(Source: http://rri.co.id)

KBRN, Jakarta: After being assisted by the Zakat Collection Unit (UPZ) BAZNAS Semen Padang, Religious Courts Class I A Padang, finally legalized the marriage of 201 married couples spread across five sub-districts in Siberut Islands, Mentawai Islands District, West Sumatra. Previously their marriages were not registered.

The issue was raised in the visit of a group led by the Chairman of UPZ BAZNAS Semen Padang, Oktoweri with Head of UPZ Collection Division BAZNAS, Faisal Qosim Lc, and Head of Monitoring and Evaluation Division (Monev) BAZNAS, Efri Syamsul Bahri, to Mentawai District, West Sumatera Province. The release received on Monday (30/04).

"Alhamdulillah the event was successful after a sea trip with a boat for 10 hours," said Faisal Qosim.

Legality of marriage, said the graduate of Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, is proved by the provision of marriage books by Ministry of Religious Affairs Mentawai Islands District after hundreds of couples underwent a 2018 integrated marriage itsbat session held by UPZ BAZNAS Semen Padang on April 26-27, 2018.

Not only marriage books, Faisal continued, even hundreds of married couples in "Tanah Sikerei" were also given electronic ID cards (KTP-el), family cards and birth certificates, because the integrated marriage itsbat session was also involving the Population and Civil Registration Agency (Disdukcapil) Mentawai Islands District.

Head of Ministry of Religious Affairs Mentawai Islands District Masdan said that with the marriage itsbat session, the children of married couples who previously had unregistered marriage, is now no longer a child of a mother, but also a child of a father.

"Yesterday their children are the children of a mother, because their parents' marriage books were not exist, now they have become their fathers’ children," said Masdan on the sidelines of the 2018 integrated mass marriage itsbat session which was held at Alfalah Mosque, Sikabaluan-Pokai Street, North Siberut.

The mass marriage itsbat ceremony itself was opened on Wednesday night by the Chairman of the Religious High Court of West Sumatra Province, Hasan Basri.

Masdan further said that the itsbat session which was held since Thursday morning was done because in Mentawai Islands there are many converts and Muslims who have unregistered marriages, and they are generally a family of the orphans who need serious attention from various parties.

Therefore, as Chairman of Ministry of Religious Affairs Mentawai Islands District, Masdan was very grateful to all parties, especially to UPZ BAZNAS Semen Padang as a donator of marriage itsbat session. It is because without any help from the institution collecting zakat from employees of PT Semen Padang, it is not necessarily the marriage of hundreds of poor couples can be legalized by the Religious Court Class I A Padang.

"We are grateful to UPZ BAZNAS Semen Padang. Due to the budget support from the UPZ, couple participants of the itsbat session can get marriage books. But the most important thing for us is that the children of the couple are saved, even they can qualify for applying to be army, police, or other jobs, because they already have ID card," he said.

To date, Masdan continued, they are difficult to apply for jobs. "Moreover, to register as a candidate for Indonesian Army or Police because they do not meet the requirements such as the absence of KTP-el, family card and birth certificate. Now the documents are there and they can use them as they should," said Masdan.

Masdan also said several factors that cause why the people have unregistered marriages. Among others are the habit and the high cost of transportation from their residence to the Religious Affairs Office, as well as the lack of understanding that government-recognized marriage is so important.

"The absence of a Religious Court in Mentawai Islands is also the cause of unregistered marriage is rampant in Mentawai," he said. Currently, Masdan said, in addition to Sikabaluan, there are also about 300 married couples whose marital status is not legal, although religiously they are legally married.

About 300 couples were scattered on the island of Sipora and Sikakap. To that end, Ministry of Religious Affairs Mentawai Islands will continue to conduct the marriage itsbat session. Even he targets all Muslims and converts in Mentawai who had previously have unregistered marriage, will be given the opportunity to undergo a marriage itsbat session this year.

"Our target for this year is completing them all, because our intention is supported by UPZ Semen Padang. Insya Allah the target will be reached this year," he said while adding that this session is the second time held after 2017 which also was held in Muara Siberut, South Siberut Sub-district.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Religious High Court of West Sumatra, Hasan Basri Harahap also said that the marriage itsbat session in North Siberut, according to him, really helps the community. It is because the married couples who previously have unregistered marriage are given the ease in obtaining their identity as citizens of Indonesia after they follow an integrated itsbat session.

"If there were no integrated marriage itsbat sessions, they would have taken care of marriage books, birth certificates and civil registration individually, and that would cost a considerable amount of transportation and a long time," he said.

Therefore, Hasan continued, his side appreciates PT Semen Padang, especially the UPZ BAZNAS Semen Padang which collects the zakat from employees of the largest company in West Sumatara. Due to the funds given to the people of Siberut Utara through the Religious Courts Class I A Padang and Ministry of Religious Affairs Mentawai Islands, hundreds of people who previously had felt marginalized, finally got their rights as citizens of Indonesia.

"We appreciate what UPZ BAZNAS Semen Padang is doing, because the UPZ not only bears the expenses incurred in this integrated mass marriage itsbat session, but also covers all the costs of transporting the participants of itsbat session, including the cost of meals during the session," he said.

Chairman of UPZ BAZNAS Semen Padang Oktoweri said, to support this 2018 integrated marriage itsbat session, UPZ BAZNAS Semen Padang budgeted Rp 552 million more from zakat of the employees of PT Semen Padang.

The half billion more fund, said Oktoweri, is not only for the marriage itsbat session in Sikabaluan, Siberut Island, but also for the itsbat session in Sikakap Island and Sipora Island which are planned to be held after the upcoming Eid al-Fitr.

"We support this marriage itsbat session program, because it is also part of the Islamic Shiar program in the Mentawai Islands, and the married couples who join this marriage itsbat session also belong to the eight asnaf consisting of converts and poor," said Oktoweri.

20 Units of Motorcycles Aid

In addition to supporting the entire series of 2018 integrated marriage itsbat session, on the same occasion, UPZ BAZNAS Semen Padang also distributed the assistance of 20 units of motorcycles for dai (Islamic preachers) in Mentawai Islands District.

The trail type motorcycles were handed over by the Chairman of UPZ Baznas Semen Padang, Oktoweri, and received symbolically by the Chairman of MUI Sikabaluan, North Siberut Sub-district, Antoni Busri who is also Chief of Dai Coordination of UPZ BAZNAS Semen Padang in Sikabaluan.

Antoni Busri mentioned that the trail motorcycle is very useful for dai, especially to pass through a heavy road terrain, because in Mentawai the road conditions are very severe and difficult to pass by motorcycle, except by the type of trail.

"We are grateful to UPZ BAZNAS Semen Padang. The zakat collecting unit of PT Semen Padang employees not only provides guidance, but also support all Islamic religious activities that we do in Mentawai. This motorcycle is one of the UPZ supports for us," he said.

(Source: http://rri.co.id | Transl: Amelya)