By Balqis Jazimah Zahari
Photo: Rosli Mansor Ahmad Razali
Video: Balqis Jazimah Zahari
IPOH: Pondok Ngaji Darul Furqan wishes to bring back the great role of ‘Pondok’ as one of the main centers of learning in society, especially those of the Muslim faith in this country.
Pondok Ngaji Darul Furqan was inspired by the former mayor of Ipoh, Datuk Roshidi Hashim and Dr Hj Mohd Zaini Shafiai to provide space for the community to delve into knowledge related to Al-Quran, Thurath, economy and leadership.
The principal of Pondok Ngaji Darul Furqan, Dr Hj Mohd Zaini Shafiai said that to realize that goal, his side is now in an effort to expand the actual function and study of the Pondok at every level and age in the community.
“Actually, if we follow history until the beginning of Merdeka, ‘Pondok’ was an institution of Islamic religious education.
“It’s just that lately ‘Pondok’ has been misinterpreted, when people hear the word Pondok, people imagine it’s for the elderly. In the past, Pondok was a place of education for ‘Thurath’ (a book of Muslim religious heritage regarding the Islamic Creed) and so on.
“So, we want to correct the term ‘Pondok’ and highlight again the Thurath education system which was once a system of education that saved faith and pride when the country was still in the period of foreign colonialism,” he said when met at the closing program of the SMART Caliph 2.0 program which was officiated by Datuk Roshidi Hashim who is also the Chairman of Pondok Ngaji Darul Furqan at Jalan Ampang Jaya 1 here recently.
Also present, The Principal Tahfiz Rendah of Pondok Darul Furqan, Noraini Mohamed.
Mohd Zaini said, with Pondok studies that emphasize the knowledge of Thurath education, the community especially Muslims, do not stray far from their Akidah (Islamic Creed).
“We don’t want to be like Andalusia even though they are a developed and sophisticated country, but they don’t practice the Thurath system so when they are colonized they can’t defend their faith and today we don’t recognize that country as an Islamic country.
“Unlike Baghdad, although it was brutally colonized by the Mongols, the Thurath system of study became a savior and the religion could be spread all the way to India,” he said.
He said, that he was grateful that the efforts to develop Pondok Ngaji received encouragement and support from various parties.
“We have now started highlighting and starting a system that allows children to start memorizing the Al-Quran (the sacred scripture of Islam) at a young age.
“For the process of memorizing the Al-Quran, we take those aged 7 to 12 years.
“This means that according to the syllabus of the system implemented here, at the age of 7 they must have memorized 3 Juzuk, 8 years (6 Juzuk), 9 years (12 Juzuk) and so on until the age of 11, so at the age of 12 is the time for them to repeat all memory,” he said.
He explained that the study center is divided into four levels, namely Talaqqi Al-Quran+KAFA (9-12 Years), Tahfiz+KAFA (9-12 Years), Basic Al-Quran Study (8-15 Years) and Intensive Tahfiz (8 -15 Years).
“Studies start from Monday to Friday from 2.30pm to 5pm, while Intensive Tahfiz is only on Saturdays from 8am to 12pm.
“At Pondok Ngaji we currently have 30 students and a total of 23 staff who also play the role of teaching staff,” he said.
Mohd Zaini said that the next student will take the examination for the Malaysian Certificate of Tahfiz at Pondok Darul Furqan in Tambun near here.
“So, for the studies at Pondok Darul Furqan, students aged 13 to 17 will finish with SPM and they can continue at any public university,” he said.
Regarding the student’s direction, he said his party had also made preliminary plans to enable students to continue their studies in Diploma, Degree, Master and finally PHD at Pondok Darul Furqan.
“For knowledge, in addition to collaborating with Open University, we also collaborate with Ar-Raniry University in Acheh, Indonesia. So, lecturers from the country in question will come to our institution here to teach students,” he said.
Meanwhile, Noraini said, that Pondok Ngaji Darul Furqan was already registered with the Jabatan Agama Islam Perak (JAIPk) which began to be seriously active four years ago.
“In 2018 and 2019, we have started conducting general studies involving several levels, namely Arabic language learning, Al-Quran interpretation and tajwid, creed and so on.
“Then, we open tahfiz for kids and for adults we will have individual guidance sessions,” she said.
She said, Pondok Ngaji operations had to be stopped temporarily during the Covid-19 pandemic season and reopened this year with the recruitment of new students on March 20.
“At the same time, we also successfully held several programs at Pondok Ngaji here, such as recently we held the Israk Mikraj program and SMART Solat last week,” she said.