Mufti emphasises compassion as Muslims mark start of Islamic New Year

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 last night.

Speaking to more than 1,200 Muslims who had gathered for evening prayers at AlKhair Mosque in Choa Chu Kang, he emphasised compassion and service to the whole of society.

This was 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.

The start of Islamic New Year 1440 also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).

Dr Fatris, Singapore's highest Islamic authority, said in his sermon: "Let us move together, as a team, as a family, with love and compassion so that we can spread goodness to everyone.

"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 he delivered at the Conversations With Mufti event at the Salam Singapore Community Festival on Saturday, Dr Fatris urged fellow Muslims to start teaching compassion within their families first and extend this to doing good for the community. 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 event was attended by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs and Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli and Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman, among others.

Muis president Mohammad Alami Musa and its chief executive Abdul Razak Maricar also took part.