ACTNews, PINRANG – At a young age, Umar (26) chooses to be a Quran teacher for the children in Makula Hamlet, Betteng Village, Lembang District, Pinrang Regency, South Sulawesi.
“Young people rarely want to voluntarily serve here. The majority choose to work with a salary rather than guiding the community without being paid. I just want them to remain steadfast in Islam, die as Muslim, and also be the witnesses before Allah that I once taught Islam to them," said Umar with teary eyes, Thursday (6/10/2021).
Umar’s devotion to the Muslims in Makula was unplanned. Umar said that, in the beginning, he was invited by his friend to teach at the Muslim convert neighborhood. At that time, he just wanted to find peace after his father passed away. His plan was to stay for three days, but the three-day visit was memorable and moved him to come back and devote himself to the community.
“Here (in Makula Hamlet), they told me many stories about the Muslim converts. They needed guidance, especially to read the Quran. My heart was touched, and I finally decided to stay and serve here,” explained the graduate of Darul Hijroh Islamic Boarding School of Pinrang Regency.
The Muslim Convert Neighborhood (Makula) is a new neighborhood that was inaugurated in 2019. All of the residents are Muslim converts. Before embracing Islam, most of the citizens adhered to animism or ancestral beliefs. The majority of residents work as agricultural laborers.
To get to the neighborhood, everyone has to take a fairly difficult route since the road is damaged and rocky. In the dry season, the road is dusty, and it's muddy when it rains. It takes about 45 minutes to Lembang District from the center of Pinrang Regency, also an hour trip from the district center to get to Makula Hamlet.