Peristiwa Internasional

From Batam to Mecca, A Fisherman's Journey of Devotion

Kamis, 16 Mei 2024 - 04:31 | 10.38k
Indonesian Hajj Pilgrims arrive in Madinah. (Photo: MCH Kemenag RI)
Indonesian Hajj Pilgrims arrive in Madinah. (Photo: MCH Kemenag RI)

TIMESINDONESIA, JAKARTA – Firmness and conviction serve as the driving force for a Indonesian Hajj Pilgrims to achieve their desired goals. This rings true for Matsa, a 68-year-old man from Kepulauan Riau, Batam, who answered the call of Allah SWT to embark on the pilgrimage to the holy land this year.

Pushing his suitcase and plastic-wrapped belongings, Matsa's radiant face reflects his inner joy. Alongside his wife and fellow pilgrims from Embarkation Batam, they take their seats in the pavilion at the Amir Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz Airport.

A traditional fisherman residing in Kelurahan Pantai Pecong, Kecamatan Belakang Padang, Batam, Matsa's current profession leads him and his wife on the journey to the House of Allah. Gratitude overwhelms him.

"Alhamdulillah sir, it's extraordinary. It's Allah who leads us; we can't do anything. It all depends on intention," says Matsa, as he sits in the airport pavilion on Monday (13/5/2024).

Matsa is grateful that his hard work as a fisherman has led him to fulfill his journey to the holy land.

"It's unimaginable because it's Allah who calls us, not money or our physical abilities. Even if we're physically strong, if Allah doesn't call us, it won't happen. Our goal is to worship. Hopefully, our efforts are accepted by Allah," he says.

It hasn't been easy for Matsa to cover the expenses of the pilgrimage. Since 2012, he has been setting aside money from his fishing trade. Despite facing obstacles along the way, Matsa's strong determination enables him to heed the call of Allah SWT.

"Sometimes, I could only save 1 million or 1.5 million rupiahs in a year. That's how I gradually saved from fishing. I saved up more than 20 to 30 million rupiahs. It's purely from my fishing catch, from nets to setting them up. Sometimes, it's tough. I've been doing this from the age of 15 until I was over 60," says Matsa.

His journey to attain a perfect pilgrimage experience during the Hajj preparation sessions (manasik haji) is also a struggle he faces with his wife. They have to take a boat to Batam. Although the journey only takes about 30 minutes, sometimes unfavorable weather conditions force Matsa and his wife to return home late at night.

"We do the Hajj preparation sessions once or twice a week. Sometimes, we finish at 5 p.m. I registered for Hajj in 2013. The distance from home to Batam is a 30-minute boat ride. If it's to the district, it takes an hour. So, we use our own small boat. That's our daily work as fishermen. Sometimes, we get caught in the rain, sometimes we return home late, it's uncertain. Batam is far. Sometimes, we return at 8 or 9 p.m.," he says.

"We once returned home in the rain without protection. We stopped at a pole because it was dark. We waited for an hour before moving again. We only had one umbrella. If people on land do it 20 times, we do it 30 times during the Hajj preparation sessions," he adds.

Meanwhile, his wife, Saiyah, expresses her gratitude for being able to answer Allah's call alongside her husband, despite the delay due to Covid-19. The 62-year-old pilgrim hopes that their footsteps will be followed by their children and grandchildren.

"Alhamdulillah, we were welcomed very well. The service was excellent. We are grateful to have arrived in this holy land; my intention has been fulfilled. I ask for prayers so that our children can follow in my footsteps," she says.

Previously, the prospective Hajj pilgrims from Embarkation Batam, grouped in cluster 2, arrived at the Amir Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz Airport on Monday (13/5) local time. They were then taken to accommodations in Madinah.(*)

**) Ikuti berita terbaru TIMES Indonesia di Google News klik link ini dan jangan lupa di follow.

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Editor : Imadudin Muhammad
Publisher : Ahmad Rizki Mubarok

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