The majority of Muslim converts in Tutong District live in the rural area. Most are underprivileged, with their well-being cared for by the Islamic Da’wah Centre (PDI), through its Muallaf Development Division and Dakwah Unit in Tutong District.
The Dakwah Unit actively collaborates with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), groups or associations as well as private companies in initiatives to help the underprivileged.
Dakwah Unit Head Muhammad Yusri bin Haji Abdul Majid noted that collaborative efforts such as charity rides or convoys with these groups are very much welcome. These efforts help the underprivileged meet their daily necessities, and at the same time, bring blessings from Allah the Almighty.
This is especially so during the pandemic times. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said, “Cure those who are sick among you by giving alms.”
In sharing this, Muhammad Yusri said the Jeep Owners Group Brunei (JOGB) is one of the many active groups that has been collaborating with the Muallaf Development Division and Dakwah Unit in Tutong over the years.
“The most recent was during the 38th National Day celebration, where members of the group delivered food baskets containing basic necessities to 21 underprivileged convert families in Kampong Benutan. This act of humanity and care is not their first and they certainly are no strangers to us in reaching out to the needy.”
On February 23, JOGB members made their way to Kampong Benutan, bringing along food baskets to be handed over to the eagerly awaiting converts at the village mosque, which was the meet point.
Group member Khadijah Ismail, who has always been active in initiating charity convoy rides with fellow Jeep members, made arrangements to ensure the event’s success.
She said, in light of the pandemic, this time around it had to be done on a smaller scale with limited participants, in adherence to the health standard operating procedure (SOP) and guidelines.
Although some members were unable to join the convoy, they provided monetary support. The funds collected, coupled with a BND1,000 contribution by Jeep Brunei – GHK Motors Sdn Bhd, allowed for the purchase of 21 baskets worth of daily necessities.
As the authorised local distributor of Jeep vehicles in the Sultanate, GHK Motors has provided continuous support for JOGB-conducted activities ever since the group was formed.
“We met at the Jeep Showroom in Sumbangsih Bahagia early that morning to be flagged off by Jeep Sales Manager Alvin Chong. Members were briefed beforehand on the SOP and health guidelines. We made it compulsory for participants to conduct antigen rapid tests (ART) before the ride. They also had to be fully-vaccinated with a BruHealth green code,” said Khadijah.
From the showroom, the mini convoy was led by Calvin Lai straight to Kampong Benutan Mosque, where they were welcomed by officials from the Tutong Dakwah Unit and mosque officials. The ceremony was brief, with the convoy leaving immediately after the handover.
On behalf of the other recipients, siblings Nur Badriyah Anisah binti Abdullah Chundang and Nur Adawiyatul Asyifa binti Abdullah Chundang, and Siti Mariana binti Abdullah Yambing expressed gratitude to the team, expressing hopes that Allah the Almighty will reward them for their kindness.
Siti Mariana, 67, is a widow who converted in November 1997. Her sources of income are BND200 assistance from the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) and BND250 old age pension.
Nur Adawiyatul Asyifa, 27, and her 29-year-old sister who converted on March 31, 2016, shared that their life has changed since embracing Islam, becoming “more peaceful and meaningful.” She added that they are being cared for by the community, and that the “food aid is a blessing.”
While the younger sibling works as a prawn peeler at a company, Nur Badriyah Anisah is a full-time housewife who does not receive any form of monthly financial assistance. Both siblings hold permanent resident status.