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Long Article – The Necessity and Importance of Theological Engagement With Non-Muslims For Singapore Muslim Community

Muhamamad Haniff Hassan, “The Necessity and Importance of Theological Engagement with Non-Muslims for Singapore Muslim Community”, Jurnal Al-Tamaddun, Vol. 15, Issue 2, December, 2020.

To download and read, click here or here.

Abstract

This paper argues the importance and necessity for Singapore Muslims to be actively involved in theological engagement with non-Muslims in the form of dialogue on theological, social and historical grounds. Theologically, the paper argues that Islam not only permits but also encourages Muslims to engage in dialogue with non-Muslims on theological issues. At a societal level, being a Muslim minority in a secular country and multi-cultural society, the preservation and pursuance of their interest would partly rely on how they relate with and how they are perceived by the larger diverse non-Muslim communities. It is in their interest to actively engage and have dialogue with other communities. Historically and more importantly, Muslim involvement in inter-faith dialogue preserves the legacy left behind by Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddique who pioneered the inter-faith work in Singapore through the founding of the Singapore Inter-Religious Organisation. The paper also refutes those who oppose inter-faith dialogue theologically and those who discourage Muslim involvement for fear of falling into the government’s political agenda. The primary research methodology employed by the paper is through literature review of primary and secondary materials. It also employs interviews of local activists and professionals in inter-faith work as a secondary methodology.

About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at www.haniff.sg

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