Kusnandar's Journey as a Muslim Preacher in Weliman, East Nusa Tenggara

According to Kusnandar (58), living together with people with different beliefs is a part of preaching. The man that is familiarly called Kus said that the condition of people in Malaka has changed a lot. People saw him as a threat, 20 years ago.

Kusnandar. (ACTNews/Muhamad Ubaidillah)
Kusnandar. (ACTNews/Muhamad Ubaidillah)

ACTNews, MALAKA — According to Kusnandar (58), living together with people with different beliefs is a part of preaching. In 2000, Kusnandar came to Weliman, Malacca Regency. He was one of the workers who built the Benenain bridge. Currently, the bridge is tilted due to being hit by flash floods.

The man that is familiarly called Kus said that the condition of the people of Malaka has changed a lot. 20 years ago, when he arrived in Malaka, people saw him as a threat. Kusnandar experienced that condition for 18 years. He was reported several times to the authorities for uncertain reasons.

“I was frequently reported to police, for trivial reasons. Most recently, because I removed the brick on the road to bury the pipe. If the pipe was exposed, it could be hit by a motorcycle or passers-by and break. While I was covering the pipe, I left it for a while to pray Dhuhr. It turned out someone took a photo and sent it to the police. I was summoned for the reason of destroying public facilities,” said Kusnandar when met by ACTNews at Nurussallam Malaka Mosque after Zuhur prayer, Thursday (4/15/2021).

However, Kus failed to enter jail because the residents protested in front of the Weliman Police Office. According to Kusnandar, people defended him because he was innocent. “I cried. Actually, many people care about me more than those who hate me,” said the man from Surabaya.

Way of Islamic Preaching

Kusnandar does not know why many people care about him. However, many residents who have difficulty getting water use his well. He never collected money from them. He believes this is a charity and a way of preaching.

“I have a well at home. I allow my neighbors to collect water from it. They give me fruits or crops in exchange. I hope this will soften their hearts and Allah will give guidance to them,” he said.

Kusnandar and his wife are the only Muslims living in Haitimuk Village, Weliman District, Malaka Regency, East Nusa Tenggara. His wife has embraced Islam since she was proposed by Kusnandar in 2009. Kusnandar and his wife live under the same roof with their in-laws and sister-in-law with different beliefs.

Kus and people in Haitimuk Village were also affected by the disaster in East Nusa Tenggara. His well is a place for people to collect water, after the disaster. Kus has a grocery store and he does not increase the staple food price, even though the area was temporarily inaccessible due to the damaged Benenain bridge.[]