“Emulate the Prophet to reunite Muslims” says Malaysian official

SHAFAQNA – Former Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad urged Muslim leaders, regardless of their positions in the government, opposition or non-governmental organisations, to emulate the Prophet Muhammad in re-uniting Muslims and strengthening the religion. “Like what happened 1,437 years ago, Muslims in Malaysia are in a worrying state. This is not because we are a minority, but because there is a lack of unity among us that has caused us to become weak. This is a reality we need to acknowledge,” he said after receiving the national Tokoh Maal Hijrah award. The 73-year-old was chosen for his outstanding contribution to the propagation of Islam and the development of the community. He received RM100,000 cash, a plaque, a medal and a certificate of appreciation. Born in Kepala Batas, Penang, Abdul Hamid held various positions in the civil service and the judiciary. He had served, among others, as deputy registrar of the High Court, state legal adviser, senior federal counsel of the Inland Revenue Department and head of prosecution in the Attorney-General’s Chambers. He was instrumental in the drafting of the Syariah criminal procedure bill (Kelantan) 1981 and was also noted for writing judgments on syariah cases, specifically on apostasy, conflicts of jurisdiction between civil and sSyariah courts, and wakaf. He was appointed as judicial commissioner on May 1, 1990, and later as High Court judge, Court of Appeal judge, Federal Court judge and president of the Court of Appeal. He was appointed as the chief justice of Malaysia on Nov 1, 2007, and retired in October, 2008.
Meanwhile, Muslims nationwide gathered to celebrate the Islamic new year. In Perak, Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah said Muslim nations should do more to help refugees, especially fellow Muslims fleeing persecution and war. He said the concept of human rights from the perspective of Islam makes it mandatory for Muslims to give protection to those in need, especially in a state of emergency. In his speech, the sultan also touched on the importance of strengthening the humanitarian financial institution to help millions of refugees worldwide. “I have received an invitation from the United Nations (UN) secretary-general to co-chair the UN Humanitarian Finance Panel. “The UN needs US$25 billion (RM102 billion) dollars each year to fund humanitarian programmes worldwide and this is a huge challenge.” he said. Sultan Nazrin said he wanted to introduce Islamic finance instruments to strengthen the humanitarian fund. “This is not an easy task as westerners have a negative stereotype about of the Islamic funds that have which always been related to terrorist activities. “We must change this perception through active involvement from Islamic organisations and institutions to channel funds for humanitarian programmes,” he said.” In Kuantan, Sultan of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah urged Muslims to change for the better if they wanted to move forward as a modern, strong and progressive society. “The fate of Muslims will remain the same if they are not willing to change their laid-back attitude,” he said in a speech read by Tengku Mahkota of Pahang , Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at the state-level Maal Hijrah celebration here yesterday. Businessman Datuk Md Sharif Shamsuddin, the 65-year-old founder of the Muamalat Assharif Mosque in Pasdec Damansara, was named the state’’s Tokoh Maal Hijrah. In Kuala Terengganu, Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin called on Muslims to be wary of inaccurate and defamatory news that was spread on social media, which could threaten unity among the people and stability of the country. During the celebrations, Sultan Mizan presented Sepiah Mohamad, 65, the champion of the 1998 International Quran recital competition, with the state’s Tokoh Maal Hijrah award. In Johor, a former religious school principal from Kluang, Zahari Jaafar Awang, 68, was named the state’s Tokoh Maal Hijrah. The award was presented by presented by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin. In Sabah, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman called on the people to continue to strengthen the ukhwah (brotherhood) for the good of the country and her people.

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