The weekly study session of Kitab Tahliyah wa Targhib, guided by Dr. KH Heryono Tardjono, proceeded as usual on the evening of Wednesday, November 25th. However, there was something remarkable about the number of students participating in the session – an additional ten students, and what sets them apart is their non-Muslim backgrounds.
These ten 9th-grade students hail from Tirta Amarta Christian School, under the auspices of BPK Penabur, in Cinere, Depok, West Java. Among them, eight follow the Christian faith, one is a Muslim, and one is a Buddhist. They were sent to our Pesantren, Aksara Pinggir, for a ‘social study’ program focused on exploring the diversity and culture within Kampung Sawah, Pondok Melati Sub-district, Bekasi City, West Java.
Before starting their study session (Ngaji), I invited them to participate in an istighotsah session. Without any hesitation, they joined in the religious supplication without creating any disruption or commotion. Subsequently, Dr. Hery, as Dr. Heryono Tardjono is affectionately known, commenced the study session with a brief talk about the significance of Santri Day, explaining what, how, why, and who the santri are.