Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Muslim perspective on Christmas

Abdul Malik Mujahid

December 25, 2010

DEC 25 — Christmas is an annual Christian religious holiday commemorating the birth of Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him. For many Muslims who even do not celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, it becomes an issue of what stand they should take.

There have been a number of legitimate criticisms of the holiday from Muslims and non-Muslims based on theological and cultural considerations. However, this cannot be used to disregard the holiday as merely an exercise in ancient pagan practices, for instance, or excessive consumerism. Muslims have to remember that for practicing Christians, Christmas really is about Jesus.

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was so accommodating of Christians that according to the two earliest Islamic historians, Ibn Saad and Ibn Hisham, the Prophet even allowed a delegation of 60 Byzantine Christians from Najran in Yemen to worship in his own mosque in Madinah.

Lead by their bishop (Usquf), they had come to discuss a number of issues with him. When time of their prayer came, they asked the Prophet’s permission to perform this in the mosque. He answered, “conduct your service here in the mosque. It is a place consecrated to God.”

God expects us to stay away from mocking the religious beliefs of others, no matter how much we disagree with them. He says in the Quran: “And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides God, lest they insult God wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fair-seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do” (Quran, 6:108).

We also have to remember that even if for many nominal Christians, the celebration is not really about participating in religious traditions, Christmas is a time for families to get together. In a number of cases it is the only time of year families get together, either because family members are scattered in different parts of the country or the world, because of communication and relationship problems, or because in America today, the family unit is becoming weaker and weaker.

Christmas is a great time to relate to our neighbors. We should not forget though, that “relating” does not mean “preaching”. Da’wah cannot be made in a rude manner. Allah says in the Quran: “Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful advice, and reason with them by ways that are the best and most gracious: because your Lord knows best, (those) who have strayed from His Path, and those who receive guidance “ (Quran, 16:125).

In particular, when dealing with Jews and Christians, Allah says: “Do not argue with the People of the Book unless it is in the politest manner, except for those of them who do wrong. Say: ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us and what has been sent down to you. Our God and your God is [the same] One, and we are Muslims before Him’“ (Quran, 29:46).

This may not be an occasion to emphasis the differences as much as the commonality of our beliefs, unless someone is really asking you about them.

A starting point for a discussion about Christmas could be the Islamic belief in all Books revealed by Allah and all Prophets sent by Him. In this discussion, special emphasis could be made on Prophet Jesus. Non-Muslims are often surprised to discover that Muslims also believe in this noble Prophet and his great mother Mary (peace be upon her).

Remember that respect does not mean compromise. This article is not asking you to compromise anything. You have freedom of religion given by God to believe in what you believe in. But in a world where conflict is increasing, a Muslim should be a bridge- builder and a peacemaker. It was due to the Muslim practice of Islamic ideals of respect and tolerance that the key of the holiest Christian Shrine in Jerusalem, the church of the Holy Sepulcher, remains entrusted with a Muslim family, as it has been for over 1400 years.

These are the lessons which need to be learned by those extremists who attack Christians during their worship in Nigeria and those extremists who burn Masjids in the USA. —

* This is the personal opinion of the writer.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Get Together Dinner

The Muar Andrean Associations is organizing a get together dinner on this coming October 15, 2010 from 6.30pm at Carousel Restaurant, Palace of The Golden Horses. Jalan Kuda Emas, The Mines Resort City, Seri Kembangan. Selangor.
Kindly confirm your attendance so that the organizer can make the relevant
booking for the dinner asap. Thank You
Please reply to the undersigned
Adrian Goh
or Mr Lim Thiam Soon at ,
James Lee Say See

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bird enthusiasts team up to produce book in Malay

Wednesday June 30, 2010


FRASER’S HILL: A team of 20 bird enthusiasts teamed up to produce a book on the various species of birds found in the popular hill resort here.

After six months of hard work, the book entitled Khazanah Burung Bukit Fraser was completed and on sale in all major book stores now.

The book is said to be the first written in Malay as most books on birds in the market are in English.

Author Mike Chong said he co-wrote the book, containing over 300 pictures of birds, with Sutari Supari.

Chong said the idea of writing the book in Malay came about two years ago and they finally decided to work on it late last year.

Bird book lovers: Chong (third from right) and contributors of photos used in the book and publisher Rizanudin (second from right) Henry Goh is the fella at far left of the photo. Cheers SAS Muar Old Boys !.

“We managed to convince a publisher, Rizanudin Nordin of Tinta Publishers to print the book.

“Other friends and birders then came forward to supply us with good and rare pictures of birds spotted here,” he said in an interview.

He said that among others, the book contained descriptions of at least 93 main bird species found in Fraser’s Hill, an introduction and guide to birdwatching as well as index of bird species along with their Malay, English and scientific names.

He believes that there is a market for such a book in Malay as there are many animal and bird lovers in the country.

“We want to promote birdwatching activities in Malaysia and we think it is important to produce a book and put on record the species of birds found in Fraser’s Hill, for the benefit of future generations,” he said.

