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Inmates turn into al-hafiz after finding wisdom behind bars

Last Update: 06/06/2019

MARANG, June 6 (Bernama) -- In serving his prison sentence of four years and four months, Faisal (not his real name) has found wisdom behind his imprisonment -- from being unable to recognise the letters in al-Quran he has progressed to be ‘al-hafiz’.

The 30-year-old, who was convicted of extortion two years ago, acknowledged that life behind bars had taught him to recognise the al-Quran and drawn him closer to the creator.

"My life before being in prison was very different from now...I had everything, like a luxurious lifestyle, a good job, position and power but I was ignorant, did not know how to read the Quran. I had forgotten about God and when I saw the Quran, it never crossed my heart to try to read or understand its content,” he told Bernama when met at the Marang Prison.

"Alhamdulillah here (in prison) I have the opportunity to find my true self and get a second chance to deepen my religious knowledge, learn about tajwid, learn to read the Quran. And I could fill the emptiness which I could not do when living a free life out there," added Faisal, who was imprisoned in 2017 and still has two years of his sentence to serve.

According to the father of three, at the beginning of his imprisonment, he was not good at reading al-Quran and did not even know Jawi letters, but at the ‘Rumah Mengaji’ (Quran reading classroom) he was taught to read and now he can memorise five Juzuk (chapters) of al-Quran.

He noted that at the beginning it was difficult for him to love and learn al-Quran but with the guidance of an ustaz in the prison, it gradually became a daily routine.

As for his classmate, Hanif (not his real name), 26, learning al-Quran was a dream that was concealed from him before he was imprisoned but things changed when he was jailed in April last year for drug abuse, robbery and extortion.

"I wanted to learn the Quran but with my increasing age and the surroundings, I buried my desire just like that. I was embarrassed to learn (the Quran) because I was involved in various social problems. When I got here (prison), I begged to go to the Rumah Mengaji, so that I could pursue my religious study," he said.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Prison director Ahmad Saidi Hamzah said that through Rumah Mengaji, Marang Prison inmates could deepen their religious knowledge and strengthen their morals while serving sentence.

He said 30 to 35 Muslim inmates are attending al-Quran classes from 8 am to 5 pm at Rumah Mengaji, guided by religious teachers from the Islamic Religious Department, while inmates of other religions are guided by their respective religious teachers through a collaboration between Marang Prison and non-governmental organisations (NGO).



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