Mashita (right) receives her award from Abang Johari while Minister in the Premier’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi (second right) looks on. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING (July 19): Sarawak 1445h/2023 Tokoh Maal Hijrah recipient, Mashita Abdullah, has called on Muslims, especially muallaf (Muslim converts), to continue sharing the teachings of Islam through their preaching.

“I would like to urge the Muslims, especially our ‘saudara baru’, including those living in the longhouses, to be diligent in gaining knowledge especially in Islamic education and to have the intention to continue preaching the teachings of Islam.

“Sometimes we may face lots of problems in our lives, therefore let us together preach so that Allah opens our hearts and provides us guidance as to remain obedient,” she said when met by reporters today.

The 67-year-old received the Sarawak Tokoh Maal Hijrah award for ‘Saudara Kita’ category from Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg during the ‘Majlis Perhimpunan Maal Hijrah Peringkat Sarawak’ at Dewan Kompleks Islam Sarawak here.

On the award, Mashita said she is grateful for such recognition after being involved in the preaching arena for 39 years.

Born in Tatau, Bintulu as an Iban, she embraced Islam in 1973.

She was blessed with a son after marrying her late husband from Belaga and today both herself and her son are still residing in Kampung Melayu in Belaga, Kapit.

After embracing Islam, Mashita furthered her studies at the Institut Dakwah Islamiah Perkim in Selangor and successfully obtained the Sjil 4 Thanawi.

Following that, she started to teach at Institut Dakwah Darul Falah Kuching from 1984 to 1990.

Meanwhile, from 1995 to 2016, she has worked as Al-Quran and Fardu in class (KAFA) teacher at SK Abun Matu in Belaga.

Today, Mashita, who is also active in carrying out community activities, is still working as religious and takmir teacher under Baitulmal and Sarawak Islamic Religious Department (Jais) at Kampung Melayu.

“With the blessings that have been endowed, I will continue to convey the teachings of Islam, especially to our ‘saudara baru’ in the interior areas,” she added.

Mashita was among the 11 recipients of Tokoh Maal Hijrah award in various categories for Sarawak this year.

The other 10 recipients were Prof Dr Muhammad Ikhwanuddin Abdullah @ Polity Kria who received the award for ‘Penyelidikan & Pembangunan’ category; Dato Sri Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid (Penjawat Awam Islam); Datu Buckland Bangik (Penjawat Awam Bukan Islam); Keluarga Encik Julai @ Julaihi Jeman dan Puan Hajijah Karim dan Puan Norhayati Abdullah (Keluarga); Dyg Nur’Maisarrah Abg Abdul Razak (Belia); Masjid Nurir Rahmani Kampung Santubong Kuching (Pentadbiran & Pengurusan Masjid); Surau Baitur Rahmah (RPR Batu Biah) Limbang (Pentadbiran dan Pengurusan Surau); Sekolah Kebangsaan Agama Majlis Islam Sarawak Miri (Sekolah Agama); Ahmad Alwy Muhammad Hudari (Pelajar Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia); Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Omar Ali (Pelajar Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia).