Speechs in the year
Tempat/Venue 	: 	HOTEL HILTON, 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	24/11/81 

Yang Berhormat Datuk Muhammad Nasir, 
Pengerusi, Jawatankuasa Pengelola Muktamar Antarabangsa Abad Ke 15
Hijrah; Yang-Berhormat Yang-Berhormat; Timbalan Setiausaha Agung, OIC; 
Tuan-Tuan Yang Terutama; 
Dif-dif Kehormat; 
Tuan-Tuan dan Puan-Puan; S
audara-saudara Muslimin Muslimat Sekelian.

Assalamu 'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Saya mengucapkan ribuan terima kasih kepada Jawatankuasa Penganjur
Muktamar ini, terutamanya Yang Berhormat Datuk Muhammad Nasir selaku
Pengerusi Jawatankuasa, yang telah sudi menjemput saya menghadiri majlis
ini. Saya juga mengucapkan setinggi-tinggi terima kasih di atas
penghormatan yang diberikan kepada saya untuk merasmikan perhimpunan yang
penting ini.

2. Muktamar ini, pada hemat saya, adalah amat penting dan sesuai sekali
dengan suasana dan tujuan perayaan Abad Ke-15 Hijrah. Muktamar ini adalah
ekoran kepada Seminar Kebangsaan Mengenai Konsep Pembangunan Dalam Islam
yang dilangsungkan pada bulan Mac tahun ini. Saya mengambil peluang ini
untuk mengucapkan tahniah kepada penganjur Muktamar dan semua pihak yang
telah memberi kerjasama dan berusaha menyelenggarakan persediaan Muktamar
ini. Semoga segala usaha dan titikpeluh semua pihak bagi menjayakan
Muktamar ini akan diterima oleh Allah Subhanahu Wataala sebagai amalan
yang diredhai-Nya.

My Muslim Brothers and Sisters.

It is indeed an honour and a privilege for me to be given this opportunity
to address this distinguished gathering of Muslim scholars and
intellectuals gathered here to celebrate the advent of the 15th. Century
of Hijrah in a manner most meaningful to Islam i.e by the serious
discussion of the problems faced by Muslims in general and the spread of
the teachings and practice of Islam among Muslims in particular. It is a
symbol of Islamic ethical values that we do not make merry in our
celebration of this significant event but instead we devote our time to
the serious study of how to make Islam more and more a way of life of our
Muslim brothers and sisters. flight from persecution - even from attempted
murder by the treacherous Quraish. It could have been an inglorious
episode. But instead the Hijrah marked such an important milestone in the
spread of Islam that it was accepted as the beginning of the Islamic era.

3. The Hijrah is remembered and revered because it was not a retreat but
rather a move or a manoeuvre to strengthen Islam. And indeed following the
Hijrah to Madinah the spread of Islam gained momentum until eventually the
faithful were able to return to Mekkah in victory. The Hijrah was indeed
the turning point wherein Islam which was confined to a few in Mekkah
became the religion of 900 million people in the world to-day.

4. There is a lesson to be learnt here. Islam is not spread by battering
our heads against stone walls, by obstinacy and foolhardiness and
certainly not by arrogance and by force. Islam is spread by wisdom and
strategy; wisdom to know and recognise our weaknesses as much as our
strength, and knowing these, to plan our strategy. The weakness of to-day
may be the strength of tomorrow. A step back may mean many steps forward
later on. Allah is always with us, if only we will exert ourself to help

5. The Hijrah has inspired and sustained many Muslims even in the blackest
hour. It has helped many to soldier on. I hope that the Hijrah will hold
this meaning to all Muslims whether in defeat or in victory. There is no
room for despair in our struggle for Allah is with us always.

My brothers and sisters.

6. As we gather here to ponder on the problems that we face in upholding
the teachings and practice of Islam, our teachings raised man above the
barbaric ways of their past.

7. But then this glorious period passed away and Islam at the beginning of
20th century of Al-Masihi was totally dominated or overshadowed by
others. There was hardly a Muslim community which was not ruled by others
or at least dominated. The Muslims were divided and fragmented and all
their wealth was taken away from them. They became the poorest and the
most dependent of people.

8. We can blame others for our fall from glory, for the sad fate of the
Muslims and Islam. We can bewail the fact that our skills and our
knowledge have been removed from us and copied. We can condemn the
treachery of others. But all our outpourings and condemnation will be of
no avail, for we have no power to force others to do what we want them to
do for us.

