I CHOOSE to be a MUSLIM, after learning the religion indepth each day for 2 years everyday at PERKIM (PERSATUAN KEBANGSAAN ISLAM
I was extremely blessed as my knowledge of ISLAM was gained under the most PATIENCE and PERSEVERANCE of two of my teachers, a late HONG KONG CHINESE convert and a CAMBODIAN convert, both taught me so much that I even used what I have learned from them in enforcing Islamic teachings and ways of living as a Muslim, to both my daughters.
I RESPECT ALL RELIGION and PHILOSOPHIES OF VARIOUS THOUGHTS as I am first a very SPIRITUAL person. I TOTALLY BELIEVE IN GOD and as I have taken my Islamic PLEGE, “THERE IS NO GOD EXCEPT ALLAH S.W.T and PROPHET MUHAMMAD is HIS MESSENGER”, hence my GOD is ALLAH S.W.T.
I have been SEARCHING for a RELIGION, when I REALIZED that I really do not have any religious foundation as my late father and the rest of my other family members are actually TAOIST.
My IDOL, my late father is a very good example of a good Muslim, although at that time, he was more a Taoist.
Taoism is a PHILOSOPHY, some even say it is a MYTHOLOGY but I will one day speak about my own experience via Taoism but not today.
Today, as we, Muslims , around the world has just enter a new year, Islamic New YEAR OF 1428 HIJRAH, I would just like to put up a piece about ISLAM.
Has ISLAM changed
my life to the better? YES
Has being a CHINESE MUSLIM
been CHALLENGING? YES
Have I any REGRET at any one time now that I am a Muslim? Never
Am I GOOD MUSLIM? ONLY ALLAH S.W.T WILL KNOW BEST!
I am actually a very CONSERVATIVE person, but , being a CONVERT, I TRUST that ISLAM, BEING A VERY TOLERANT AND MODERATE RELIGION, will also ENCOURAGE such THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIOURS ,ESPECIALLY amongst HIS HUMBLE SERVANTS.
Hence, I AM NOT A MODERN MUSLIM, I am just a
I know it is VERY BELATED but my family and I, will like to take this GOLDEN
“O people, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah; say your five daily prayers (Salah); fast during the month of Ramadan; and give your wealth in Zakah; (and) perform Hajj if you can afford to."
Islam is the official religion of Malaysia. According to 2004 census figures, approximately 58 percent of the population practiced Islam; 22 percent Buddhism; 10 percent Christianity; 6 percent Hinduism; and 3 percent Confucianism, Taoism, and other traditional Chinese religions. The remainder was accounted for by other faiths, including animism, Sikhism, and Baha'i. . As required by Malaysian law and defined in the Constitution, a Malay would surrender his ethnic status if he were not Muslim. However the reverse is not legally true; one does not legally become a Bumiputra by converting to Islam. Malaysian Muslims are primarily Malays although there are substantial numbers of Indian and Pakistani Muslims and increasing numbers of ethnic Chinese converts. 
A number of young Muslims, especially those raised in a more secular or westernized settings are practicing Muslims. They observe the practice of a holy month (Ramadan), when fasting during daylight hours is mandatory, and abstain from pork, they pray five times a day and visit mosques frequently.
At the same time, increasing numbers of Malays are taking the religion more seriously, with the increasing popularity of Islamic financing and the increasing number of girls choosing to wear the tudung or headscarf as evidences.
Sunni Islam of the Shafi'i school of thought is the legal form in
The term "Islam Hadhari" or progressive Islam has been introduced by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to emphasize the central role of knowledge in Islam. Hard work, honesty, good administration and efficiency are equally valued. It also appeals to Muslims to be "inclusive", tolerant and outward-looking.
