryam studied early childhood and elementary education and has worked as a teacher. She is serene, confident, and (it seems to me) capable of carrying and organizing the entire globe!
Qurat is a clear thinker. She also studied in Syria and has her ijaza in the Hafs reading of the Quran. Qurat is a trained nurse and has worked tirelessly in her local Islamic schools as a teacher and support person for years. She is an Arabic teacher in her community and a visionary for Rabata. Qurat is our thinker. She connects the dots and points us in the right direction. She is deliberate, devoted and cares deeply about the work.
Saadia Mian is deeply devoted to the work of Rabata. She is a Hafitha of Quran, has her ijaza in the Hafs recitation of Quran and studied in Syria for years. She is also seeking certification in Islamic studies and Arabic through Ribaat. Dr. Mian is a practicing endocrinologist with an interest in natural interventions. She is a speaker, writer and activist for women’s issues in Muslim communities and in medicine. Saadia is bright, thoughtful and always ready to join the forces of good.
Sonia is a spirited energizer. She has her ijaza in the Hafs reading of the Quran, and studied in Syria. Sonia is a surgical oncologist and is passionate about the workings of the human body. Dr. Cader is also pursuing her certification in Islamic studies and Arabic through Ribaat. She motivates and organizes our marketing team and supports Rabata projects in many other ways. Sonia is dynamic, sharp and willing to work grueling hours to get projects done.
These women come together in an attempt to create positive cultural change, give rise to women’s voices, and bring women together in order to live in the shelter of one another. I am also a board member and am honored to work with each of these women. They are devoted to their religion, seek rich worship experiences, and care deeply about the future of Islam in our communities and in the youth.
Today, as March shuts its door and we move into spring, I ask Allah in His glory to bless these women, the time they spend, the money they give, and the effort they pour into the work. I pray that they will find every 24 hours turning into 48, their pockets overflowing and their spirits and bodies strong. I am proud of the work they do and now I present them to all of you – so you can be proud, too.
Happy Women’s History Month, and may all of us leave a legacy of leadership and light.