A Story of Janis, A Quran Teacher Who Really Wants to Perform Qurbani

“I really want to perform Qurbani. It doesn’t matter if it’s only with a small goat,” said Janis (54) enthusiastically. However, suddenly Janis went quiet for a while in her 3 by 3 meters rented house. “But, where can I get the money? Let alone performing Qurbani, I am barely able to eat the meat,” said Janis to herself, shrugging her shoulders a little as a sign of confusion and submission.

Janis teaches the Quran recital to her students.
Janis teaches the Quran recital to her students. (ACTNews/Rizki Febianto)

ACTNews, JAKARTA – A languid look could be seen on the face of Janis (54) a Quran teacher in Johar Baru, Central Jakarta. Ahead of Eid ul-Adha, her wish to be able to perform Qurbani arises. However, it seems difficult for her to realize her wish this year. Let alone to perform Qurbani, sometimes for her daily food needs, she could only rely on gifts from neighbors.

Janis only lives by herself. Her husband had passed away in 2003. No longer has the figure of a breadwinner forcing her to work hard to be able to survive in the harsh life of the Capital City. Then, she chose a Quran teacher as her profession. Instead of a large recitation place, she only teaches for six students around her house to improve their Quran recitation ability.

“I don’t teach here (Janis’ house), but directly at the students’ houses since my house is so small,” said Janis pointing at her broken refrigerator. She plans to sell her broken refrigerator and use the money to fulfill her daily needs including paying her monthly rent up to IDR250 thousand.

Janis’ students are also from underprivileged families, thus she never set a certain fee to teach the Quran. However, her students insist on paying her either from IDR50 or 150 thousand per month. With her limited and uncertain income, Janis admits that it’s difficult for her to save money, especially to buy the Qurbani animal.

“I don’t know how much it costs for a goat. It must be millions of rupiahs. It’s difficult for me to save money. If only my husband was still alive, maybe he could help me to increase my savings. But now, I only live by myself. I even often have arrears to pay for my rented house,” said Janis.

Though she might not be able to perform Qurbani, Janis says she is still happy to welcome the Eid ul-Adha. Not only because of its religious values, but also because she will finally be able to eat the Qurbani meat again. "In a year, usually, I can only eat meat twice; on Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha. As for the Eid ul-Fitr, it also depends on whether there is someone who wants to share their meat with me or not. So, the only certain one for me to eat meat is during the Qurbani Eid" she explained.[]