9. If we are sincere and truthful to ourselves and to Islam we must admit
that much of what has befallen us is due to our own fault as much as the
glorious period of Islam was due to our practicing the true teachings of
Islam. When Islam urges us to acquire knowledge we chose to divide
knowledge into spiritual and non-spiritual and we reject what we termed
non-spiritual knowledge. When Islam urges us to be prepared to defend
ourselves we chose to ignore that war cannot always be fought with horses
and camels and swords, that new weapons are needed. Consequently we were
defeated. When Islam urges tolerance we chose to be arrogant and to force
upon others that which we have no power to do. When Islam permits the
acquisition of wealth and that giving is better than receiving, we chose
to glorify poverty and honour those who beg from others. And there are
many other things that we do and in fact preach which are contrary not
only to the teachings of Islam but to its very spirit.

10. These are our faults and because of them we are now weak and have to
beg for even the needs for defending Islam. Allah in His infinite wisdom
has lately granted the Muslims untold wealth. But instead of seizing upon
this opportunity to regain our strength we squander them on needless
luxuries while at the same time we quarrel over the right usage of such
wealth. And so despite the bounty of Allah we are still dependent upon
others for our well-being and our security.

11. This is not the theme of our Muktamar but I do not think it is out of
place to remind ourselves that our salvation lies with us, Insya-Allah. We
have no right to presume that Allah will provide for us merely because we
are followers of the true religion and we perform the ibadah strictly and
regularly. For Him to help us we have to make the efforts to help
ourselves. If Allah so wished all the Quraish would have embraced
Islam. But Allah sent Muhammad, Rasullullah s.a.w. to explain His Message
and to show the light and Muhammad had to work at preaching Islam for 23
years before Allah declared that Islam was finally the complete
religion. If the Prophet of Allah had to work, surely we who are mere
followers of Islam, we with our weaknesses and our faults have to work
even harder. Ibadah is not just the performance of fardhu 'ain. In Islam
everything that we do for the sake of Islam is ibadah. Certainly the
acquisition of knowledge, the willingness to work hard and to subject
ourselves to discipline are all ibadah in Islam for they give strength and
security to the Muslims and to Islam.

My Muslim Brothers and Sisters.

12. This Muktamar is concerned with dakwah and the problems associated
with it. It is enjoined upon everyone of us to spread the correct
teachings of Islam among the Muslims although among us there must always
be a group of people who will call upon us to do what is good and to
abstain from what is bad and to preach Islam. It is our duty, and the duty
particularly of the ulamahs to solve the problems of dakwah.

13. The spread of the teachings of Islam among the Muslims should not
really be a problem. We presume that the propagators of Islam would know
what is the correct teaching and would only propagate what is right. But
alas some of the followers of Islam are often ignorant and without the
ability to distinguish what is right from what is wrong, and the
propagators too might be ignorant or worse still might be moved by
objectives other than sincere dakwah. Consequently wrongful and
deviationist teachings are often progpagated. This has been so not only
now but throughout the history of Islam.

14. I am aware that there are scholars who advocate absolute freedom for
anyone wishing to propagate Islam. It is not for me to say whether such
absolute freedom is right or wrong. But we have today many sects which
started among Muslims but which are now no longer recognised as
Islamic. Still these sects flourish and still call themselves followers of
Islam. And many are the people who are misled by these sects and have for
practical purposes discarded Islam. there are a lot of Muslims whose
knowledge of Islam is minimal. The consequence of allowing everyone to
preach Islam could be confusion and loss of faith among those Muslims who
are unable to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong.

17. There are also those among Muslims whose preachings of Islam are
directed towards other objectives. For these people wrong interpretations
are of minor consideration as long as they achieve their real
objectives. The result would be to pollute the teachings of Islam with
extraneous matters or even to render Muslims unIslamic.

18. The history of Islam is replete with accounts of how deviationist
sects were formed and how assasinations became a weapon for a few of these
sects. Today once again we see the emergence of such sects. In Malaysia
itself we have seen a murderous attempt made on innocent bystanders and
public servants by a group of deviationists. And of course in many
villages Muslims are divided against each other to the extent that they
will not pray in the same mosque, will not recognise marriages solemnised
by people they dislike or say funeral prayers over the bodies of brother
Muslims whom they have arbitrarily condemned as non-Muslims.

19. Religion is not mere ideology. It is a deep commitment that cannot be
changed easily. Once a faith is accepted, it is most difficult to change
the faith. Similarly once an interpretation of the religious belief is
accepted, it is almost impossible, especially among Muslims to correct or
change the interpretation. Among Muslims the followers of one sect will
not readily accept the practices of other sects, even though they may
accept the other sect as Islamic. Of course when they regard a sect as
unIslamic they will not allow themselves to be influenced. On the other
hand the followers of the sect condemned as unIslamic may consider the
condemnation as wrong, and that their own interpretation of Islam is the
right interpretation. Consequently they will adhere to their wrong
interpretation come what may. To them, they are the ones with the right
interpretation and they will therefore cling to it with tenacity.

