8/11 khutbah- The Importance Of Religious Education



Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

Friday Sermon

8 November 2013 / 4 Muharram 1435

The Importance Of Religious Education

For The Family

Respected jemaah,

All praises be to Allah s.w.t. for granting us this opportunity to gain the barakah of a Friday once more in this new year of 1435 Hijrah. May Allah s.w.t. renew and strengthen our sense of takwa. Hopefully in this new year, we will be more resolute in obeying all of Allah’s commands and be able to avoid all that He has prohibited upon us.

My dear brothers,

Last week we have been reminded of the importance of family in our lives. It is a source of serenity, joy and strength after Allah and his Rasul. Thus, we find that the Anbiya (Prophets) are very concerned about the faith of their families and children, even when they are no longer alive. This can clearly be seen from the story of Prophet Yaakub as mentioned in surah Al-Baqarah, verse 133:

Which means: “Or were you witnesses when death approached Yaakub, when he said to his sons, “What will you worship after me?” They said, “We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq – one God. And we are Muslims [in submission] to Him. “


Subhanallah that was how concerned Prophet Yaakub was towards the faith of his descendents and family. What about us? Are we prepared to be answer to Allah that we have done our very best to strengthen the faith of our children and families? A recent survey conducted by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) found that 60% of Muslims aged between 6-17 years old have yet to receive a proper form of Islamic education. This is something that should be a concern for us as the Muslim community.

My brothers,

How do we want our children to avoid sins and from disobeying Allah’s rules if they have yet to learn what is sinful and its consequences in this world and the hereafter? How can we claim to be a Muslim when there may be a possibility that our family members have yet know about Allah and Rasulullah?

Friday Jemaah,

Hence, on this blessed Friday, I would like to call upon all of us as a community to ensure that none of our family members miss the blessed opportunity of understanding the beauty of Islam. Our mosques and private institutions of Islamic education are able to take in 12,000 more students for their various Islamic education programmes. Let us ensure that our children, whose hearts are still pure, are able to maintain their purity through learning about Islam.

Rasulullah s.a.w, in a hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, said that every child is born with fitrah, and it is the duty of the parents to shape their minds, worldview and develop their souls. If they are left on their own without any guidance, then the purity of the child will be tainted by his desires (nafs), bad peer influences who may lead the child towards doing bad deeds, as well as syaitan.

Just look at the innocent faces of our children, could we allow them to drift away and eventually drown in bad deeds (maksiat) and possibly face hellfire? Definitely not. Thus equip them with Iman (faith) and awareness of what being a Muslim truly mean. Let their hearts bloom with a deep love for good deeds and ihsan (compassion). Educate them to become insan who are spiritually mature and religiously resilient.

In educating our children, there are several factors that we should be mindful of:

First: Islamic education needs to be supported with practice. It is not enough for us to just send our children to weekend madrasah, hoping that they will become good Muslims with a deep understanding of Islam. Religious classes are stepping stones to help our children recognise their responsibilities. But parents are the key towards encouraging them to apply and uphold what they have learnt. It will be very difficult for children to appreciate and understand solat if their parents adopt a non-chalant attitude towards solat.

Second: We need to assist them in understanding the link between Islamic knowledge and their daily lives. For example, when they learn Science, we can help them to realise the Greatness of Allah s.w.t and His wisdom. Through the study of science, it can strengthen their belief that there exists a bigger power that manages this universe with utmost perfection.

Third: We also need to make charity and performing good deeds as a culture within our family. When we, as parents, make time for volunteer work such as helping those in need, or attend Islamic lectures, or go to the mosque for terawih prayers and qiyam sessions, we should bring our children along. Inculcate in their hearts the habit of carrying out good deeds and acts of compassion. Sometimes without realising it, parents are too busy chasing for rewards (pahala) from their good deeds and they forget to encourage their children to do perform these acts as well. Remember how the Quran tells us the story of how Prophet Ibrahim a.s. built the Kaabah together with his son, Prophet Ismail a.s. This is a reminder that it is very important for us to soften our children’s heart to appreciate the pleasures of carrying out good deeds and make it a habit.

Hopefully, through our diligent efforts to educate our children with Islamic knowledge, they will become a community that remains steadfast and holds true to Islamic teachings. Hopefully with this, our children will develop mature personalities as well as become spiritually mature. May Allah grant from us a gracious community, with individuals who are of noble character. Amin Ya Rabbal Alamin.


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1/11- The Role Of Family In The Life Of An Insan



Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

Friday Sermon

1 November 2013 / 27 Zulhijjah 1434

The Role Of Family In The Life Of An Insan

Dear Friday jemaah

On this day full of barakah, let us strengthen our takwa towards Allah s.w.t. Let us strive to abide by all of Allah’s commands and leave behind what Allah has forbidden upon us.




Dear blessed jema’ah,

How do we feel when we see the smiles and hear the joyful laughter of our family members? What is it that we feel when we are out spending time with them and joking around with them? What is it that we experience when we share our problems with our spouse, parents and children? The answer is simple: calmness, happiness, tranquility and joy. That is also the purpose of marriage as Allah has laid out for us. Allah says in the Quran, in surah Ar-Rum verse 21:

Which means: “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.


My dear brothers,

The need for companionship is a basic human desire. Allah s.w.t. created men in pairs. Allah created Hawa as a companion for Prophet Adam a.s. They were blessed with feelings of love and affection, which are the foundations towards building a serene family.


The household of our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was a source of strength spiritually and emotionally. The environment at home that he built led to a sense of tranquility for the heart and mind.


When Rasulullah s.a.w. first received Allah’s revelation directly from the angel Jibril, the Prophet was confused and his emotions were in a state of unrest. In that state, the Prophet s.a.w. did not rush to meet his close friends; instead he rushed home to meet Saidatina Khadijah r.a. and recalled the entire experience to her. This is a reminder for us on the importance of our spouse and the family as our supporters and to guide us when we face problems and challenges. These days, we find that there are those who find it is easier to express their problems and challenges with their contacts on Facebook or Twitter, when instead it should be their family as their main source of strength and reference.


From the story of the first revelation that was sent to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., we learn how Khadijah r.a. supported her husband by calming him down, both mentally and emotionally. She also reassured him and gave him confidence by uttering words of encouragement and together with him, tried to find a solution to what he has facing.


This is reason why the family institution is very important. During our times of need, when we are facing challenges in life, not many of our friends and acquaintances will be there for us. But our family will always be our pillar of support because blood is thicker than water. Thus, we must ensure that we maintain good relations with our family members, be it with our spouse, parents or even our siblings after we have built our own family.


Dear Friday jemaah,

Having a family that is adorned with mawaddah and rahmah is the dream of every individual. It is our responsibility as a husband and father, to lead our family. We have a responsibility to ensure that our families are built on a strong foundation based on takwa, and that it remains as a support system and a source of happiness. Increase our doa to Allah, as Allah has encouraged us to do so in surah Al-Furqan, verse 74:

Which means: And those who pray, “Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.”


