SINGAPORE - Muslims in Singapore should reflect on the past 50 years in achieving their dreams to be good Muslims and citizens, Mufti Fatris Bakaram said in a sermon marking the start of the Islamic new year on Monday night (Sept 10).
Speaking to more than 1,200 Muslims who had gathered for evening prayers at Al-Khair Mosque in Choa Chu Kang, he emphasised compassion and serving the whole society, in line with the celebration's theme of Striving with Confidence, Serving with Compassion.
The Islamic new year marks the hijrah, or migration, of Prophet Muhammad and his companions from Mecca to Medina in the year 622. Muslims follow the lunar calendar.
The start of Islamic new year 1440 also coincided with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's (Muis) 50th anniversary.
Dr Fatris, Singapore's highest Islamic authority, gave the media a short summary of his sermon before he delivered it.
"Let us move together, as a team, as a family, with love and compassion so that we can spread goodness to everyone," he said.
"The challenges that we face today demand from us a high level of confidence in doing good without waiting and expecting others to do goodness unto us."
In a lecture Dr Fatris delivered at the Conversations With Mufti event at the Salam Singapore Community Festival on Saturday, he urged his fellow Muslims to start teaching compassion within their families first, and gradually extend this to do good for the community at large.
The festival aimed to spread better understanding of Muslim culture.
"Moving forward in the next 50 years with a more educated and affluent Muslim community, I hope we will be able to not only more effectively address current social challenges, but also be a community whose resources and expertise would be instrumental to Singaporeans at large," he said.
The Islamic new year is traditionally a quiet holiday, with time spent in prayer and contemplation, and some choose to make resolutions on the day.
The event was jointly organised by Muis, the West Mosque Cluster and Al-Khair Mosque, and was also attended by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs and Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman; Minister of State for Manpower and National Development and MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC Zaqy Mohamad, as well as Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Social and Family Development Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.
They were also joined by Muis' president, Mohammad Alami Musa, and its chief executive Abdul Razak Maricar.