25. Dhul Qadah 1438  Jumu'ah
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an extraordinary Ustaza



On January 19 January 1999, a civil war broke in the city of Ambon. Rioting by Christian and Muslim gangs on the Indonesian island of Ambon over the last week had left at least 100 people dead and 140 injured according to local aid groups. The riot continued and on March 16, soldiers fired warning shots to disperse a crowd in the Moslem quarter, where at least 10 houses were on fire. The soldiers fired into the air as the crowd of over 100 people became agitated when fire engulfed the houses near the main Al-Fatah mosque, an AFP photographer said.






Ustaza Syarifah Rugayah Al Attas in her sixties lived in Ambon. Her own house was completely destroyed by fire during the riot. Picking from the ashes, she moved to an Islamic enclave called Silale near the main mosque Al Fatah, which was also encountered the burning of ten houses.

Despite her traumatic experience, she was left undaunted and continued teaching and holding her learning circles (majlis ta’alim) for the womenfolk in Ambon. She founded a charitable organisation called Yayasan Melati Al-Khairaat which is partially managed by her son-in-law and nephew Kamel Zen Assagaf. What is incredible is that she managed to adopt and give financial support and even tutored to 249 students[1]. All the students are either orphans (yatims) or just too poor to have decent meal, let alone going to school. She provides them monthly stipend for food, transportation to school, school fees and other miscellaneous items. Her monthly expenditure is Malaysian Ringgit 2,750.00 but there is only one consistent donor who contributed at only RM 700 a month. When asked how did she bridge the balance of the funding, she just aptly replied that she herself do not know the source but somehow there are always some other donors who came forward intermittently. She never pleads nor solicits for fund and relies entirely on Allah’s providence

Lately she launched to build a hostel for the students and half of the building was completed with the hope of receiving more donation to finish the work..

[1] 71 of them are in primary schools, 142 in secondary schools, out of which 16 in religious Madrasah Thanawiyah and 36 at University level (Perguruan Tinggi ).