ACTNews, CENTRAL JAKARTA – The Covid-19 pandemic that has lasted for 2 years has proven to have a significant impact on many aspects of people's lives. The activity restrictions aimed to curb the spread of the diseases have resulted in the declining economy. Business owners, informal workers, and even preachers have been impacted.
Islamic gatherings and classes have been restricted or halted due to the activity restrictions or the lack of funds. Hence, Muslim preachers have lost their source of income. Even before the pandemic, many of them already lived in deprivation.
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) recognizes this fact as many Islamic organizations under its auspices have reported this saddening reality.
MUI seeks to provide solutions to the poverty faced by Muslim preachers by supporting them with operational funding so that they don’t need to beg for assistance. The National Movement for Indonesian Preachers’ Prosperity is a concrete solution to this problem. Aksi Cepat Tanggap, as a humanitarian institution that has officially collaborated with MUI, feels obligated to support this movement to honor the Muslim preachers.
Head of the MUI’s Division of Preaching & Brotherhood Cholil Nafis explained that in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, many preachers have been economically affected, but they don’t beg for help out of shame and a sense of honor.
He continued, these preachers will not show their problems. Therefore, people who have enough wealth must contribute to this movement of kindness. There are many Quran teachers, imams, mosque caretakers, and Islamic preachers who are living in poverty.
"We have witnessed firsthand that many preachers don’t even have rice or LPG at home, but when they go to preach, they wear nice clothes and perfume," he said at the launch of the National Movement for Indonesian Preachers’ Prosperity at the central office of MUI, Wednesday (9/15/2021).
"I once met a preacher that has taken care of a mosque, become a muezzin, and led the obligatory prayers for 25 years, yet he doesn’t have a house at the age of 55. Another mosque caretaker in Banten is only paid IDR 50,000 a month. What can one eat with only IDR 50 thousand a month? Everything is with the help of Allah. This is what knocks on the hearts of all of us who have the ability to help," he added.
Cholil Nafis emphasized that MUI encourages this act of kindness to be expanded to reach more areas in Indonesia. "Don't let a Muslim preacher ask for assistance because he can no longer uphold his sense of shame and honor,". He also stated that the launch of the National Movement for Indonesian Preachers’ Prosperity can be a symbol of Islamic propagation.
“The ulema can convey this message, but we need our friends at ACT to deliver this message to zakat administrators and other philanthropic institutions. Someone has to make it happen. Hopefully, may Allah bless out intention so that our efforts can run smoothly. May Allah strengthen our trustworthiness in spreading knowledge, in health, in the opportunities given to us," said Cholil.
On the same occasion, Aksi Cepat Tanggap provided support for preachers through financial support for 1,000 preachers and operational funding for 1,000 Islamic boarding schools in the initial stage.
Chairman of the ACT’s Supervisory Board Ahyudin, explained that the Indonesian people must position the preachers in a respectable place. It must be believed that Indonesia today is the result of the preachers’ work.
"This is an honorary aid because the preachers are honorable people who must be honored," said Ahyudin.
In everyday life, many Muslim preachers are only seen as teachers of the Qur’an. In a nationalistic sense, the role of the preachers is more than that because they also serve to unite the nation by providing religious guidance to the society. Therefore, ACT invites all parts of society to participate in this movement through various forms of support that can contribute to the welfare of the preachers.