Reaping Blessing on the Roof of a Mosque

Since the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) began, Bambang and his colleague, Irda, have built a hydroponic farm on top of Al-Ma'rifah Mosque, in West Jakarta. B Farm, which stands for Berkah Farm, is their way increasing blessing in their business.

Kale plants grown at B Farm. (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

ACTNews, JAKARTA - When the first the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) took effect last March, Bambang Sutrisno met Irda Nur Ismi with whom he partners to establish a hydroponic garden atop Al-Ma'rifah Mosque in Rawa Buaya Administrative Village, Kembangan District, West Jakarta.

For the past four years, Bambang has been running a hydroponic garden on the roof of his parents' house and his own house. Then, he also wanted to make a hydroponic garden atop Al-Ma’rifah Mosque in order to educate the worshippers. "It's easy to educate the community this way. There are a lot of people here on Friday. If we put it on a display, they will come and ask, 'What are these vegetables? Oh, they’re hydroponics. ' They’ll be interested to know, ”said Bambang on Friday (9/11).

Irda, Bambang’s partner, is a civil servant at a ministry office in Jakarta. Thanks to the Work From Home policy, in a way, Irda has free time. He helps Bambang manage the hydroponic garden. "This is the result of my Work From Home (WFH)," said Irda briefly while showing various types of lettuce, kale, mustard greens, bok choy, and mint leaves, that he grows.

They name the garden B Farm, in which the letter B stands for Berkah or blessing, with the hope that they will reap blessings from the garden. "We hope that Allah will bless us in everything that we strive for. Don’t just work, but make sure that your work is lawful, blessed, and brings many benefits to many people. We also strive for the afterlife. If we focus only on worldly matters, there will be no end to that,” think about the afterlife too, if the world continues, there will be no end, ”said Bambang.

Irda showing his garden to the Deputy Head of the local district. (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

They have harvested the gardens three times. Part of the proceeds from selling the vegetables is donated to those in need, including to the orphans.

Starting from a capital of around IDR 500,000 which they use to build one hydroponic shelf. Now, their hydroponic garden, which consists of six shelves, has covered a third of the roof of the Al-Ma'rifah Mosque. In the future, they wish to increase the number of the plants that they grow, aiming to fill the roof of the mosques with hydroponic shelves.

"If we are able to cover all parts of the roof with hydroponic shelves, there will be around 3,000 plants. Insha Allah, if we have many customers, we won’t be worried. A while ago, some people started ordering our produces, but we weren’t ready because they were not ready for harvest. So we listed our prospective customers,” explained Bambang.

To support Bambang and Irda’s dreams, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) West Jakarta supports them through the Mosque-Based Waqf for Micro Business Capital program launched at Al-Ma’rifah mosque on Friday (9/11). In addition to B Farm, there are 8 other businesses who received the assistance from ACT West Jakarta.

"For now, we are targeting micro-sized businesses, and home-businesses that produce basic needs such as dry foods, snacks, and even this hydroponic garden atop of this mosque. We support these small businesses because these MSMEs are the driving force of the community's economy from the community for the community. We are supporting them through humanitarian and community-based programs,” said ACT West Jakarta Branch Manager Andre Alfiansyah.

ACT West Jakarta hopes that, in the future, in every mosque in West Jakarta, there will be a group assisted by the Waqf for Micro Business Capital program consisting of 9-10 people. With a total of around 500 to 600 mosques across West Jakarta, the mosque-based Waqf for Micro Business Capital can support up to 5,000 to 6,000 businesses.

"Hence, we invite all waqf endowers across West Jakarta to help our brothers and sisters together so that their small businesses can continue running. Insha Allah, these businesses will grow," said Andre. []