Can I be Singaporean and a good Muslim too? Singapore does not have Hudud laws and I heard that some occupations do not allow the tudung? I hear that there are no halal kitchen in the Navy? and there was this discrimination incident at Tampines 1. How to be a good practicing  Muslim in Singapore like that?

Before we go further down this destructive chain of thought consider this – The Muslim community has always been integral to the Singapore Story. Many individuals have done well and continue to do so, in diverse fields such as business, the arts and information technology.

Those studying overseas such as our asatizzah community in Jordan also continue to do well and even make positive impacts to the people there by getting involved in charitable initiatives such as distributing food to the poor and elderly.

Closer to home, our mosques and madrasahs embark on ground up initiatives to bring joy, care and blessings to the people in their neighbourhood.

This trend is a prat of the larger story – the story of the hard work put in by so many Malay/Muslims who are determined to forge a brighter future for themselves and their families.

You can be a good practicing Muslim in Singapore!

Diversity is not new. Competing views and interests are not new.

President Yusof Ishak, Allahyarham Ustaz Ahmad Sonhadji Mohamed, Allahyarham Pak Ridzwan Dzafir, Allahyarham Ustaz Ibrahim Kassim

These people exemplified these principles and worked hard to not only be a good practicing Muslim but also to strengthen the social fabric of a multi-cultural and multi-religious Singapore.

Our community has always been determined to progress and lay the foundations to help bring out the best in everyone.

Progressive Religious Thoughts

Being a progressive Muslim is the ability to understand the modern world with an open mind and heart.

To seek knowledge, to read widely and beyond religious texts

We need to know that there are various legitimate interpretations of Islam and how it should be practiced.

We need to be well read and be respectful as we balance the difference in ideas, concerns and interests and to gain a consensus to find the best possible solution.

MUIS has issued more than 500 fatwas since 1968 to guide our community on various aspects of religious life within the context of multi-racial and multi-cultural society.

(Examples here)

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To further increase the Islamic knowledge in the community, we have increased access to religious education such as Adult Islamic Learning (ADIL) Private Islamic education Network (PIENet) and ALIVE programs that discuss issues and challenges relevant to them. This is in addition to the various classes and seminars organised by the local mosques.

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A progressive Muslim is one that constantly seeks knowledge and does not close his heart and mind to the view of others. The building of a cohesive and progressive Malay/Muslim community is everyone’s responsibility.

To be a progressive Muslim is not asking you to be less of a Muslim nor asking you to ignore your obligations as a Muslim.

To be a progressive Muslim is to to be more aware of the changing world, that in a multi racial society – saying Merry Christmas is not haram.

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(Pic from Facebook – allegedly of a hotel in Malaysia)