This verse is a reminder that every member of the family plays an important role towards bringing about happiness in the family. We must ensure that our children continue to feel the love and happiness in the family. We must not let the pressure and stress we feel at work and outside the home to affect the warmth inside the home and our relationship with our children.  


As fathers, it is even more important. The role of the father as a guide to discipline his children, develop their self-confidence and self-esteem are integral towards building a resilient family. The Quran, tells us of many conversations between a father and his children. These include the story of Prophet Ibrahim a.s. and his son Prophet Ismail a.s., Prophet Yaa’kob a.s. and his son Prophet Yusuf a.s, and the discussions between Luqmanul Hakim and his children.

No matter how tired we are, after an entire day at work, as fathers we should make time to find out about our children’s developments. Have we, as fathers, practiced the Sunnah of giving advice and reminders to our children? Or are we simply leaving this task to our wives? As fathers, we must not be shy or embarrassed to show our love towards our children. If we are not used to saying it verbally, perhaps we can start with telling them via SMS or messages. Words from a father are no less valuable and are psychologically, as impactful on the emotional and mental well-being of our children.


We must also ensure that in a bid to maintain happiness in our family, we must be fair and not practice favouritism in showering our children with love and affection. Rasulullah s.a.w. said:

Which means: “Fear Allah and be fair to your children.” [Hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim]


Indeed the offspring that Allah has blessed us with are an amanah from Allah s.w.t. It is then our obligation to provide a tranquil environment for our family.


Dear brothers,

We will soon usher in the year 1435 Hijriah. This is yet another new chapter that we will embark on together Insya’Allah. Thus, let us strive hard so that the coming year will bring about happiness and peace in our hearts, mind and souls, for ourselves and our families. May Allah s.w.t. strengthen the bonds in our family and be pleased with our families. Amin ya rabbal alamin.





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25/10- Practising A Moderate Attitude Towards Our Children’s Education


I apologise for the delay..


Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

Friday Sermon

25 October 2013 / 20 Zulhijjah 1434

Practising A Moderate Attitude Towards

Our Children’s Education



Friday Jemaah blessed by Allah,

Let us enhance our takwa towards Allah s.w.t. by obeying His commands and trying our best to leave behind what Allah s.w.t. has prohibited upon us.


My brothers,

There is a beautiful verse in the Holy Quran that is aimed at every parent, Allah s.w.t. says in surah At-Tahrim verse 6:


Which means: “O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.”


This verse highlights the importance of working hard towards protecting ourselves, our children and our family from the tortures of hellfire. As parents, this should be the ultimate success that we aim for our children. We must ensure that every success that our children achieve in this world, be it in their studies or in their career, it should pave the way to bring them and ourselves closer to attaining Allah’s pleasure.


Dear Brothers,

It is this concern towards the success of a family that Rasulullah s.a.w. has reminded us to use our wealth to benefit our family members. Rasulullah s.a.w. said:

Which means : “Money you spend for the sake of Allah; money you spend to free a slave, money you give in charity to the poor, and money you spend on your family . . . The greatest in reward of all of these is spending on your family.”  [Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim]


This hadith reminds us of the importance of a husband and a father to ensure that his wealth is for the benefit of his children and wife. And among the spending that is necessary to be borne by a father is spending on his children’s education. Education will shape the character of one’s children and will guarantee him/her a bright future Insya’Allah. This is not just for the benefits of this world but also the hereafter. How can we hope for our children to be dwellers of Paradise if we do not provide them with the right guidance? How can we hope for our children to be skilled if we are not willing to spend our money, time and effort to shape them and impart relevant skills on them? If we are still reluctant to spend all these for the sake of our children’s development, then remember that we will be held accountable by Allah s.w.t!


My dear jemaah,

In caring for our children’s education, we must also be wise in balancing their emotional, psychological and physical development. As we carry out our responsibility to educate our children to become outstanding individuals and contribute to the community, there are some things that we can consider:


First: Avoid being excessive and exerting too much pressure on your children’s education.

We should remember that the best way in Islam is to be balanced. The need to be balanced, or moderate, is embedded in various aspects of the Shariah. Moderation in eating, giving to charity, loving others and so on.


We should also practice moderation when it comes to our children’s education. We should not pamper our children excessively, but at the same time we must not be too hard on them and control them too much that they do not enjoy the process of seeking knowledge. In our enthusiasm to encourage our children to do well, we should be careful not to exert emotional and psychological pressure on our kids. For example, over-controlling them and stressing them out daily simply to push them to achieve excellent results for their tests and examinations.


Being too demanding and giving them too much pressure will have negative implications to our children’s mental health. We should learn to detect and understand signs that our children are stressed out or worse, depressed. This is critical in ensuring that they get enough attention and early treatment, if needed. Remember, learning can take place anytime and anywhere, even during a family activity.

We should not always compare one child’s achievements to that of his or her other siblings, or even with others. Remember, every child is different, both in terms of personality and abilities. It would be much better if we utter words of encouragement and motivate them to do their best in their studies.


Second: We need to set a good example in terms of our own quest for knowledge, by keeping alive the culture of reading and seeking knowledge. Fill the shelves in our house with books that are beneficial. Not to mention, we should read extensively and also attend religious lectures. If we have managed to instill the culture of lifelong learning in our family, then our children will naturally be motivated to do their best in seeking knowledge.


Third: Most importantly, we must inculcate in them the realisation that knowledge, just like everything else on this earth, belongs to Allah s.w.t, and that all the knowledge and wisdom that we have attained is a gift from Allah s.w.t. Knowledge, just like other creations, is something that we need to ask from Allah s.w.t, so that He may ease it for us and put barakah in the knowledge that we seek. The knowledge that we seek will not be beneficial if we do not link it to takwa.


One doa that is good for us to teach to our children is the doa that Allah s.w.t. taught Nabi Musa a.s., asking for his heart to be clear and to be granted with beneficial knowledge.


Which means: My Lord, expand for me my breast [with assurance]; And ease for me my task; And untie the knot from my tongue; That they may understand my speech [Surah Taha, verses: 25-28].


My brothers, our children are our legacy. If we raise them to be obedient to Allah s.w.t. and diligent in doing good deeds and helping others, we are not only grooming them to be future dwellers of Paradise Insya’Allah, but we are in fact looking to book a place for ourselves in the sight of Allah s.w.t.

May Allah s.w.t bless us and our families, and grant us sakinah (tranquility) in this world and the hereafter. Aamin ya Rabbal ‘Aalamin





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18 Oct khubah-The importance of Zikrullah in the Life of a Muslim




Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

Friday Sermon

18 Oct 2013 / 13 Zulhijjah 1434H

The importance of Zikrullah in the Life of a Muslim


Friday Jemaah blessed by Allah,

Let us strive to boost our takwa by instilling in ourselves love for Allah by abiding to all of His commands and leaving behind what Allah has prohibited upon us.