20. It can be seen that once a wrong interpretation is accepted, it is
difficult or almost impossible to correct it. This is so because religion
is largely a matter of faith, most of which is unquestioning. It is not
entirely a matter of logic or reason which can be argued with and proven
wrong. And religion among those lacking in learning and knowledge both of
the religion itself and of worldly matters is likely to involve greater
commitment than with the knowledgeable.

21. The importance of the dakwah is obvious here. If the correct and
accepted teachings of Islam are propagated then we would be fulfilling the
injunctions of the Quran. But to spread the wrong interpretation of Islam
_consider the interests and the good of the community in all that he does.

23. The community has a right to protect itself from the individual
members of the community if such individuals propose to damage or mislead
the community or some of its members.

24. Western concepts of the rights of individuals has resulted in the
destruction of moral values. Thus the phenomenon of streakers who run
naked in public as a demonstration of the freedom of the individual. Such
is the value placed on individual rights that the public do not feel
scandalised by such behaviour. Instead the newspapers report this event
with glee. Similarly, again as a demonstration of the rights of
individuals, the most atrocious clothings are worn, faces are painted,
drugs are taken and orgies held. The community does not really do anything
to prevent what was once regarded even by Western cultures as
depravity. Everyone it seems should be allowed to do their own thing.

25. Islam does not subscribe to such individual freedom. There are codes
of behaviour which must be adhered to in the Islamic community. Similarly
in the teaching or propagation of Islam the Muslim community has a duty to
ensure that individualistic and perverted teachings which are damaging to
Islam are not allowed to go on unchecked.

My Bothers and Sisters.

26. Another aspect of the dakwah which merits the attention of this
Muktamar is the faith and understanding of Islam among those who have only
recently embraced Islam. In Malaysia we have seen many instances where
large numbers of people embrace Islam but are subsequently left to their
own devices. This is so because we find it extremely difficult to get
Muslims willing to work and teach among these new brothers who live in
remote areas under primitive conditions. Yet we find many Muslims willing
to give up Islam.

27. There is a new fervour among Muslims of all strata and calling. We now
find doctors, engineers, sociologists, accountants who are willing to
devote much time on dakwah. Indeed some of these people in their fervour
have decided to 28. Unfortunately very few of these people are willing to
work among our new brothers and sisters in order to enlighten them on
Islam. On the other hand we see doctors and social workers of other
religions patiently working among those without religion so as to win them
over to their faith.

29. What is needed is not the giving up of everything worldly in order to
become a mendicant in the sevice of Allah, and thereby gain merit
exclusively for oneself. As a Muslim, our sacrifice should be not only in
the performance of those ibadah which are for oneself only but also those
which will help bring Islamic enlightenment to our less fortunate brothers
and sisters who by the grace of Allah have chosen to embrace Islam. Dakwah
that concentrates on the already knowledgeable in Islam in order to
achieve near perfection in the adherence to the teachings of Islam is
enjoined upon. But surely those who are ignorant of most of the tenets of
Islam because they have only just embraced the religion of Allah, surely
they cannot be forced to wait while we seek to ensure that our knowledge
and practice of Islam is beyond reproach. Such an attitude would imply a
selfishness that is quite unIslamic.

30. Islam is blessed in having so many Muslim scholars and intellectuals
who are willing to travel thousands of miles to Malaysia in order to
discuss the problems of Muslims and the duty of spreading the teachings of
Islam among Muslims.

But we also need to have Muslims who may not be great scholars or
intellectuals but who are willing to spread the teachings of Islam among
our new brothers in the remote areas of Malaysia. We do not require that
they give up all their professions. Indeed if they are doctors and social
workers, they would be very useful practising their skills among the sick
and the ailing in the new Muslim communities. I leave this to our Islamic

My Brothers and Sisters.

31. The Malaysian Government is willing to help in every way to strengthen
and make effective the dakwah activities. I would like to assure you that
the Government is fully committed to this task. Let us not waste our time
in destroying in order to build. That is not necessary at all. What is
required is to build on whatever strength we have. And I can assure you
that in Malaysia we have a lot that can be put in the service of the

32. I pray to Allah s.w.t. that He will guide you in your deliberations. I
pray to Allah that this conference will not be just another intellectual
exercise but will indeed contribute in a tangible way towards solving the
multitude of problems that face the Muslim world, particularly those
concerned with dakwah.

With these prayers I now declare this Muktamar open.

Wabillahi Taufik Walhidayah Wassalamu 'alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.