Lighted by Islamic radiance
Enhancing Ibnu Batutah’s
A number of Singaporeans who donated for the building of a mosque in Batam, Indonesia, were among the many Indonesians who witnessed the planned mosque’s foundation-laying ceremony on Saturday, 8 February 2019.
Singaporeans have also been donating towards the building of a two-storey primary school for poor children and orphans under the administration of Rumah Zakat, a welfare organisation in Batam.
The half-completed school, called “Berkualitas SD Juara Batam”, is located less than 300 metres away from the site of the proposed mosque in the same land compound. For the moment, the students of the school, about two dozens of them, are attending classes at another location. However, they were all present at the exciting mosque foundation-laying event to welcome the guests and make presentations.
The mosque was named after the 14-century Moroccan scholar and explorer, Ibnu Batutah (often spelt as Batuttah). The famed Muslim, who had not only performed his Haj (pilgrimage in Mecca) but also, in 30 years, had travelled across Africa, Middle-East and Asia, documenting his travel experiences.
In an elaborate ceremony, Rumah Zakat officials and Batam dignitaries as well as the invited Singaporeans cut the ceremonial ribbon and laid the foundation of the mosque with bricks cemented in the form of an arrow to indicate the Qibla (prayer direction pointing towards the Ka’aba in Masjidil-Haram or the Grand Mosque in Mecca.)
After the doa (supplication for the building success of the mosque) and the children’s presentations, everyone walked to the front of the half-completed school building just a stone’s throw away in the same compound where a stage has been erected for speeches and performances.
Speeches and performances
Tom Yam lunch treat
A lunch for everyone present ended the day’s exciting event.
Mr Muhammad Isa
Mr Muhammad Isa, Branch Manager of Rumah Zakat, explaining about the school being built, said: “The second storey would be ready by this July, while, at present, the students of the school are attending classes temporarily at Kampung Bagan Piayu Batam,”
“When completed,” he said, “The school will have six classrooms and each class will have 25 students, making a total school population of 150 students. A big library with Indonesian and English books will be located on the second storey.”
Mr Isa was happy to have the Singapore guests at the foundation-laying ceremony. “They motivate us in our objectives of building the school and the mosque and in supporting our efforts in education,” he said.
“We appreciate and are thankful for their moral support and in their donations towards the building and developing of the school and mosque.”
Among the Singaporeans at the Batutah Mosque foundation-laying ceremony is Mdm Halimah Bee Abdul Kader who has been involved in charity work to help poor children, orphans, wayward young girls and old-folks, for over 25 years, the last 15 years being in Batam. Among her current responsibilities is seeking donations for both the building of the Batutah Mosque and that of the Juara Batam school which is located close to one another.”
Mdm Halimah has three married children, all doing well in their respective employment. They are happy that she loves charity work. Her husband, Mr Jonit Ibrahim, too, are supportive of her ideals. She is a happy grandmother of ten grandchildren, the eldest being a polytechnic graduate.
Those who hand over donations to Mdm Halimah are given receipts, and certificates, videos and photos for large donations. “I also invite them to Batam to see the work that is being done with their donations.”
About the students of the school, she said: “We do not give residential facilities for the children as we want the children to be close to their parents and adopted parents. We want them to develop parental love and also help out in housework even in small ways.”
Mdm Jaiton Mohd Mastan is among the Singaporeans who has been donating regularly towards the building of the primary school.
“I love children, especially poor children and orphans. Our donations will help them meet their daily basic needs and in their education to develop them to be useful adults later on. Helping them gives me much happiness,” she said.
Thanking Rumah Zakat for their effort in helping the poor and needy, Mdm Jaiton, said: “I appreciate the wonderful job done by Rumah Zakat in providing both secular and religious education to the children with the donations received from well-wishers.”
She added: “Donations are well-spent when they are used on religious and normal education.”
With the completion of Masjid Ibnu Batutah within three years, and the completion of the second storey of the school, the area will be busy and become an educational hub for people living in the area.
23 February 2019