My dear brothers,

Living in this fast-paced world, where we are busy chasing our worldly dreams and ambitions, we are often under pressure and stress. At times, we may feel restless and uneasiness engulfs our hearts. We strive day and night to find a remedy for this uneasiness, but we still fail to find it. At times, we try to ease our hearts with entertainment, but that restless feeling will come to haunt us again. Here, I would like to share what Allah s.w.t. says in verse 28 surah Ar-Ra’ad:

Which means: Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah (zikrullah). Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah (zikrullah) hearts are assured.”


We must always remember that Allah is the One who controls our hearts and souls. Thus, it is He who is All-Knowing and the Almighty who is able to bring our hearts from a state of restlessness to a state of peace and calmness. From despair to perseverance. When we feel stuck, worried and lost, then we need to return to Allah the Almighty, by making zikr, remembering Him in order to be given a renewed sense of strength.


The story of Prophet Yunus a.s., who was swallowed by a whale, is an excellent story that talks about the importance of zikrullah (remembering Allah) to achieve calmness of the heart. Imagine the situation that Prophet Yunus a.s. was in, and how he must have felt at that time, trapped in the stomach of a whale which was lying on the ocean floor. Prophet Yunus’ response was not to surrender, give up and allow himself to be depressed as he battled a huge problem. Instead, in that moment of solitude and loneliness, he turned to Allah s.w.t., the only One who can bring him out of darkness and back to light. The doa that was recited by Prophet Yunus a.s., which is also good for us to recite as well, is mentioned in the Quran; verse 87 Surah Al-Anbiya’:

Which means: And he called out within the darkness, “There is no deity except you; exalted are you. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.”


Allah s.w.t. then brought him out of that darkness and protected him. In another surah, Allah s.w.t. explains a very important matter that we should all reflect upon, and it is related to Nabi Yunus a.s. Allah says in surah As-Saffat verse 143-144:


Which means: And had he not been of those who exalt (glorify) Allah, He would have remained inside its belly until the Day they are resurrected.”


This story is a reminder for us, that when we face challenges in life or when we are stressed at work, school, or home, we should quickly remember Allah. This will help our hearts regain calmness and enable us to focus on working out solutions to the problems we encounter. Hopefully, with the barakah of remembering Allah, He will guide us to the best solutions to overcome the challenges we face and ease our affairs, Insha’Allah.


Friday Jemaah blessed by Allah,

In discussing the importance of remembering Allah or zikrullah, I would like to share with you a story of a Companion of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. This companion went to Rasulullah s.a.w. and complained to him about the burden that felt. The companion felt that as more laws of Islam were established, he was afraid that he would not be able to fulfil them. The Prophet s.a.w. replied:

Which means: “Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah s.w.t.” [Hadith narrated by Imam At-Tirmizi]


By making zikrullah a habit, a Mukmin (believer) will be able to achieve the strength to hold on to Allah’s laws. When a Mukmin is in constant remembrance of Allah s.w.t., piety (takwa) will bloom in him. He will strive to better his heart, his akhlak and his words. My brothers, we are indeed humans who are weak and we easily forget our objective in this world. Among the reasons why we easily fall prey to our desires and syaitan’s deception is because of our empty souls and the lack of focus towards Allah s.w.t. When this happens, takwa will be absent from our hearts and we lack conscience when we do evil acts.


Therefore, we must train ourselves to quickly remember Allah by invoking zikr when we find that we are on the verge of any wrongdoing. My brothers, our children are exposed to all sorts of bad influences these days; hence we need to train them from a very young age to ensure that his life is never void of remembering Allah. We must teach them that whenever they feel tempted or are encouraged by friends to transgress Allah’s rules, they must quickly remember Allah s.w.t.


Imam Al-Hassan Al-Basri once said:

“Are you not ashamed, if tomorrow when you meet with God, and find that most of your time was not filled with remembrance of Allah?”


Therefore, do not let our free time pass by without filling the time with good deeds and beneficial work. Remember my brothers, we may not regain the time that has passed. Thus, use the time given by Allah wisely.


And remember, what Allah sees in our zikr is not the quantity of it. Rather, the appreciation of the words that we recite, and that is the main objective that we must observe while making zikr. Nabi Muhammad s.a.w., when he was speaking about the seven groups of people who will be shaded by Allah at the field of Mahsyar during the Day of Judgement, said that among the seven groups are:

Which means: A person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes gets flooded with tears”. [Hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim]


May Allah s.w.t. make us among those whose hearts are alive with zikrullah and whose tongues are moist with the recitation of zikr and verses from the Quran. May Allah grant us with calmness and everlasting happiness in this world and the hereafter. Amin.





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Eidul Adha khutbah-The Impact of Takwa in Our Lives



Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

Khutbah for Eidul Adha

15 October 2013 / 10 Zulhijjah 1433

The Impact of Takwa in Our Lives

Dear blessed jema’ah,

On this morning that is filled with blessings and glory, let us reignite our takwa to Allah with all our hearts and souls. Let us offer our utmost gratitude and our praises for Allah s.w.t. The God that has granted us this life and all the blessings that come with it; the God that has blessed us with the light of iman and takwa in our lives.


May we be able to continue to protect the seed of takwa that Allah has placed in our hearts, and may it continue to blossom with every tahmid and takbir that we utter in our hearts and with our tongues. May Allah accept all the ibadah performed by our brothers and sisters who are in the holy land, answering His call to perform their hajj obligation. May Allah s.w.t. also accept our sacrifices that some of us will be performing soon after.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,

Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd

Dear beloved jemaah,

On this beautiful morning, allow me to share a story of two siblings who had presented their sacrifices to Allah s.w.t., and how Allah s.w.t. had both accepted and rejected their sacrifices. These siblings I am referring to here is none other than the sons of Nabi Adam a.s., named Habil and Qabil. The story began when Nabi Adam wanted to marry them to the partners that he had selected for them. However, after informing them of his choices, Qabil was unable to accept his decision to marry him off to Habil’s sister. In order to resolve the problem, Nabi Adam a.s. then suggested for both Habil and Qabil to present their sacrifices to Allah s.w.t. The owner of the sacrifice that is accepted by Allah will be given the right to choose his own partner. The outcome of this was recorded in the Quran, in surah Al-Maidah, verse 27:


Which mean: “And recite to them the story of Adam’s two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allah], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said [Qabil], “I will surely kill you.” Said [Habil], “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the muttaqin [those who are righteous].


Dear jemaah, this verse informs us that between Habil and Qabil, it was Habil’s sacrifice that was accepted by Allah s.w.t, while Qabil’s sacrifice was not. Why is this so? What had caused the latter’s sacrifice to be rejected by Allah s.w.t.?


