Study Circles

TARBIYA (Commitment)

MAS Tarbiya is the member development arm of the Muslim American Society (MAS). Tarbiya is an Arabic term that refers to the process of educating, nurturing, and developing individuals, groups, and societies. Tarbiya is a continuous positive influence that leads to growth in all aspects- intellectual, spiritual, and physical- and the development of skills, talent, and abilities.

Personal development is the hallmark of the MAS model. For MAS to be able to accomplish its mission, it needs to make sure those who are involved in accomplishing this mission are: a) in continuous personal development; and b) engaging those around them in personal development.

At the MAS Tarbiya Department, we are tasked with the responsibility of developing MAS members, empowering them with the necessary skills to carry out their work, and giving them the tools and knowledge to help those around them to develop and grow. All MAS members, teams, chapters, and leaders are engaged in such efforts.

The MAS Tarbiya Department coordinates the development efforts of close to 40 MAS chapters throughout the nation. In addition, the department contributes to the personal development of close to 1000 members annually, who in turn share their knowledge and skills with thousands of others.


Personal development is the hallmark of MAS and individual members are our most valued and strategic assets.  MAS Tarbiya Department is tasked with the responsibility of developing MAS members, giving them the tools and knowledge to develop and help others around them grow, and empowering them with the necessary skills to fulfill the MAS mission.

The word “Tarbiya” is an Arabic word that linguistically means increase, growth, and refinement. Conventionally, Tarbiya means the development and the training of people in various aspects. The word is commonly used to describe the upbringing of children as the parents provide them with physical, educational, moral and spiritual needs to help them grow and become useful members of society.

Tarbiya is the cornerstone of MAS comprehensive reform methodology, and this approach traces its origin to the Qur’an and to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as he invested a great deal of effort in Tarbiya for his companions. As a result of his efforts, he left not only a great message, the message of Islam, but he also left a great generation that carried the message and spread it all over the land and moved humanity from darkness to light.

MAS envisions that individuals will bring about real change in our society and therefore moving them towards the goal of constant self-development and development of those around them is absolutely essential.  MAS aspires to raise a generation of committed and disciplined Muslims who will spread the message of Islam and implement the Movement’s vision in all fields of Islamic work. In MAS Tarbiya means the systematic development and training of members and potential members. It is a continuous and comprehensive process of developing all aspects of the Muslim character/personality, i.e., spiritual, intellectual, moral, social, and physical.

The Tarbiya process goes beyond the level of individuals to the level of the group, trying to establish the elements of team spirit that Islam teaches such as love, brotherhood, and mutual trust.

What is the MAS Usra (Study Circle)?

This program is an opportunity to live Islam, renew your connection with Allah and give back to your community, all with the facilitation of a mentor.  It is a tool of self-development, and brotherly/sisterly bonding; an opportunity to challenge yourself and find ways of reconnecting with your Creator.

Participants meet on a weekly* basis to study Quran and Hadith meanings, the Seerah of the Prophet (pbuh), and other topics related to spirituality, community activism, and personal development. The small group setting allows everyone to get to know each other on a deeper level.  In addition, participants work together to identify a team project that will be a way of giving back to their community.  On a monthly basis, tarbiya experiences outside of the traditional usra meeting are designed to help members develop themselves in new ways (these may include monthly qiyam programs, local environmental clean-ups, team-building day trips, community activism initiatives). Attending all of these experiences is expected of Usra (Study Circle) members.

Interested in TARBIYA?

Step 1.  Become a member.

Step 2.  Fill out the Study Circle Interest Form 

Step 3. You will be Wait-listed until space is available. We will contact you as soon as we have an opening.

Highlighted Achievements

The MAS Tarbiya program reaches hundreds through its unique weekly development study groups. Groups of 5-8 members, usually with a mentor, meet on a weekly basis to develop their Islamic knowledge, strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, and give back to the local community through volunteer activities.  Group members develop a sense of belonging and accountability, and follow up with one another on assignments related to their personal development. This program acts as an intellectual, social, and spiritual support system for its members.

Goals of the MAS Tarbiya Program:

To help members reach their potential in five main qualities:

  1. Islamically-Oriented
  2. Lifelong Learner
  3. Bearer of the Message
  4. Exemplary Citizen
  5. Agent of Change

MAS Tarbiya Study Circles

One of the unique programs which MAS offers its members is an opportunity to be a part of an intimate study circle. These study circle opportunities are for those who are looking for a bigger commitment in their personal development and community activism. Because of limited space and resources, priority is given to MAS members and dedicated MAS DC volunteers. Sign up today for this unique program!

Cornerstones of the Program:

1. Community Service:   Community project chosen and executed by participants.

2. Knowledge-based curriculum: Qur’an, Hadith, Seerah, etc.

3. Reflections: Members present on topics of personal interests & development, current events, and raising awareness, etc.

4. Brotherhood/Sisterhood Taaruf: Team-building and Bonding.

5. Mentorship with group facilitator (one-on-one) .  Mentor spends time with each member helping them develop a personal goal of their own choosing.

6. Monthly Tarbiya Experiences: Every 4-6 weeks, activities outside of the regular usra meeting will take place with the goal of enriching our members in different qualities. These may include night-time prayer programs (qiyams), daytime team-building trips, environmental clean-ups, community service volunteer opportunities, etc.



Must be able to meet on a consistent basis, with 85% attendance rate (15% excused absence).


At the end of a session an evaluation of each member’s commitment will take place to determine continuation in program.

Practical Assignments: Attendees are expected to prepare for each session with practical assignments as well as readings and presentations.


Mentor will guide discussions, foster an atmosphere of brotherhood and encourage each member to reach his/her potential in terms of self-development and community development.

Community Service:

By the end of the first session, members will have identified a team project that they can work on, as a way of giving back to their community.

Due to limited resources, space is limited. Questions? Email [email protected].

Signature Projects

Annual Meeting:

This is an annual meeting that brings together MAS members from around the nation in order to exchange ideas, gain new skills, meet members from other chapters and plan for future projects and initiatives.

The Lighthouse Project:

MAS members receive the Lighthouse messages in the form of “episodes” on a quarterly basis.  These episodes encourage members to engage with the reading material, participate in local and national discussions, attend web seminars, and carry out practical assignments.

Personal Development Portal:

An online community that brings members together to exchange ideas, plan projects, research initiatives, and share resources.