ACTNews, PEKALONGAN – The sound of chanting Al-Qur’an could be heard serenely in the middle of the forest. The simple building is none other than the Al-Mumtaza Islamic Boarding School located in Batang Regency. The students were still enthusiastic about memorizing verses of the Al-Qur’an and learned religious knowledge in the building without windows.
Compared to other Islamic boarding schools, this school is different. In September 2019, this school was founded and was built by the students themselves. This school started with a few young people who came to Irham Efendi, an Ustaz who graduated from the Gontor Islamic Boarding School who had just moved from Yogyakarta to Batang. “Three days after I moved here, some children came to me and asked permission to study,” recalled Irham Efendi, Thursday (4/22/2021).
Irham, who has several times established Islamic boarding schools, was shocked because he had just moved and did not yet have a dormitory for his student to live in. He also had time to rent a house to be used as a dormitory. However, after much thought, Irham then motivated the students to start a boarding school together.
Al-Mumtaza Islamic Boarding School was established on a waqf land owned by a resident who was in a forest area. Initially, the students only built bamboo stilt houses on the land then, there was assistance from the community in the form of blocks of cement, wooden beams, zinc aluminum sheets, and other building materials. 2 months ago, the students were able to build a simple building with pillars and wooden roof so it had a solid foundation.
“If we look closer to the wood in this school building, there are brown stains on it. The stain was an imprint of the hands of the students who carried wood with their own bare hands during the construction under the rain. The wood is from Mr. Yatmi, one of the residents who donated his big tree,” said Irham.
The female students helped prepare foods and drinks while the male students took care of all matters related to the building. Irham said that this Islamic Boarding school was founded on the hard work and enthusiasm of all students.
Currently, the school building is still inadequate. If it rains, rainwater will enter the room and the student will have to move the carpet to a place that is not exposed to rainwater.
Al-Mumtaza Islamic boarding school students are working together to build their main learning center. (Pesantren Al-Mumtaza / Irham Efendi)
The inadequacy of facilities at the Al-Mumtaza Islamic Boarding school is not just a building. The students have had difficulty getting water because they do not have wells. The spring is 100 meters from the school. However, long-distance requires a large voltage to turn on an automatic water pump, which means it costs extra.
“If the water shut off, sometimes we postponed our activities. There was a time when I was cooking suhoor and then the water suddenly shut off,” said Nurmin, one of the female students.
Al-Mumtaza Islamic Boarding school does not charge any fees to its students. Every day, they live in simplicity and persistence to build their school together to learn religious knowledge.