Some scholars is of the opinion that the main reason why Habil’s sacrifice was accepted by Allah s.w.t. was because he carried it out solely for Allah’s sake. He also chose the best from his livestock to present to Allah. This thus reminds us of the importance to always strive to give the best for Allah s.w.t., and not just be contented with merely fulfilling the conditions for the validity of a particular hukum or a commandment. While it is commendable to perform a good act, Islam wants us to also do it with sincerity, commitment and the strong desire to ensure that the act will be carried out with care and not just to do it carelessly and sloppily.


Hence ladies and gentlemen, it is important for us to be constantly aware that the outcomes that we hope to achieve from our acts of worship, so that we are better able to take the necessary steps to ensure that we can achieve these outcomes.  We do not want to become like those who utter their zikir to Allah and to give selawat to the Prophet s.a.w., yet we continue to utter insulting and hurtful words to others, allowing our hearts to be consumed by grudges, malice and hatred.


We also do not want to become like those who perform their worships diligently, but yet we still seem to  care for the sufferings of those around us, or we still bear enmity and animosity towards others, we are arrogant and we do not even smile to our neighbours and acquaintances.  If we are still doing all these things, then we need to reflect again on our intentions for doing these acts of worship in the first place. Are they based on takwa and the desire to be closer to Allah sw.t.? Or have we been unknowingly distracted by the whispers of syaitan, so much so that our acts of worship become contradictory to our characters and daily actions?


Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,

Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd

Dear jema’ah,

In order to ensure that our acts of worship will always bring about positive effects in ourselves and our families, we need to always ensure that our takwa is renewed constantly. It is takwa that will guide and protect our sincerity in performing our ibadah. It will also help us to achieve our intentions in performing ibadah, which is to become closer to Allah s.w.t.; to be virtuous and compassionate, and to make us better contributors to those around us and beyond. That is why Allah s.w.t. reminds us that in performing the korban ritual or the sacrifice, it is takwa that determines if our ibadah will be accepted:


Which mean: “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety (takwa) from you that reaches Him. Thus have We made them subject to you that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you. And give glad tidings (of good rewards) to those who strive to do good”. 


My dear jemaah, what Allah wants from our sacrifice is not the quantity of the meat. However, what is wanted is for us to become human beings whose hearts will not feel burdened to part with our wealth for the sake of Allah s.w.t. Hopefully with this small sacrifice of ours, our takwa for Allah s.w.t. will continue to bloom and blossom.


However, what do we understand from takwa that we hope for from our sacrifices? My dear brothers and sisters, it is true as narrated by Imam Muslim, that when Rasulullah s.a.w. was explaining the meaning of takwa, and he indicated that it lies in the heart. However, the effects of takwa is far more encompassing and in depth. Takwa comes from the word waqaya and literally it means “to protect”. It is hence very much appropriate for our scholars to define takwa as carrying out all of Allah’s commandments and to stay away from all His prohibitions.


There are several effects or impact of takwa:

First: Having takwa will ensure that we will always be guided from committing vices and harming ourselves, our families, our community, and even the world. With takwa, then he should be better able to control himself from causing harm to his iman and to his life. Having takwa would also mean that one would be able to make one’s heart to always uphold what is good and what Allah has commanded, although it might be against his or her own wishes. In short, takwa is our moral compass that we need in navigating our lives; be it in our ibadah, career, studies and also as a member of a larger community.


The effects of having takwa can be seen in the story of milk seller that has been narrated in the story by Ibn Asakir in his book Tarikh Dimasyq.


One night, Saidina Umar was as usual walking around the city to better understand the living conditions of the people of Madinah. When he was passing by a house, he overheard a conversation between a daughter and her mom. The daughter told the mother: “O mother, the milk that we get from the goat is too little!” The mother then answered “Yes, maybe it is due to the drought.” She then continued, “O my child, since the passing of your father, our family income has been badly affected. Why don’t you add water to the milk so that it would seem more than it actually is, and hence, we will then be able to get more profit! Besides, Umar r.a. and his officers will never come to know about it!” However, the daughter refused to do as instructed and said: “Mother, although no one could see us mixing the milk with water, Allah does. Allah will always know all of our actions no matter how hard we try to conceal it. I do not want to commit this dishonest act, be it in public or in private, for I believe that Allah will always see what we do at every moment”.


Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,

Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd

Dear jema’ah, subhanallah! In the story that I have just shared with you, we have witnessed the effect of takwa, not just on the one who possesses it, but it has also saved those around her from falling into the pit of immorality and transgression. Although they were in a state of difficulty, the takwa implanted in the daughter’s heart had protected her and her mother from disobeying Allah s.w.t. The voice of takwa within her was successful in overcoming the whispers of syaitan, and that is why she could not bear being dishonest in her trade.


From this story, we learn of the second effect of takwa. It endows one’s soul with the realisation that every single action will be held accountable to Allah s.w.t. With this realization, we will not be able to bring ourselves to commit acts that will damage our natural resources, like wasting water and cutting down trees without replacing them. This realization will thus be the fortress that will protect us from turning into a businessman who cheats clients of their money; from becoming a cheating spouse; an ungrateful child, and an employee that betrays the employer’s trust and many other vices.


The outcome from this realisation that Allah will hold us accountable will bring us to the third effect of takwa, and that is the readiness to sacrifice everything that might seem fun and fascinating, but is disliked by Allah due to its negative long-term effect in this world or in the hereafter.


Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,

Allahu Akbar Wa Lillahil Hamd

Dear jema’ah,

Pure takwa can be achieved, among others, through profound knowledge. Prophet Ibrahim a.s., for example, has been narrated in the Quran as having substantially used a logical approach in understanding the existence of The One God. For example, he a.s. had asked his community to analyse how the stars, moon and sun are all creations for they will all rise and set; come and go; while a God should never do so. Through that approach, he was able to conclude for his community that the One who possesses the supreme power and the One who created and governs the universe, is the One who should be worshipped. And He is none other than Allah Azza Wa Jalla.


This is what we should emulate in every aspect of our life and iman. Prophet Ibrahim analysed and contemplated on his surroundings. He pondered upon Allah’s creation in his process of finding Allah and looking for solutions for life’s challenges. For example, in assisting our brothers and sisters who are living in poverty, we would need to look into the issue from various aspects; such as the family values and practices; the spending habits; financial planning skills; and if they are informed of the assistance made available to them and so on.


May Allah grant us with the zest and the wisdom to continue strengthening our takwa in Him. May Allah place us and our loved ones amongst those who are of the highest takwa on the Day of Judgment.


O Allah! You are our God. On this blessed morning of Eidul Adha, we pray that You will accept all our good deeds, and that of our relatives’. May these good deeds will later become our tickets to enter Your paradise.

O Allah! Please forgive us of our sins, and that of our parents’. Make us Your servants who are always thankful and in constant gratitude for all Your blessings. Make takwa the guide in our lives. Help us in preserving and protecting our takwa regardless of the challenges that we might face in time to come.


