Minister Yaacob urges youngsters to follow example of pioneer Muslims

Minister for Communications and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, attending the Eidulfitri Prayers at Alkaff Kampung Melayu Mosque.
Minister for Communications and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, attending the Eidulfitri Prayers at Alkaff Kampung Melayu Mosque. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - The pioneer generation of Muslims have "worked very hard" in developing the way Islam is practised in Singapore, and this should be carried on by the younger generation, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim said on Friday.

Sharing his thoughts on this year's Eidulfitri sermon, which was delivered at mosques across Singapore on Hari Raya Puasa, Dr Yaacob said the message calling on Muslim youths to seek out a good Islamic eduction and carry on the principles of their forbearers was a "timely reminder".

He said the pioneer generation has strived to ensure the teachings embraced here are based on the fundamentals of Islam, and the religion is practised in Singapore's context of a secular society. It is also one that has co-existed peacefully with other religions since Singapore's independence.

He said: "We have something good going for us in Singapore and the Mufti is reminding all our young people that we should not throw away the tradition, but embrace it and find the right sources of our knowledge, refer ourselves back to the religious teachers who can guide us."

Dr Yaacob was speaking to the media after Eidulfitri prayers with 3,500 people at the Alkaff Kampung Melayu Mosque along Bedok Reservoir Road.

In his sermon, Mufti Dr Fatris Bakaram called on Muslims to embrace a religious outlook that promotes peace and fosters progress, and that stands for justice, love and compassion.

Commending the work of the pioneers, he said: "They built mosques, conducted 'dakwah' (religious outreach) activities as well as charity work, and laid the foundations to ensure that we are able to continue to practice Islam in an organised and productive way.

"This is the Islam that we have inherited in Singapore, and this is the Islam that we want to pass on to our children."

Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister for Communications and Information, added: "We open our doors, we embrace non-Muslims, we invite them to our homes... we show a sense of compassion, we show the spirit of 'gotong royong' or coming together. So these are good traits that we have been able to display, to show how our religious life in Singapore is consistent with the modern world and consistent with the Singapore society."