Muslim converts mark Isra’ Mikraj
KAMPUNG Kiudang, a village populated by Muallaf or Muslim converts, yesterday celebrated Isra’ Mikraj.
The celebration organised by BASKIM (Badan Kebajikan Saudara-Saudara Baru Kampung Kiudang) is significant for the people as the village was formerly known as home for non-Muslim until the first conversion ceremony for Hj Umarali Abdullah Esong, the founder and adviser of BASKIM, was held in 1954 when he was 16 years old.
Hj Umarali said, “No Muslim was living in this village before 1954. It was one of the villages in Tutong populated by the Dusun people who practiced indigenous religion.”
“Beside my family, there were three other Dusun families who converted to Islam after my conversion. It was a very slow progress but now after more than 50 years, there were only few Dusun families particularly the elder citizens who are still holding on to the old beliefs.”
Kampung Kiudang is home to 1,119 people and majority of them are Muslim converts.
He said that his conversion was mainly influenced by his colleagues at Kilanas Primary School.
“Most people in Kg Kilanas are Muslims except those in the Chinese community. They were the people who taught me the essence of Islam.”
“Muallaf in this village were not converted by force. The marriage between Non-Muslim Dusun and the Muallaf became a trend in our community which indirectly resulted to the eradication of our traditional culture.
Hj Umarali also talked about the role of BASKIM to unite all the Muallaf in his village and work together for better Islamic education.
BASKIM, a group to help the converts, has a total of 132 members under the supervision of Hj Umarali. It was organised in 2005 with the aim to provide the Islamic teaching classes as well as to unify Muslim converts and Muslim community in the village.
The Isra’ Mikraj event was attended by the Tutong District Assistant Officer, Hj Adanan Hj Adam as the guest of honour and other members of BASKIM.
The event witnessed a special lecture delivered by Yusof Majid,a personnel from the Religious Affairs under the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The village has been visited by other departments.
The Brunei Times