Islam Hadhari aims to achieve ten main principles:
It is commonly held that Islam first exists in Malaysia since the 10th century where the Terengganu Stone Monument was found at Kuala Berang, Terengganu where the first Malay state to receive Islam on 1303 and Sultan Muzaffar Shah I (12th century) of Kedah was the first ruler to be known to convert to Islam. Sultan Megat Iskandar Shah, known as Parameswara prior to his conversion, is the first Melaka Sultan Muslim convert after marrying a princess from Pasai. The conversion of the Sultanate of Malacca to Islam is the milestone of Islamification of Malay people in
The tudung is a relatively recent introduction and was not prominent until the rise of worldwide Islamism in the 1970s. Some commentators have found it jarring to see Malay women donning the tudung and at the same time wearing tight-fitting T-shirts.
Islam is central to and dominant in Malay culture. A significant number of words in the Malay vocabulary can trace their origins to Arabic which is the chosen language of Islam. This is, however, not exclusive and words from other cultures such as Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch, Sanskrit, Tamil, English, and French can also be found in the Malay language. Islam is so ingrained in Malay life that Islamic rituals are practised as Malay culture. Muslim and Malays are interchangeble in many daily contexts.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Eid ul-Fitr) is an important festival celebrated by Malaysian Muslims.
The interpretation of Islam in
The tudung , or the hijab, is a symbol of a Muslim woman. This is such because it represents the modesty of a woman's way, as described by the religion.
Some find the tudung to be an indication of Arabic influence in Malay Muslim culture, and point to other incidents such as the banning of the traditional Malay wayang kulit in the state of Kelantan (which is ruled by the Islamist PAS) for being "un-Islamic". 
In general, males and females can mix easily like any other liberal Western countries. However, desiring to expose the body and intimacy such as kissing is still rare among Muslims in public. In conservative states where PAS has more influence, such as Kelantan, different genders are at least theoretically segregated in public places like cinema and supermarket.
As defined by the constitution of Malaysia, Malays must be Muslim, regardless of their ethnic heritage; otherwise, legally, they are not Malay. Consequently, apostate Malays would have to forfeit all their constitutional privileges, including their Bumiputra status, which entitles them to affirmative action policies in university admissions, discounts on purchases of vehicles or real estate, etc. It is legally possible to become a Malay if a non-Malay citizen with a Malaysian parent converts to Islam and thus claim all the Bumiputra privileges granted by Article 153 of the Constitution and the New Economic Policy (NEP), etc. However, the convert must "habitually speak the Malay language" and adhere to Malay culture. A textbook for tertiary Malaysian studies following the government-approved syllabus states: "This explains the fact that when a non-Malay embraces Islam, he is said to masuk Melayu (become a Malay). That person is automatically assumed to be fluent in the Malay language and to be living like a Malay as a result of his close association with the Malays."  
Parallel to the civil courts, there are Sharia courts which conduct legal matters related to religious (Islam) and (Muslim) family issues. Legal issues like Muslim divorce and Muslim apostasy are conducted in
Nine of the Malaysian states, namely Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Kedah, Perak, Perlis, Selangor, Johor and Negeri Sembilan have constitutional Malay monarchs (most of them styled as Sultans). These Malay rulers still maintain authority over religious affairs in states. The states of Penang, Malacca, Sarawak and Sabah do not have any sultan, but the nominal kings (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) play the role of heads of Islam in those states as well as the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.
As the religion embraced by the most populous ethnic class of
The newest format of the Malaysian Identity Card (MyKad) divides Malaysians into various religious groups, i.e. Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist. The introduction of this card caused an uproar in Malaysian politics and is deemed discriminative by non-Muslims. This issue has, however, since abated and been accepted (although unwillingly) by non-Muslims.
Currently, one of the
There is also an Islamic university in
Although the constitution declares
Despite the Federal Government's denial that Malaysia is an Islamic state, the present Badawi Administration have gradually furthered the agenda of Islamic supremacy at the expense of other races and religions. The spread of Christianity is a particular sore point for the Muslim majority, and as such, the Government (despite being of a plural composition, but the Malay component, UMNO, always has the final say) typically drags its feet when it comes to approving Churches, and often they will disapprove the setting up of Churches outright. In some cases, they have even resorted to demolishing churches in Muslim-majority areas, and setting up mosques in Muslim-minority areas. The Malaysian government has also persecuted Christian groups who were perceived to be attempting to proselytize to Muslim audiences.