O Allah! Please do not turn our hearts away from obeying and submitting to You. Show us the right path, and place us and our offspring amongst those who constantly strive to establish truth, and make us leaders that strive in Your cause.


O Allah! O our God! Bless us with what is good in this life and what is good in the hereafter. Protect us from the shackles of hell and the severity of Your punishments. Amin. Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.






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11 Oct khutbah-A Strong Believer Is A Healthy Believer


I’m so sorry for the delay…



Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

Friday Sermon

11 October 2013 / 6 Zulhijjah 1434

A Strong Believer Is A Healthy Believer

Dear blessed Friday jemaah,

Let us strive to increase our taqwa towards Allah s.w.t. by carrying out all of His commands and leaving behind what Allah has prohibited upon us. Let us be grateful for the all the bounty and pleasures that Allah has given us, especially that of our health.

My brothers,

Today, I would like to take the opportunity to call upon all of you to reflect upon a famous advice of Nabi s.a.w. On the authority of Ibnu ‘Abbas r.a., Rasulullah s.a.w. said:

Which means: “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth, before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.” [Narrated by Al-Hakim]

Through this hadith, the Prophet s.a.w. reminded us on the importance of the blessings Allah s.w.t has bestowed upon us. And among these blessings is that of our good health. With good mental, physical and spiritual health, we will be able to worship Allah s.w.t. and perform our ibadah. Health is something that cannot be bought with money and wealth.   Thus, that is also why Rasulullah s.a.w. said in a hadith on the authority of Ibnu Majah, narrated by Anas bin Malik that a man came to see the Prophet s.a.w.: “Ya Rasulullah, what is the best (most afdhal) doa?” Rasulullah s.a.w. replied “Ask Allah for forgiveness and health in this world and the hereafter.” It was reported that the man asked for three consecutive days and was given the same response. And the Prophet s.a.w. advised the same doa and said: “When you are forgiven and granted health in this world and the hereafter, then you are truly successful.”

Imam At-Tirmizi in his book Asy-Syamail Al-Muhammadiyyah, described how the Prophet s.a.w. had a well-balanced figure. This shows that Nabi s.a.w. looked after his health. The purpose is to ensure that he can continue to worship Allah s.w.t. and perform his ibadah comfortably, and have the strength to continue his mission.

My brothers, perhaps we often get too caught up with work and our busy schedules that we have overlooked the importance of taking care of our health. Hence, I would like to remind myself and all of you on the sunnah of maintaining and looking after our physical and mental health. Maybe there are some basic things can we do to enliven this Sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w.

First: Let us try to eat in moderation with a balanced diet.

When Allah s.w.t. stressed upon the importance of consuming halal food, He also stressed upon eating what is “toyyib” or “good”, balanced and is not harmful. Allah says in surah Al-Maidah verse 88:

Which means:  And eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And fear Allah , in whom you are believers. “

Hence, ensure that the food we consume and feed our families is not only from halal sources but is also nutritious and well-balanced so that we will have the energy to continue to worship Allah and carry out His commands.

We can emulate the example of how Rasulullah s.a.w. looked after his diet by eating a well-balanced meal. The Prophet reminded us, “Eat with one third of your stomach and drink with one third and leave one third of your stomach to breathe..” [Narrated by At-Tirmizi]

Secondly, we need to make time for exercise.

Rasulullah s.a.w. once said:  “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer although there is good in each…” [Narrated by Muslim]

This hadith reminds us that a believer (Mukmin) has to be spiritually awakened, mentally resilient and that also applies physically. Thus, we must ensure that we maintain our fitness level and health through regular exercise. We cannot simply sit back and let our bodies weaken without physical exercise.

If we are not able to do strenuous exercise, we can simply do moderate or light exercises, depending on our abilities and fitness levels. If we cannot jog, perhaps we can do brisk walking. By exercising, Insya’Allah our bodies will feel lighter and thus easier for us to perform our ibadah and feel closer to Allah s.w.t.

In relation to the sunnah of taking care of our health, we are also encouraged to fast. We should grab the chance to fast during these first ten days of Zulhijjah, and specifically on the Day of Arafah which can be performed on the 9th of Zulhijjah, which falls on 14 October. Nabi s.a.w. once said that fasting during the Day of Arafah can expiate our sins from the previous year and the coming year.

Third: Observing aspects of spiritual health.

My brothers, a strong believer also needs inner strength which comes from his spirituality. Thus, give our complete focus only to Allah s.w.t. when we stand up in prayer, or make doa to Him. Neurologists have found that prayer (solat) can restore mental stability and a sense of calmness in a person. Thus, when we pray to Allah s.w.t. do so with all our heart. Clear your hearts of any feelings of hatred, anger, jealousy and so on. Let our hearts talk to Allah s.w.t. and gain a newfound strength from our prayers.

My brothers, let us bring ourselves closer to Allah s.w.t., who has granted us with our good health by taking good care of ourselves, as this health is essentially a loan or amanah from Allah s.w.t. Let us continuously make doa and ask from Allah s.w.t. to grant us lasting physical and spiritual health so that we may use the bounty that Allah s.w.t. has given to us for the benefit of the hereafter. Amin Ya Rabbal Alamin.


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4/10- Fostering concern towards others



Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

Friday Sermon

4 October 2013 / 28 Zulkaedah 1434

Fostering concern towards others

Dear Friday Jemaah,

On this day full of blessings, I would like to remind myself and all of you here to strengthen your taqwa towards Allah s.w.t. Continue to strive hard to heed all of Allah’s commands and aim to avoid what Allah s.w.t. has prohibited upon us.


My dear brothers,

For last month’s khutbah, we were reminded of the contributions and sacrifices made by our great Muslim scholars, in their efforts to ensure that Allah’s religion continues to spread and remain relevant with time. Their sacrifices bear witness to the concern that they have for the religion. They were also driven by the spirit of rahmatan lil ’alamin, which is the sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w. To help us better appreciate this sunnah, let me share a story for us to reflect on.

Once, Rasulullah s.a.w. had slaughtered a lamb and he then donated the meat to the fakir (needy people). Then Rasulullah s.a.w. asked his wife, Aisyah r.a: What is left from the sheep? His wife, who knew that Nabi s.a.w. liked to eat mutton, had kept a small portion of the meat from the sheep’s shoulder for Rasulullah s.a.w, then Rasulullah s.a.w.  said: “Every part of the sheep (that was donated) remains except for the shoulder.” [Hadith Narrated by At-Tirmidzi]

What could Nabi s.a.w. be referring to when he said that what was donated will remain? It means that whatever that was donated would be accepted by Allah s.w.t, and whatever that we keep with us will be depleted and gone eventually. This is in accordance to what Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran, in surah An-Nahl verse 96:

Which means: “Whatever you have will end, but what Allah has is lasting. And We will surely give those who were patient their reward according to the best of what they used to do”.

