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Alhamdulillah! A group of dedicated Muslims undertake long and difficult journeys to a remote village in the Philippines to spread the message of Islam.

The group, comprising of Hajia Madeenah M. Molina of the Pangasinan Da’wah Group, Bro. Abdulrahman, of Al-Ittihad Helpers of Islam, Philippines and a few volunteers, journeyed to the isolated village of Purok Manggahan deep in a mountainous area to reach out to non-Muslims.

In this remote village inhabited by about 400 non-Muslims, the group went about conveying the message of Islam, delivering lectures to the villagers, holding group discussions with them and engaging in question and answer sessions with them. So effective and convincing was their work nearly 60 villagers embraced the religion.

Because of its remoteness, the team had to travel two hours by car along bumpy, narrow, winding and treacherous dirt roads to reach the village.

The converts who previously called themselves Rizalistas believed in worshipping one of the heroes of the Philippines but after learning about Islam, they recited the Kalimah Shahadah.

Before becoming Muslims, the villagers had built a small hut which they used as a chapel to worship one of the heroes of the Philippines decorating it with statues and images. But after they became Muslims the statues and images were removed and the chapel was converted into a Mosque-the Ar-Risallah Mosque.

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Once a week the group would travel to the village to perform Jumah, sharing the beauty of Islam with the villagers, giving them spiritual guidance and encouraging them to practice their Faith. The team took with them literature on the religion for distribution. The team also took with them sufficient food for 50 people to share with the impoverished villagers.

“These people are so poor and yet so sincere. This is a big responsibility we have undertaken but we will continue to teach them until they can firmly stand on their own. We bring food to them to lessen their burden preparing lunch for us after Jumah. They appreciate our presence very much and are grateful for our time and effort. We are inspired to teach people who are so sincere, so humble and so enthusiastic to learn. They are poor and need help. Insh! Allah! We will do our best.” said Hajia Madeenah.

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Travelling to the village for one Jumah cost about 1,000 pesos for gasoline and 2,000 pesos for food – a total of 3,000 pesos or HK$500 – which is paid for by the group, who are in turn supported by the Islamic Union of Hong Kong (the Union).

The Muslims have formed a Mosque Management Committee and are diligently examining the possibility of building a new Mosque to cope with the increasing number of worshippers. An initial estimate indicates the new Mosque will cost 500,000 pesos or about HK$85,000. The present wooden structure stands on a slope and the new Mosque if constructed, must be sturdy enough to withstand the strong winds and heavy rain common in the area.

Hajia Madeenah arrived in Hong Kong in 1982 and embraced Islam in 1988. After becoming a Muslim, she began to study the religion by attending lectures, reading books, looking at videos and holding intense discussions with visiting scholars. She became actively involved in da’wah in the early 1990s.

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While in Hong Kong Hajia Madeenah founded the Helpers of Islam Group (HIG) an organization active in da’wah. HIG is also active in charity work in the Philippines. On Sundays, HIG holds classes on Islam in a room on the fifth floor of Masjid Ammar and Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre allocated to them by the Union to facilitate their work.

Hajia Madeenah was an active member of the Union’s Da’wah Committee and working in conjunction with both HIG and the Committee, was responsible for converting hundreds of non-Muslims to Islam.

The Mosque do not as yet have a permanent Imam as the Management Committee do not have the funds to employ one. At the moment one brother has taken on the duties of Imam but he is not always available. The Committee is well aware that a qualified Imam is needed particularly if and when a new Mosque is built. The Committee is also aware of the importance of a qualified Imam not only to lead congregational prayers but also to conduct classes for the growing number of Muslims and to start madrassah classes for the children. There are still villagers who have not embraced any religion and the Imam when employed, will need to take on the responsibility of reaching out to them.

The sincerity, dedication and enthusiastic response of the converts towards their Faith, deeply touched the team and so impressed one brother, he donated a portable electric generator while Hajia Madeenah installed an overhead electric fan and a standing fan in the Mosque.

Insh! Allah! The Mosque Management Committee will pursue with plans to build the much needed Mosque and will find, the necessary funds to employ an Imam: to start Madrassah classes for children, to perform Da’wah to non-Muslims in the village and to carry out the many other important works for Islam.

Members of the Committee are confident that with the help of Allah (SWT) they will succeed.