Ihya Ramadhan project ‘ziarah’(visiting) is a very inspiring project and an initiative on teaching the indigenous community of Islamic practices on holy month of Ramadhan. An effort to revive the holy month of Ramadhan with the indigenous communities, this year project was held in indigenous settlements in Cameron Highlands. The project is run by a group of students under the banner of ‘COMRADE’, they are a missionary-conscious club, calling all students to participate on raising awareness about Islamic practices and moral values. They are trying to increase the level of knowledge on religious teachings among these indigenous communities as well as to impart the best quality of Ummah among the students and indigenous children. ‘Children & youth are the builder of the nation’ as they are also known as. And with this project these small efforts may help us to create a generation of a more visionary.
On a recent trip to indigenous settlements in Cameron Highlands, I was fortunate enough to experience myself the life of indigenous communities, the settlements is situated deep in the jungle where we had to climb down the hill to reach to the settlement. The settlement continues to develop with the construction of dam to provide electricity to every settlement for convenience of this people, parents are working at the town or construction site to earn source of income and wield considerable development in a Cameron Highlands. The indigenous people are incredibly friendly, resilient and welcoming to all visitors, and students and civil servants are often coming here for social activities. My last trip in 2011 was quite different from the experience I have this year, the indigenous community are seen more friendly to learn Islamic practices with us.
It was indeed a wonderful opportunity to visit these indigenous settlements. Originally the people are animistic believers; the new practices and lifestyle are practicing here.
On our first day there to celebrate Ramadhan, we were celebrating it with parents and children of the native, we were given task to teach them about prayers, the existence of God, and the importance of Ramadhan through various activities. In doing so, Comrade’s mission to educate them about Islamic practices to some extent achieved through this project of ‘Ihya Ramadhan’ to revive and to create an Islamic atmosphere among the community especially in this holy month of Ramadhan.
In spite of Islamic teaching to the people of the native, through this project it can help the students to improve and impart the good quality of Ummah in themselves, as it also one of Comrade’s missions. I believe at a young age is an appropriate time for all young people to serve the community and cultivate a good environment of Muslim; help the poor, and educate others. Our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the possessor of good character and conduct, by cultivating this spirits of good conduct of the worshippers of God and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who was seen to complete the religion, he said that ‘I have been sent to complete the best of conducts’ likewise this project is part of Muslim’s duty.
Comrade is an Islamic missionary-conscious club and their consistency, perseverance and continuity in the project, it is seen that the people in the settlements are nicely welcoming us and keen to learn about the role of Ramadhan although at the basic learning.
As a participant in the project it has opened my eyes and let me understand that it covers a variety of process of learning, from reading, writing, listening and experience it yourself. As our head of Censerve (Center for University’s Social Responsibility) Madam Martinelli Hashim who have sacrificed much time and energy for the society, she said that it is important for every educator and student to experience by themselves to the field than reading book merely. In my early years in the university, I am known as ‘book worm’ among my friends and often I am in the library spending time with reading, but after joining this program with Comrade’s members to indigenous settlements in Cameron Highlands in 2011, I had fallen in love with the social activities.
May this effort and spirit remain unchanged on each member of Comrade.
Siti Rafiah Tahir