KUCHING: Muslim parents are reminded to fervently practise their religious faith and be role models to their children.
This is especially pressing now as the young generation needs to have strong knowledge of Islamic teachings, which they should practise, to ward off distractions and temptations brought about by today’s modern society, said Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“We must understand the social changes that come with development and the evolution of our society, and change our mindset and adapt our religious teachings to the changes in our daily lives,” Taib pointed out when addressing an audience of some 1,000 people at a ‘Majlis Ramah-Tamah Aidilfitri’ for Islamic agencies at Petra Jaya near here on Saturday.
“Our experiment on our Bureau of Islamic Studies seems to have been carried out successfully.
“Parents should be encouraged to send their children to learn and adopt Islamic teachings.
“This is very important and we must continue to find ways to strengthen our belief as we face new challenges as a modern developed society,” he added.
Noting the changing lifestyle in the city now due to rapid rural-urban migration of youths, he even suggested that some old Islamic teachings go through changes in implementation and practices otherwise they might not be practised by the new generations.
Taib also advised Islamic agencies and religious department personnel to find ways to tackle the negative impacts of rapid development and changes on people’s lives and religious values.
“In the old days, it was easy for the younger generation to learn about the cultural values and practices of their religion as everybody, young and old, lived in a big community.
“Now we are experiencing big changes in people’s lifestyle due to migration.
“In the city, where we have housing estates, a new lifestyle has emerged whereby grown-up children live separately from their parents.
“What was once a big household (in the old days) is now becoming smaller by the day.
“This ‘separation’ makes the once common tradition of parents-children interaction in religious teaching and cultural values become scarce, and this is where Muslims must adopt a new approach to overcome all problems by using Islamic teachings,” he explained.
Dwelling on the ever important subject of religious education, Taib suggested that new ways be found to strengthen the role of mosques as an effective people communication network.
He said mosques, besides being places of worship, should also be venues for young people to come together to learn and share ideas on how Islamic teachings can be applied to situations in their daily lives.
Also present at the dinner were Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman, Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak general manager Abang Mohd Shibli Abang Mohd Nailie and Sarawak Islamic Council president Datu Putit Matzen among others.