The Da’wah Experience of Ustaz Subur on Nipah Island

Da’wah bil hal or da’wah through real actions is the earliest way to embrace people.

The ACT team interviews Ustaz Subur.
The ACT team interviews Ustaz Subur. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, BATAM – Preaching illiterate people is not an easy job. The people know Islam, but they barely understand the shahada (testimony of faith) and the Quran. Da’wah has to begin slowly, carefully, and efficiently. It will be difficult for the people to receive our da’wah if we begin immediately by preaching and reciting the Quran.

Ustaz Subur has to go through those phases during his da’wah on Nipan Island, Pomping Village, Belakang Padang District, Batam. Ustaz Subur preaches Islam to the nomadic and illiterate people of Suku Laut. In 2010, when Ustaz Subur arrived for the first time on the island, the Suku Laut people only knew Islam as a religion, so it would be difficult to receive by the locals if he immediately spread the Islamic guidance by a lot of verses.

“So, firstly, I performed da’wah slowly through my real actions. I mingled with the people through community activities such as community services or helping those who need administrative assistance. Through those approaches, I can slowly instill Islamic values in these activities,” said Ustaz Subur, Monday (6/6/2021).

Ustaz Subur continued that when the Suku Laut people saw his contributions to the community, they became curious and asked more about Islam. Then, Ustaz Subur made a small assembly to learn Islamic guidance which slowly got bigger until now. 

“There was an ustaz who came to Nipah Island but only stayed for a year. Then, he went back to his hometown. I don’t know his exact reason, but probably because he couldn’t stand the harsh life here,” said Ustaz Subur.

Now, Islam has become a social bond on Nipah Island. Ustaz Subur also said that one day when the congregation was performing Taraweeh prayer, a non-Muslim person entered the mosque and immediately joined the prayer. Seeing this incident, the congregation was shocked and asked why he entered the mosque and prayed.

"He wanted to convert to Islam, but he didn’t know how to and just immediately joined the prayer. Then, I guided him to read the shahada and until now the person has been an obedient Muslim,“ he said.

Nipah Island is the outermost island in Indonesia. It is located in the Singapore Strait and directly adjacent to Singapore. This island is located northwest of Sekupang Harbor, Batam. According to the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries data, the area of ​​Nipah Island at low tide reaches 60 hectares and will shrink during high tide.[]