New Mufti wants practice of Islam to stay progressive

Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir (left), who is currently deputy Mufti, will take over on March 1, when Mufti Mohamed Fatris Bakaram retires after nine years in office.
Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir (left), who is currently deputy Mufti, will take over on March 1, when Mufti Mohamed Fatris Bakaram retires after nine years in office.PHOTO: MUIS

The new religious leader for Muslims in Singapore wants to continue ensuring that the practice of Islam remains progressive.

Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, 43, who is currently deputy Mufti, will take over on March 1, when Mufti Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, 49, retires after nine years in office.

The Mufti is Singapore's highest Islamic authority and oversees key religious rulings for Muslims here.

Dr Nazirudin told reporters yesterday: "We hope for the support and prayers of the community... to continue to provide guidance, to engage different stakeholders... to ensure the practice of Islam is progressive and brings about goodness to ourselves and to the rest of society."

Dr Nazirudin, who was speaking on the sidelines of the 10th anniversary celebration of Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation, a charity under the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), will be the fourth Mufti in Muis' history.

Dr Fatris said: "I am grateful that... we have managed to deliberate on difficult issues in a progressive manner that we think is needed by the community to move forward."

Some of these issues included joint tenancy, Central Provident Fund nominations and approval of the milk bank to save premature babies.

Dr Fatris added that Dr Nazirudin has the capability, experience and maturity to take on the role.

"That is the main reason I am confident that it is time to pass on the baton," Dr Fatris said.

 
 
 
 

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said in a Facebook post: "We respect Dr Fatris' decision; he decided it was time he made way for younger leaders to step up."

Mr Masagos added that leadership renewal was important for the community.

"It ensures that our Malay/Muslim organisations remain strong and responsive to the needs of our community. Talent development and grooming future leaders are key to achieving our vision of a community of success," he said.

Dr Nazirudin will be supported by two deputy muftis: Ustaz Mohd Murat Md Aris and Ustaz Mohammad Hannan Hassan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2020, with the headline 'New Mufti wants practice of Islam to stay progressive'. Print Edition | Subscribe