The story that I have shared earlier reflects the beauty of the Prophet’s character, how he was very concerned of the well-being of others. Rasulullah s.a.w. prioritised those who were in need and the poor, even though he and his family remained hungry. Aisyah r.a. said: “Never did the family of Muhammad s.a.w eat he bread of wheat to their fill for two consecutive days”. [Hadith narrated by Imam At-Tirmizi]

Anyone who has performed his haj or umrah, and visited Masjid Nabawi which is right beside the Prophet’s house, must have seen the effect of how concerned he was of those who are in need. Just look at how Nabi s.a.w, in his capacity as the leader, chose to accommodate the poor and needy at the veranda next to his house. He did not ostracise them and place them far from where he was staying

This deep sense of concern towards others is what we should instil amongst us. In the midst of chasing for money, wealth and position, never forget those who have less.

My brothers, let us not be selfish and concern ourselves only with our personal needs. It is hence heartening that throughout last month, mosques in Singapore have organised many activities aimed at instilling awareness of the need to be concerned towards others and spreading blessings to all. Volunteers from all walks of life tried to emulate Rasulullah s.a.w. in contributing and serving the well-being of the community, whatever their race and religion may be.

My brothers,

In the framework of trying to inculcate care and concern towards others within ourselves, there are several values that we need to continue building on.

First: To appreciate the life of every human being

My brothers, the sweetness of iman will not be present unless we combine our love for Allah s.w.t. and Rasulullah s.a.w, with the love towards others. How can we become Allah’s beloved servants when our relationships with His creations are cold and distant? Or if we ignore the plight of those in need of help? Or if we do not bother about the living conditions of our neighbour whose house we pass by daily? Remember what Rasulullah s.a.w. said:

Which means:Whoever possesses the following three (qualities), will have the sweetness (delight) of Faith: (1) The one to whom Allah and His Messenger are more beloved than anything else; (2) The one who loves another only for Allah’s sake; (3) The one who hates to convert to disbelief after Allah has rescued him from it, as he hates to be thrown into the fire.” [Hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim]

It should be understood that how one person treats another is determined by how he views others and his presumption of others. Hence, if a Muslim views anyone who does not follow the religion or his orientation with enmity and animosity, then this will affect his ability to interact well with others, and might hamper efforts to foster understanding which will help build a harmonious society.

This is where Islam’s message of humanity plays a crucial role in increasing the understanding of Islam by Muslims themselves. As highlighted by Syeikh Dr. Muhammad Saeed Ramadan Al-Buthi in his book “Love in the Quran”:  “The fact that we are human beings (insan), servants and that we belong to Allah s.w.t. is enough to make it obligatory upon us to have feelings of love and affection towards other human beings “.

Second: Comprehensive understanding of the concept of Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamin.

Allah s.w.t. says in surah Al-Anbiya’ verse 107:

Which means: “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.”

In the verse that was just read, it was clearly mentioned that Rasulullah s.a.w. was sent by Allah s.w.t. as a blessing or rahmah to all on this earth. The word “rahmah” in this verse means an ummah that does good deeds and brings about positivity to those around them. A true believer or mukmin who strives to be a rahmah or blessing to those around him will not be affected by the situation around him; in fact they will be moved by his goodness and kindness. As the Prophet Nabi Syuaib a.s. said to his people:

Which means: “I only intend reform as much as I am able. [Surah Hud, verse 88]

Hence, as the ummah of Rasulullah s.a.w. we should also strive to bring blessings to those around us and aim to carry out all sorts of good deeds for the benefit of the society, emulating the life and personality of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

May Allah s.w.t. grant us taufiq and inayah for us to emulate the Prophet s.a.w., and to practice and implement his sunnah, amin Ya Rabbal Alamin.


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27/9 Khutbah: Imam Ibnu Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah- Balance and breadth in understanding religion




Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

Friday Sermon

27 September 2013 / 21 Zulkaedah 1434

Imam Ibnu Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah: Balance and breadth in understanding religion

Dear Friday Jemaah,

The concept of Iqra in the Quran, does not simply encourage us to seek knowledge. Beyond that, it calls upon us to reflect, contemplate and explore the bountiful creations of Allah s.w.t. in this universe. We should observe the two processes of accumulating and gaining experience and also the application of the knowledge, as these two processes can help  to strengthen our taqwa towards Allah s.w.t., help us in carrying out Allah’s commands and reinforce our conviction to avoid what Allah has prohibited upon us.  The scholars, with their strength of knowledge and ability to think deeply, have contributed tremendously towards the advancement of the various sciences that we have today, and have helped to shape changes for the benefit of mankind.


My dear brothers,

Today’s sermon will centre around yet another eminent scholar, Abu Abdullah Syamsuddin Muhammad bin Abu Bakar Az-Zar’i Ad-Dimasyqi, or better known as Ibnu Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah. Born on 7 Safar 691 Hijrah, he passed away on 13 Rajab 751 Hijrah. He was an expert in many fields of Shariah such as Fiqh, Fatwa, Usul Fiqh, Al-Faraidh, At-Tafsir, Al-Hadith, Theology, Philosophy, History, Arabic language and more.


He published hundreds of books in the various fields of study mentioned above. His immense contribution led to the expansion and advancement of knowledge in Islamic Shari’ah, and it is in accordance with the Prophet’s mission, as his contribution continues to bring blessings to all.


Ibnu Qayyim was raised in a family that was religious and had a deep love for knowledge. His academic journey started while he was still very young. He would travel just to seek knowledge from several scholars who were known for their expertise in a particular field. He did not limit himself to only the scholars from the Syafi’i or Hanbali mazhab, even though his approach in Fiqh leaned towards the mazhab of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal.


His extensive education from various scholars helped to shape his thinking and his ability to present arguments in a very sharp and precise manner. In fact, there are times when his opinion regarding several issues in fiqh and fatwa differed from those of his own teachers.


My dear brothers,

An outstanding trait of Imam Ibnu Qayyim is his ability to form opinions in fiqh and fatwa beyond naqli evidences (which are evidences found in the Quran and Sunnah), but also to take into account the culture of a particular community, their needs and the context of the environment and situation they are in. In his well-known publication I’lam al Muwaqqi’in he discussed the topic of Changes in fatwa and its differences with the change in place and time.


There are several matters in the religion that remain constant and can never be changed, such as solat (prayer), fasting, zakat, haj and so on. However, there are matters that are deal more with humankind’s transactions or mu’amalat, such as buying and selling, rental agreements, interactions and so on. Opinions and views regarding these matters will change as our muamalah continue to develop and evolve.


Although Ibnu Qayyim started his academic journey majoring in the study of fiqh, he was also an expert in the field of spirituality. Among his well-known books that discuss on the spiritual journey of a slave hoping to attain Allah’s pleasure, is the book Madarij As-Saalikin. This serves as a good example for all of us. We need to know that in order to appreciate Islam in a more holistic and thorough manner, we have to understand both the legal and the spiritual aspects of Islam.


