Friday 9 August 2013

Yaacob stresses important role of family in youth guidance

Minister-in-charge of Muslim affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim stresses the important role of parents and institutions in guiding our young, as Muslims in Singapore celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
By S Ramesh, Channel NewsAsia, 8 Aug 2013

Muslims in Singapore celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri on Thursday after a month of fasting.

They started the day with prayers at a mosque.

Minister-in-charge of Muslim affairs and Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim and senior members of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) were at the An Nahdhah Mosque in Bishan.

Dr Yaacob said a lot of good work has been done by the Muslim community during the fasting month.

He emphasised that Islam is a peaceful religion and he urged the community to continue with the good deeds.

He added that Singapore's Malay-Muslim community has to adapt with changing times, especially with the advent of social media.

One area of focus is our young, a point which was also emphasised by the Mufti of Singapore during his sermon.

"How do we continue to guide our young is very important, not only the role of parents but also the role of institutions. In the case of MUIS, we have responded through our ALIVE programme where we have reformed the religious education without compromising the basic principle, making it relevant to the young people," said Dr Yaacob, referring to the "Learning Islamic Values Every Day" programme.

He added: "...the young people like the programme, they enjoy it and so we are doing something right. We need it to be sustained and therefore the family becomes important.

"I hope parents also understand that the psychology of young people today is very different from when they were young, (different) from what they were doing during their periods. So we need to be able to adapt."

Muslims urged to reach out to others
By Amelia Tan, The Straits Times, 8 Aug 2013

MINISTER-IN-CHARGE of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim has called on Muslims to do their part in building a cohesive Singapore.

In his Hari Raya Aidilfitri message yesterday, he said Muslims can strengthen ties with those outside the community by extending help to them.

This is in line with the principles of Islam, which believes in helping people regardless of creed and nationality, explained Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister for Communications and Information.

He said the Muslim community has already taken steps to forge ties with non-Muslims by inviting them for evening meals to break fast during the month of Ramadan.

"We should keep this up and continue to look for more ways of assisting the less well-off," said Dr Yaacob, adding that he was also heartened to see Muslim youth starting volunteer projects to help the needy and elderly during the fasting month.

The Ramadan Food Drive, for instance, was started by young Muslims who reached out to the public through social media to donate food to needy families. Another group recruited volunteers to clean up prayer rooms in private buildings around Singapore.

"These initiatives by well-meaning individuals and informal groups bode well for our community," said Dr Yaacob.

He added that Muslims have much to be thankful for and urged them to work hard to uplift the community.

"Let us be grateful for all we have been given and continue to work together to benefit all."

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