By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, April 18: Muslims should use new technologies to complement the traditional ways of propagating Islam in the state while remaining sensitive to the feelings of others in order to maintain racial harmony.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, in giving this advice, also urged Muslims to use their Islamic knowledge to foster unity among the people, adding that extremism had no place in the state.
“The development of Islam must not disrupt the racial and religious harmony amongst the state’s multiracial society. While we enhance our education and knowledge of the Islamic faith, we must protect racial and religious harmony.
“We must also adopt new approaches, utilising online platforms and the social media,” he said at Bina-Hikmah’s 50th anniversary celebration here today.
Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife, Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi, were present among some 1,000 participants.
Abang Johari said his administration would continue to support the growth of Hikmah to play its role in the development of Islam.
In its agenda to spread the knowledge of Islam among Muslim youths, the chief minister stressed the importance of prioritising character building. The spread of Islamic knowledge must also be more structured to ensure quality learning.
Touching on the new Hikmah complex, the state government had allocated a piece of land at Jalan Pustaka in Petra Jaya for the project.
Abang Johari said the state government would give a matching grant to the amount raised by Hikmah for its new office complex.
According to Hikmah chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain, the organisation aimed to raise RM30 million for the project. Hikmah has received RM4 million from an individual who donated the money as zakat (tithe) to kick-off the fundraising campaign.
He called on members and corporate bodies to step up in helping Hikmah to raise the funds.
In his speech, Abdul Aziz echoed Abang Johari’s advice on the need to adopt new approaches in propagating Islamic teaching.
“The wave of modernisation encourages the teaching of Islam to be done in a more effective and efficient manner.
“In this regards, Hikmah uses digital media to spread the religion through its own website, Facebook, Instagram and other interactive platforms that can reach the general public, especially the youths,” he said.
Abdul Aziz added that Hikmah had adopted a more structured educational approach to teach Islamic knowledge, starting with Tahfiz learning in 17 kindergartens throughout the state. Hikmah is looking to introduce a learning module to primary and secondary school students in the future.
The organisation is also planning to set up a training centre for preaching, with the aim of producing youths with basic knowledge of Islamic teachings. Promising youths would be given scholarships to continue their tertiary education in religious subjects.
Set up in 1969, Hikmah Sarawak is a non-governmental organisation that reaches out to Muslims and organise programmes for the overall development of the community.
The organisation was officially registered on April 3, 1969, under the name Angkatan Nahdatul Islam Bersatu or Bina, before a name change to Harakah Islamiah or Hikmah in 1995.
Hikmah has more than 8,000 members and 13 branches, including 114 sub-branches, across Sarawak and Kuala Lumpur. — DayakDaily