Let us reflect upon verses 2-4 in surah Al-Anfal, where Allah s.w.t. highlights the importance of these two wings of knowledge:

Which means: The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely – The ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend. Those are the believers, truly. For them are degrees [of high position] with their Lord and forgiveness and noble provision.”


From this verse, we can see how Allah s.w.t. connects one’s ritual practices with the need for spirituality.


My dear blessed brothers,

There are several lessons from Ibnu Qayyim’s personality that we can all emulate. Among them:


First: The need to have a more holistic understanding of religion and a comprehensive approach; taking into account the situation and living environment, the needs of the community, and the peculiarities of the different places and time. In our attempt of understanding the religion better, we should prevent ourselves from carrying out any hukum in a rigid manner to the extent that it might lead to difficulties in carrying it out.


If we were to understand in a more holistic manner, we would be able prevent a difficult and restrictive application of our beautiful religion. Please bear in mind that the Shariah continues to be relevant for every time and place. Allah says in surah al-Maidah, verse 48:

Which means: To each of you We prescribed a law and a method.”


Second: In understanding any religious opinion, we must first seek to understand the background, the situation and objective of the religious opinion that was issued. Perhaps, a scholar gave the opinion based on the culture and challenges of the community he was from, which may be different from that of ours. We must remember that any fatwa issued locally takes into account the maslahat, needs, interests and context of the Singapore Muslim community. Accepting any fatwa issued in another country in totality, without studying the country’s situation and environment, may lead to misunderstanding, conflicts and division within our community. The younger generation may be particularly more exposed to all sorts of information about the religion from the Internet. They may be driven to seek information from the Internet because they want faster access to information, or would like to read about a fatwa quickly. Hence, we need to be very careful in assessing and adopting religious opinions, especially if they are sourced solely from the Internet.


The third lesson: In every individual’s journey to deepen his or her understanding and appreciation of Islam, there is a need for balance in the development of both mind and soul. For those who are keen on the study of jurisprudence, and from an intellectual perspective of the religion, they must also ensure that they develop their spirituality, and at the same time maintain purity of the soul and good akhlak. This is because knowledge without akhlak is a betrayal to the Islamic tradition of knowledge. And for those who are keen toward spiritual activities, they must also develop their academic understanding and religious thought with knowledge of hadith, tafsir and so on. This is to ensure that while they develop themselves spiritually, they will also continue to remain within the guidelines of traditional scholars of Islam.


Let us increase our knowledge, especially about the Shariah. A more extensive knowledge and deeper understanding of it will strengthen our relationship with Allah. The more we love Islam, the more we will be able to contribute toward the betterment of humankind. May Allah guide us in our efforts to continue the passionate work of our scholars in shining the lives of the ummah with knowledge, to seek Allah’s pleasure in this world and the hereafter. Amin. Ya Rabbal ’Alamin.








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20/9 Khutbah: Professor Ahmad Ibrahim – Leaving behind a legacy


Sorry for the delay..



Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

Friday Sermon

 20 September 2013 / 14 Zulkaedah 1434

Professor Ahmad Ibrahim – Leaving behind a legacy.

Dear Friday Jemaah,

As a reminder to myself and to all of you, let us strive to increase our taqwa to Allah s.w.t. Obey all of Allah’s commands and avoid what He has forbidden upon us. May Allah s.w.t grant us the strength to contribute toward the welfare and betterment of the community.

Dear jemaah,

Islam encourages its ummah to value knowledge. On that basis, the first revelation (wahyu) from Allah s.w.t. emphasises knowledge. Allah s.w.t. the Most Wise chose that the first revelation sent to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was about knowledge. Allah s.w.t. says in surah Al-‘Alaq verses 1-5:

Which means: “Recite in the name of your Lord who created – Created man from a clinging substance. Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous – Who taught by the pen – Taught man that which he knew not.”

Today, I would like to take the opportunity to share with all of you about an outstanding scholar so that we may be able to appreciate and explore the legacy he has left behind. He contributed vastly to the field of education, and has left a great impact on the Muslim community in this region. He played a tremendous role in laying the foundations of Islamic law in Singapore and Malaysia. He is none other than the late Professor Ahmad Ibrahim.

My brothers,

As recorded in Obor Ummah, a book published by Pergas, Professor Ahmad Ibrahim was born on Monday, 15 May 1916 in Singapore. He was the first Malay born in Singapore who graduated with first class honours in law and economics from the University of Cambridge.

Given his background in legal matters, he contributed greatly to the community within the field of law. His vast experience and expertise in law led to his appointment as Singapore’s first Attorney General after the country’s independence in 1965. Professor Ahmad Ibrahim is a sterling example of an individual who used his knowledge to improve the lives of Muslims and non-Muslims alike in Singapore and Malaysia.

The late Professor Ahmad Ibrahim was a visionary leader, legal expert and a pioneer. He also drew up the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) which continues to benefit us today. AMLA led to the setting up of statutory boards such as the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM), the Syari’ah Court and the administration of institutions such as madrasah and mosques in Singapore.

Respected jemaah,

There are many lessons that we can learn from the life of Professor Ahmad Ibrahim. Among them:

First: The importance of leaving behind a legacy that will be beneficial to future generations. Allah s.w.t. says in the Qur’an, surah Yasin verse 12:

Which means: “Indeed, it is We who bring the dead to life and record what they have put forth and what they left behind, and all things We have enumerated in a clear register.”

Sheikh Wahbah Az-Zuhaily in his tafsir book explained that the phrase “what they have left behind” refers to the lasting impact and benefits of their practices and contributions, even after they have left the world. These contributions could be in the form of charitable donations, knowledge that can be passed on to others and so on.

My brothers, let’s take a moment to think. If our time has come to leave this world, what have we contributed, and what good deeds can we bring with us when we meet Allah s.w.t? Have we made contributions that will continue to benefit others even after we have passed away? How did we make use of the age, wealth, knowledge, talents and energy that we had, to develop an ongoing legacy well beyond our time on this earth? Remember my brothers, there is no contribution that is too small in the sight of Allah. Perhaps we do not own enormous amounts of wealth, or vast knowledge, but we have children and grandchildren. They are our heritage. If we educate and raise them to be individuals who bring benefit to others, then we will also reap the benefits of their good deeds

Second: We must be confident and have the vision to contribute as much as we can, and as widely as we are able to.

Professor Ahmad Ibrahim’s significant contributions can also be seen in his academic and scholarly efforts in developing expertise in Islamic law within the region. His valuable contributions not only benefited Singapore, but also the region. Through his appointment as a lecturer at the university, thousands of legal scholars from various countries -in this region and globally- have benefited from his extensive knowledge. His contributions were so great that it led the International Islamic University of Malaysia to name the law faculty after him, the Law Faculty of Ahmad Ibrahim. This is indeed a reminder that even though we are from a small country like Singapore, we are capable of contributing to this region and the world. This is what it means by rahmatan lil’alamin, which we are often reminded of. 


