Ari’s Dedication to Teaching Muslim Converts in Outer Islands

This past year, Ari Anggara and his family have stayed on Selat Desa Island, Batam. On this island, he has been busy preaching the religion of Islam to the residents who mostly are new converts from Suku Laut tribe.

Ari Anggara rides a speed boat
Ari Anggara rides a speed boat when picking up the ACTNews team from Batam Island to Selat Desa Island, March 2021. (ACTNews/Eko Ramdani)

ACTNews, BATAM – This past year Ari Anggara has been staying on Selat Desa Island, Nongsa District, Batam. On this island which is inhabited by 45 families, many are new Muslim converts from Suku Laut, Ari takes big influence. The father of two is actively participating in fostering the faith of the Muslim converts and conveying the messages of Islam.  

Almost every day, Ari teaches Islam to the people of Selat Desa Island, starting from actively holding Islamic activities at Taqwa Mosquewhich is the only Islamic religious facility on Selat Desa, to visiting residents' houses directly. For him, these are not a burden, but great trusts.

“Da'wah in these islands requires special treatments because our brothers and sisters here were not born Muslims. We need a smoother approach for them to learn about Islam on this island with only limited facilities,” said the preacher who is originally from Tanjungpingang.

Slowly but surely, Islam starts to develop on Selat Desa Island. The local residents are actively participating in various religious activities, from the Islamic class held every Thursday night, five daily prayers, Friday prayers, to taking care of the mosque.

“During Islamic holidays like Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, we perform the Friday prayer along with other Muslims on Air Mas Island next to Selat Desa Island. We hope to strengthen the brotherhood since, in fact, the people of these islands are brothers and sisters, they both are from Suku Laut,” explained the preacher who makes a living by selling blended coffee and fresh fish.

Ari hoped that in this place where he dedicates himself, Islam could continuously grow. He also wished there will be more facilities to support his preaching because there is only minimal support for preachers in the islands. []