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Muslims must enhance Islam’s position

PUTRAJAYA, 29 Dec 2008: The Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, today called on Muslims to strive to enhance Islam’s position in the country.

Muslims, who make up almost a quarter of the world’s population, could enrich their civilisation to greater glory if they used their capability and wealth, he said in his royal address at the national level 1430H Ma’al Hijrah celebration at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

Tuanku Abdul Halim, who is the Sultan of Kedah, said toward that end, Muslims should discard impediments to their progress and development.

He identified these as disrespect for the ulama (religious elders); the inclination to take the easy way out by neglecting religious teachings; laziness in terms of thinking and work; being hostile to fellow Muslims; and giving priority to self-interests without any heed for the right and wrong in Islam.

Tuanku Abdul Halim said Muslims should make it a point to understand and practise the vision entrusted by Allah in the Quran and Hadith whereby Islam and its followers must become bearers of blessings for the world.

He said that vision must be made the basis for fostering solidarity among Muslims, and with non-Muslims to establish a strong social network in the country.

The theme of this year’s Ma’al Hijrah celebration was “Menjana Ummah Gemilang” (Developing a glorious Muslim community).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah as well as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were also present at the event.

Tuanku Abdul Halim said that with the advent of the year 1430H, it was most appropriate that Muslims in the country subject themselves to self-evaluation to reflect on their development and changes.

“I believe that by way of self-evaluation, we can gauge our strengths and weaknesses well and move on towards the anticipated greater glory.

“I am confident that the theme for this year’s Ma’al Hijrah celebration can drive Muslims to ponder and organise the path into the future with the capacity to handle today’s challenging global competition,” he said.

He urged Muslims to work together, enhance their capability, and discharge their responsibility well and with sincerity, saying that glory could only be achieved with some degree of determination and sacrifice.

Enemies of Islam

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid, in his speech, called on Muslims to always give preference to and strengthen solidarity among themselves which, he said, was vital as a strong bulwark against those who were getting bolder in questioning the integrity of Islam.

“Without solidarity and strong brotherhood, we can be easily manipulated by the enemies of Islam who are constantly planning strategies to weaken Muslims. We cannot allow this phenomenon to continue,” he said.

He said differences of opinion arising from trivial issues should be set aside. He added that Muslims could be open-minded on secondary issues but must be united on the main issue which, among others, involved Muslims’ future survival.

“As such, the theme (of the Ma’al Hijrah celebration) holds much relevance and must be made the basis to motivate Muslims to work hard towards development of the religion, race and country,” he said.

He said the government was sensitive to developments in the community, and current issues were evaluated and guidance provided for Muslims to ensure they remained faithful to their religion.

“Any element that can undermine the faith will be eradicated. The Department of Islamic Development of Malaysia (Jakim) conducts constant research to study, scrutinise and make proposals in ensuring that Muslims remain faithful to their religion,” he said. — Bernama


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