Tuesday, July 1, 2008

KERIS 2008 (Part II)

Lets see... where should I start...

Well, i decide to begin by telling a bit of a background of the school and its students, as told by the teacher who asked me and my friends to help at the school. The school is very new, just 4 years old. Its pupils are mostly Chinese, with only 30% of them Malay. So.. the idea of the camp, which stands for
Kem Remaja Islam, or KERIS was first brought up by a teacher who saw the pressing need for the 30% of the Malay population to increase their knowledge of Islam, as their way of life. With a hope that they will be more aware of what becoming a Muslim means, as well as to gain more knowledge on excelling themselves as Muslims are supposed to be excellent in everything they venture.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I was feeling quite unprepared, yet the teacher in charge of the camp, Cikgu Zamree prepared us a bit, telling us of some of the students problems and such. The girls, as what he told us, did not really understand Islam that much. A few shaved their eyebrows... while quite a few did not really understand about 'aurah, covering their hair only inside schools. Yes, maybe something very common in normal public schools, yet me, and also the rest of the facilitators, have not much chance to meet these types of teenagers, as we are mostly from Islamic schools or boarding schools before entering university.

One of the first activity: Ice breaking -
The students are still a bit reluctant to leave the comforts of their home at the time

Yet, upon facing the students for the first time, I discovered that they are all the same with many of us... nice, eager to get to know us all, and very friendly. Many were helpful as well. Well.. I was taken aback. No, I don't mean to say that I was expecting them to be all problematic. But I realized then that most of them are nice, just like any other people elsewhere.

However.. I had been able to realize soon after, during an LDK session on the second day, that these students need people who can tell them about Islam. They need us to show them what being a Muslim truly means. No, not the exam/sylabus Islam, but the real Islam, one they can relate to at every step of their journey in life.

For many of them, when asked generally of the three basic questions of where are we from, why are we here, and where are we going to go to in the end, they can perhaps only answer confidently the last question. Which is very sad. For these basic questions is why Islam is sent to us. They are lacking of people who can truly guide them to see what Islam really means. Yes, they need us to be there to tell them. Suddenly at that point, I realized that, the two nights and three days we're spending with them is not enough. Not enough to guide them to see the light of Islam. A deen, which, as rightfully pointed out by a participant, is now only left to them as an inheritance. A very scary reality indeed. I wish for these kind girls and guys to see the beauty of Islam, to feel Allah's kindness in showering his Rahmah to them all.

Sadly... not many people realize this now.. I hope I can help out. Yet.. how much can I do?

Of course, as most camps, there are many other activities besides just talks and group work. The participants enjoy themselves with treasure hunt and morning aerobics as well as a few other activities, all with an attempt made by their teachers to make the activities more Islamic than usual. Oh yes... not forgetting the reflections time the last night we were there, where I hope the students were able to at least reflect the life they had have. I personally reflected quite a lot of my life as well, and admittedly, cried. Cried for forgetting to be thankful as often as I should have, and for hoping for more and more, without realizing that Allah had given me so much already.

But I enjoyed the chances of eating with these new friends of mine most. For I was able to talk to them and interact more, than any other time. Thanx to Cikgu Zamree, we were all able to mingle with the students a lot while eating, as he was the one insisting us to eat together. I got a few chance to discover many bubbly personalities under these girls initial shyness, and many other things.

Alhamdulillah.. thank you to Cikgu Zamree, who invited us there, despite the fact that we're all inexperienced. And not forgetting my friends who invited me along, and shared many of their own jewels in helping these teenagers navigate their way through life's challenges ahead.
A special thanx to Allah the Almighty; who deserved most of my thanks for giving me the chance to be there, meeting them and gaining a valuable experience of today's reality. Also for letting me understand and guiding me to this path now. May all of us stay in this path towards Him until the end, insyaAllah. May all uf us are given the strength by Allah to work untiringly in upholding Islam...regardless of where we are, or whatever our future may be.

I hope that the students will find and be grateful for the deen inside their hearts, and be successful, not only here, but most importantly in the hereafter. Insya-Allah, if Allah permits me, I will go back to the school some day, to meet again these teenagers who have made a difference in my life. Opening my mind to the reality of the ummah, who mostly do no realize of Islam, though many are very kind at heart.

**sorry for the really long entry, and the many mistakes or repetitions.. Must be coz i'm already sleepy. Sorry again.. (^_^)


hood@sunny said...

Semoga wpun sebentar, mampu mengetuk pintu hati dan menggerakkan jasad md3u dan da3ie..:D rabbuna ma3aki~ purify our intention...jgn lupa ya! :D

Humayra' said...

Jzkk huda...
ya, harapannya mcm tu la.
jd, mmg slalu kne remind diri sendiri of my intention and perpose. may this experience count as a good deed in His eyes... wallahu'alam

bidadari besi said...

alhmdulillah, semoga progrm ni dpt hidupkan lebih byk lg hat-hati.