The following story is based on a true experience by a dear friend whom I had invited to “iftar” during the recent Ramadhan. The event was held in one of the halls at Kuala Lumpur’s Masjid Negara. For all of Malaysia’s enlightenment, she still designs some mosques that are quite inaccessible for “warga emas”, or senior citizens, who may be a bit walking-impaired. This was my worry but with all sincerity I had hoped that my friend would attend the event. And more importantly, the following incident has made me reflect upon what we call as da’wah bil hal – inviting people to Islam through our personal good qualities and actions. This is indeed is Rasulullah (may peace be upon him)’s lifelong practise. His moral conduct had drawn many people to love and embrace Islam. His trustworthiness and amanah had long since impressed the community of Quraisy Arabs. So much so that he was named Al-Amin, the Truthful One.
There are a number of approaches which one might take when considering the freedom of religion in Malaysia, in terms of human rights. However, as delineated below, there will invariably be problems inherent in applying a Universalist perspective to the Islamic worldview. Given the constraints of time and space in this instance, then, the focus will be primarily on the Islamic perspective on the issues.
Press Release: Bangkok (October 16, 2009): More than 30 Muslim NGO activists and representatives from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Cambodia today gathered in the capital of Thailand to discuss the impact and implications of three conflict-torn regions in Southeast Asia and called for ASEAN and ASEAN member governments to undertake new and renewed efforts to tackle the conflicts.
A recent encounter with a long-lost acquaintance (and followed by my wife’s advice – thank you dearie!) reminded me of a story during the lifetime of our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. The following is what I am gently reminding myself of over and again.
Through our daily lives, we sometimes unintentionally seek to find people’s faults; but Allah asks us to see the good in them. Whether it is a rebellious ignorant youth, a self-centered celebrity, or arrogant young and inexperienced politicians (whose existence are so prevalent these days), or even a mean old man; But yet Allah asks us to see the good in them.
The FOLLOWING IS MY WELCOMING Speech AT THE SEMINAR ON “Protection and Assistance of Civilians Affected by complex Emergencies and Armed Conflicts”, HOTEL EQUATORIAL kUALA LUMPUR
Mr Werner Kaspar, Head of Regional Delegation ICRC Kuala Lumpur, Distinguished speakers, Guest of honors, respected participants: I warmly welcome you to participate in this seminar on “Protection and Assistance of Civilians Affected by Complex Emergencies and Armed Conflicts” which is organized jointly by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Islamic Outreach ABIM. I believe that today’s event will bring fresh understanding and greater awareness about this important theme, especially for those who are involved in civil society organizations that have a political and moral responsibility to act in such situations.