In 2004 and 2005, the Government caused an uproar within the Chinese community by closing down and demolishing some ancient Chinese temples in Chinese-majority areas. In as recent as June 2006, the Government has demolished more than 30 Hindu temples in Hindu majority areas. While the non-Muslim public suspects that there is a behind the scene systematic elimination of non-Muslim religious rights in Malaysia by Islamic supremacists within the Government, the Government itself has repeatedly denied this, though they did not apologize for these acts either.
The government has claimed that the need for more churches or temples is not consistent as the current amount of churches and temples are sufficient for the insignificant amount of practitioners of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism in the country. In addition to that, because of expensive land value, the private sector does not want to provide land to build temples and churches as there are already sufficient temples and churches in various areas. Some accounts claim that those who brought the idea of systematic elimination is due to self frustration of the high rate of conversion of non-muslims to Islam in the country over other religions. 
At the same time, the Malaysian authorities typically have a pro-Muslim bias when it comes to demographic data, and they also do not justify the construction of mosques in places where it is not needed. Local housing bylaws require that the housing developer construct mosques in every new housing area regardless of the racial and religious demographics. Furthermore, the figures for the rate of conversion to Islam are not very clear as many apostates do not bother registering with the Shariah Court for apostasy (since they are legally not allowed to leave the religion), and instead they just stop being practicing Muslims. Therefore, figures on the Muslim population of
Head of the Malaysian State of
"This figure does not include individuals who don't do salat, don't fast, and break all the tenets of Islam", he said. According to the Perak Mufti he has personally received a letter from the American Christian Missionary Association which accuses the Malaysian/Perak religious authorities of being cruel (or mean) for not allowing about 95,000 Malay Muslims to convert to Christianity.
It has been argued that the true number of apostates is much lower, and that the 650,500 figure is an exaggeration. One academic has said that only five hundred Muslims between 1994 and 2003 applied to the Syariah Courts to renounce their status as a Muslim, while about 7500 applied to the National Registration Department (NRD) to change a Muslim name to a non-Muslim one. Reportedly, only five states (Perak, Malacca, Sabah, Terengganu, and Pahang) have made apostasy from Islam a criminal offense. Despite reassurances from the Government that there is hardly any apostasy among Muslims in the country, non-Muslims view this as a denial, and are fully convinced that Muslims who no longer practice Islam do not come out into the open for fear of being condemned by the Muslim community in general and face serious legal actions.
It consists of 10 fundamental principles.
- Faith and piety in Allah
- Just and trustworthy government
- Freedom and independence to the people
- Mastery of knowledge
- Balanced and comprehensive economic development
- Good quality of life for all
- Protection of the rights of minority groups and women
- Cultural and moral integrity
- Protection of the environment
- A strong defence policy
In June 2006, Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia prior to Abdullah Badawi, criticised Islam Hadhari with this same opinion. 
Some Muslims also believe that Islam is a religion and philosophy that encompasses all types of lives including developed civilizations. Therefore, the word Hadhari (Civilization) is redundant.
On the other hand, the concept of Islam Hadhari as a moderate doctrine also came into question by examining Article 121 (1A) of the Malaysian Federal Constitution which is against Principle 7 of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers which states that access to a lawyer must be granted "promptly" and in any case "not later than forty-eight hours from the time of arrest or detention" . The involvement of several of its academicians in Jemaah Islamiyah and the frequent occurrences of moral policing seem to suggest that Islam Hadhari is mere rhetorics.
The Arabic word حضارة ħadāra (from which "Hadhari" is derived) refers to both "civilization" and "settled life" or "sedentariness" (i.e. not being nomadic), so that the term Islam Hadhari implicitly contrasts itself with the Islam of nomads or bedouin.
- Islam Hadhari and Good Governance - a speech by the Prime Minister of Malaysia at the Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand (31 March 2005)
- Islam Hadhari: Concept and Prospect
- Islam Hadhari the Way Forward
- Islam Hadhari Threat to No Faith
- Ref: Sh. Mohamad Nadzir As Saghir.
- Changing the Muslim mindset by New Straits Times, May 19,by Zainah Anwar 2006