Third: To appreciate our time in this world, that Allah has given to us.


My dear brothers, every single minute that passes by is a golden opportunity for us. It is a question of whether we choose to take full advantage of it, or otherwise. Rasulullah s.a.w. was asked: “Ya Rasulullah s.a.w who is the kindest person?” Nabi s.a.w. said:

Which means: “Whoever who lives a long life and has good deeds.” The man asked again: “And who is the worst?” Rasulullah s.a.w. replied: “Whoever lives a long life, but has bad deeds.” [Hadith narrated by Imam Tirmizi]

Professor Ahmad Ibrahim dedicated his life to his country and the Muslim ummah in this region. Let us strive to ensure that we make full use of the age given to us, to build a legacy for the benefit of others, ensure the well-being of the religion and humankind.

May Allah s.w.t. grant us taufiq and inayah to contribute towards the betterment of this world. May Allah help us to build a lasting legacy as a provision investment for us in the hereafter. Amin Ya Rabbal Alamin.


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13/9 Khutbah- Ustaz Syed Ahmad bin Semait and the Preservation of Islamic Traditional Knowledge in Singapore.



Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura

Friday Sermon

13 September 2013 / 07 Zulkaedah 1434

Ustaz Syed Ahmad bin Semait and the Preservation of Islamic Traditional Knowledge in Singapore.

Beloved Friday Jemaah,

I would like to remind myself as well as my fellow Muslims to diligently strive to increase our taqwa toward Allah s.w.t; toheed all of His commands and avoid what Allah has prohibited upon us.



Beloved jemaah,

There is no end to our journey in seeking knowledge. It is only through knowledge and extensive experience that we will gain the confidence to fulfil our goals as a true Mukmin. The advantage and preference of a learned person is mentioned by Allah in the Quran, in surah Ali Imran verse 18:

Which means: Allah witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge – [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”


My dear brothers,

Last week, the khatib shared with us about the contributions of al-Khawarizmi, an eminent Muslim scholar. If Al-Khawarizmi had placed much importance on the study of mathematics and science, today we will learn to appreciate the contributions of an eminent local Muslim scholar who played a significant role in enriching traditional Islamic studies. He is none other than Ustaz Syed Ahmad Semait, rahimahullah.


Friday Jemaah,

Almarhum Ustaz Syed Ahmad bin Semait was born on 21 August 1933. He was known for his valuable writings and his talent in translating books, not just in Singapore but throughout the region.


His writings and his translation works were significant contributions that led to a paradigm shift in the field of Islamic literature in Singapore and the Malay world.


He started writing and translating books in 1950, right after he graduated from Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah. He worked under the tutelage of Almarhum Sheikh Omar al-Khatib, who ran a store on Kandahar Street in North Bridge Road.


Ustaz Syed Ahmad Semait has imparted a significant amount of knowledge to the community through the culture of writing and translation. Traditional books in Arabic, which used to be out of reach to the masses, were translated and thus they became easily understood and were important sources of reference to certain group of individuals.

Among his prime works is the book of Sahih Bukhari: Translation, Analysis and Conclusion, which was published in 2006. Through this book, he presented his in-depth research of the book written by Imam Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami’us Salih or what is famously known as Sahih Bukhari. As part of the process to publish the book, Ustaz Syed Ahmad read every single page from the book on hadith written by Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani titled Fathul Bari bi-Syarhi Sahihi Al-Bukhari. Almarhum Ustaz Syed Ahmad’s intense dedication led to 15 volumes of translated books and analysis of various hadith. Each volume consisted of at least 700 pages.


Ustaz Syed Ahmad’s extensive writing is one of the biggest contributions toward translation efforts and the analysis of hadith in the Malay Archipelago. There are not many books written by Muslim scholars in the Malay world which discussed books of hadith that were written in Arabic, in an in-depth manner. However Ustaz Syed Ahmad Semait was a pioneer in this field and the first steps to start the writing and translating the meanings of various hadith to help the Muslim community in the Malay Archipelago to understand and deepen their knowledge in the field of hadith.


It is evident that this is among the aspects of fardhu kifayah performed by Almarhum Ustaz Syed Ahmad. He identified a knowledge gap in the community, and took up the challenge of fulfilling the task to convey and spread religious knowledge through writing. It is through his writings that we have inherited religious knowledge.


This is in-line with a hadith by Nabi Muhammad s.a.w., who said and which means: “Indeed, the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets, for the prophets do not leave behind a dinar or a dirham for inheritance, but rather, they leave behind knowledge. So whoever takes hold of it, has acquired a large share (i.e. of inheritance).” [Hadith narrated by Imam Tirmidzi]


My brothers,

The books written or translated by Ustaz Syed Ahmad Semait are part of a vast heritage of Islamic knowledge. As the ummah of the Prophet s.a.w. we need to continue to research, study and understand this rich heritage. Traditional books on Islam are not snippets of our history, but also serve as a foundation for each individual Muslim to achieve the success that he aspires for.


Ustaz Syed Ahmad Semait proved that studying and researching the traditional books does not cause one to go into decline, but rather it can help sharpen an individual’s mind to apply what he has learnt into today’s context. We have seen how Ustaz Syed Ahmad, through his writings and books, strived to offer solutions to the problems of the present ummah. It ranged from his advice to couples on raising children in an Islamic manner, suggestions for those who aim to find inner peace and divine love amid the hustle and bustle of a busy, metropolitan city. These issues continued to influence his writings for 40 years.


Beloved jemaah,

There are several lessons that we can learn from the life of Almarhum Ustaz Syed Ahmad Semait:


First: The importance of reviving the culture and love of reading, writing, translating, undertaking research and analysis, to ensure that the culture of knowledge continues to grow within ourselves and our community. The process of thinking based on evidences and proofs, as reflected by Ustaz Syed Ahmad Semait, is deeply rooted in Islamic tradition. It will not only help to strengthen our belief in Allah s.w.t., but will guide us in our everyday lives. This concept should develop us to become individuals who can think critically and do not easily accept any information without assessing its validity, authenticity and accuracy or without any consideration of its impact on our lives, families and the community.


With social media tools such as blogs and Facebook, we are able to voice our opinions and thoughts on a wider platform. Those who can give their opinions to other must also be able to accept the opinions and criticisms of others, in a positive light, so that we can reflect upon a matter from different points of view.


Second: We need to emphasize the learning of Islamic intellectual heritage which is among the sources of strength of the Muslim ummah. We need to continue to understand how the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet s.a.w. can guide us in our present world. Therefore my brothers, continue to nurture the culture of reading beyond treating it only as basic knowledge of fardhu ain.


May Allah s.w.t. grant us with beneficial knowledge, and that we are able to apply it and convey it to others, insyaAllah. And may Allah s.w.t grant us taufiq to study the intellectual heritage left behind by our early Muslim scholars. Amin.





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