Creating sustainable development at Kampung Tengah, Gombak

By Maulana Akbar Shah

Special attention towards Prosperity of People called Insan Sajehtera is the most preferable and significant project of IIUM. Keeping in mind of improving the quality of faith (Iman), knowledge (Ilm) and good character (Akhlaq), we are liable to serve as agents of comprehensive progress for sustainable development of Malaysia and the Muslim ummah.

Dr. Maulana, from the Department of Fundamental Inter-Disciplinary Studies (FIDS), and Dr. Lee, of the Political Science Department, were assigned to engage at Kampung Tengah, Gombak, for implementing our project of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

In making the SDG project a success, Kampung Tengah, inclusive of 800 households, seems fit for the project as it is looked after by its head, Encik Johari, and organised in terms of the villagers’ security, welfare and unity. It is situated near Greenwood, Gombak, where the magnificent Masjid Sharif is just in front of the village. 

Our team, including Dr. Ali Zaman, was encouraged by Members of Parliament, YB. A Rahim Ahmad Kasdi, the coordinator of State Legislative Assembly (Dewan Undangan Negeri or DUN) Gombak Setia, and YB. William Leong Jee Keen, Selayang Parliament, who came to Kampung Tengah to assist the needy with allowance and basic foods.

When we reached the village, we saw members of the village welfare committee where Ketua Encik Johari stood ahead of them and welcomed us warmly and was seated in the office. There were several women, about 15 already taken place in the office, saluted us wholeheartedly.  The organiser of the event, the secretary of the village welfare committee, introduced the women as most of them are single mothers and widows from the village. 

The Imam of the village was also invited to attend the event, who began the event with the recitation of some of the Aya from Al Quran and prayer of welfare and prosperity of the village.

Our role is to explain to the villagers about our plan of actions for the village, including activities on survey of the rate of literacy, the number of students and freshmen at the college, single mothers, widows, religious activities, the religiosity of the villagers, provision of Usrah programme and provision of relevant training skill to the selected villagers, etc. 

Both members of the parliament spoke about their purpose of visit to the village and promised to look after the welfare of the villagers. When YB A. Rahim distributed food packets to the selected villagers, YB William provided the 19 tokens of cash assistance. 

We had the opportunity to discuss with both members of parliament about the future programme as listed above for the village. Interestingly, they listened to our plan and made some comments and promised to work together in the village. 

The villagers interestingly listened to our talks and asked relevant questions, particularly their children’s welfare, security, and delivery of good Aakhlaq in them.  

The discussion highlighted the significance of the presence of our scholars in the village, roots of our society where they need to imbue the values of Islam and engage practically to lead the ummah to the right path. The Imam is no doubt, but the scholars possess the skills, practical knowledge, invaluable experience, and useful know-how to change the mindset of the people.

Unfortunately, there are many distractors next to their sides who can imbalance their peaceful lives and environment. Therefore, scholars need to spend some of their valuable time among the people to open up their eyes with their precious experience and illuminative knowledge, which will make them happy and joy that will alternately lighten the busy time and mind of the scholars.

It is the principle of the task of Al Khalifah, vicegerents of Allah SWT on earth. The basic philosophy of Al Khalifa is “make yourself Good, make others Good, and make your World Good.” ***

(The writer, Dr. Maulana Akbar Shah, is an academic in the Department of Fundamental Inter-Disciplinary Studies, KIRKHS)

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