The Jakarta Post
Practice makes perfect: A group of girls take part in tadarus (Quran recital) at the Al Ikhwan Mosque in Medan, North Sumatra on May 20. (JP/Apriadi Gunawan)
A group of teenagers were sitting cross-legged in two circles, reciting the Quran after tarawih (evening prayers) at Al Ikhwan Mosque in Medan, North Sumatra, on May 20.
Every evening during the month of Ramadan, teenagers and young adults grouped under the Al Ikhwan Mosque Youths participate in the Quran recital, better known as tadarus. A hafiz (someone who has completely memorized the Quran) guides the youths to improve their proficiency in reading the Quran.
The mosque’s youth activities organizer, Jusuf Melan, says that aside from tadarus, the youths also take part in a handful of Ramadan-related activities throughout the day. In the morning, they distribute the schedules of iftar donation events to residents. They distribute takjil (iftar snacks) at the mosque just before sunset and serve as the muezzin for tarawih in the evening.
Jusuf says Al Ikhwan Mosque Youths, mostly school and college students, eagerly carry out their tasks.
“We’re happy to take part in this year’s Ramadan activities as it is an opportunity for us to practice virtuous deeds,” Jusuf told The Jakarta Post.
Abnida Ria Ayu Pohan, an Al Ikhwan Mosque Youths member studying at North Sumatra University, said she was delighted to participate in Ramadan programs, including those held by other mosques.
The previous week, she joined a pesantren kilat (Islam study class) organized by Nurussalam Mosque Youths, Medan.
Feast: Members of Al Ikhwan Mosque Youths enjoy a predawn meal together on May 25. (JP/Apriadi Gunawan)
“The course lasted only for two days but we gained lots of knowledge and met new friends from various other mosques,” Abnida said.
Al Ikhwan Mosque Youths chairman Bambang Susilo realizes that Ramadan is not only a perfect moment to deepen one’s faith, but also to share happiness with others. Therefore, he launched “sahur on the road” (SOTR) on May 26, in which the mosque youths distribute 50 predawn meal boxes to people on the road.
“We share the cost of the meals by collecting Rp 10,000 (70 US cents) from each member,” said Bambang. The same activity was also carried out by the members of Medan’s Silaturahmi Mosque Youths and the North Sumatra Nature-Lover Youths (AMPA).
North Sumatra AMPA chairman, Muhammad Bayu Lubis, said the SOTR event was aimed at helping underprivileged people who observe Ramadan.
This Ramadan, the AMPA has so far distributed hundreds of rice boxes to becak (pedicab) drivers and underprivileged residents.
“Every year, we hit the roads and distribute meals,” Bayu said. “It’s part of our effort to build the younger generation’s character and empathy.”
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