Rizanudin said that for a start, he would print 2,000 copies of the book and it would be sold at RM73 each.

“If the response is good, we will consider a reprint and update the book accordingly.

“We will also approach libraries and schools for them to place orders so that it can be used to educate the public and students,” he said.

Rizanudin, who is also a bird lover, said efforts must be made by all parties to preserve and conserve the abundance of flora and fauna in Malaysia.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Late Mr Wee Eng Seng - Senior Assistant of SAS Muar School - Church Services /Wake & Final Journey

Dear All,

Latest Updates as at 10.0am today Sunday.

Church Services tonight and tomorrow night about 8.00pm.

Tuesday service about 9.00am and leave church for Nilai Memorial.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Contribution to Mr Wee Seng Hock's Family

Dear MAA Members,

As you all may heard or read in the newspaper about the tragic news of our beloved Senior Assistance of ST.Andrew's School Mr Wee Seng Hock and his 3 lovely children and mother in law.

The Board of Governors of SAS have initiated a drive on " Contribution to Mr Wee Seng Hock Family" which supported by Muar Andreans Association and PIBG of SAS.
The details are :

Contribution can be bank into :

Please email to : (Lim Thiam Soon) or
SMS 012 6801866 after you make your contribution.

This contribution will go a long way to help Mr Wee's family, esp funeral expenses, medical and surgical expediture for the injured family members etc.
But most of all, it is an expression of care, love and concern for our beloved Mr Wee.

This specific drives for The family of Mr Wee is initiate by the Board of Governors of SAS and supported by Muar Andreans Association (Old Boys) and PIBG of SAS.

The last day for the contibution is 1st July 2010.

For more info you may call 016 6621018 (James Lee)

James Lee

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Each step will provide you with a chance
to identify areas in your business that
need strengthening, training opportunities,
and actions to be taken. They are designed so
that every step builds from the last. Customize
each step to suit your business type and needs.
To get you started,
here is a snap-shot of the 7 Steps.
Identify potential hazards.
In this step, you will identify what may interrupt
your business operations temporarily or worse.
The priorities you set here will help you in the
other Steps.
Begin addressing those hazards.
Look at your priorities, where your business is
vulnerable, and choose how to minimize these risks.
If you secure it, it can be saved from earthquake
damage or from hurting employees.
Create a disaster plan. After you have
identifi ed the potential hazards and impacts to
your business, it’s time to create your plan and
train employees! Because disasters are highly
unpredictable, it is impossible to anticipate
every situation and impact. However, a Business
Continuity Plan can greatly reduce the
risks and losses your business might face by
guiding your decisions yet allowing fl exibility
to adapt to the unexpected.
Prepare disaster supplies kits.
After a disaster, businesses will need to be self-
sufficient as first responders will be addressing
high priorities such as hospitals and schools.
Determine what you need in the first days following
an earthquake including the basics like food, water
and sanitation.
Identify your building’s potential
Weaknesses and begin to fix them.
Most businesses lease their space, so it’s essential to
work with your owner and property manager
on addressing structural issues. If you own it,
strengthen those weaknesses. Either way, measures
taken now can help you keep your doors open.
No access, no business.
Protect yourself and employees during
earthquake shaking –
The ground is shaking, what do you do?
The critical life safety step is Drop,
Cover, and Hold On. Stay clear of any objects
that may fall and stay put until the shaking
After the earthquake, check for injuries
and damage.
Life safety is the top priority
after an earthquake or any disaster. Use
trained personnel to find anyone injured. Next,
survey your building for damage or other
hazards. Decide if safe to stay.
When safe, continue to follow your
disaster plan.
Once life safety is being addressed,
it’s time to begin recovery activities
to resume business operations. Conduct an
assessment for operational issues. Use your
plan to guide your actions and restore priority
operations first. Communicate often with
employees and key contacts. Document your
lessons learned to determine priorities before
the next event.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fishing Trip to Pulau Sibu

When :15th till 17th June ( 3 days 2 nights)

Room type : Open Dorm
Food : Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Supper
tea/coffee/plain water-free flow except Beer byo

Damages : RM 230 adult
RM 145 kids ( 3 - 12 yrs) Free ( below 3 yrs )

Transport : Own. Jetty to Pulau Sibu (free)
Fishing gear :On your own. Suggested line Apollo No 6 - 10
Sotong hook ( Sotong season)
RSVP : before 28th May 2010
Who : Open to all members/family and friends.

Info : Contact James Lee @ 016 6621018
or e mail :

Tanjung Leman in Tenggaroh
Jeti Tunjuk Pulau Sibu
Loading fishing gear before departure
Kelong Ayu

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Muar Andreans Association Meeting

Muar & KL/PJ Chapters - Meeting and Dinner at Tan Sri Francis Lau's residence on Friday 7th. of May 2010.

Photograph courtesy of Mr.Henry Goh

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Appeal to SAS Old Boys

Insaf Humanitarian Relief Malaysia is a non governmental, non profit making organization, which was set up last year with the aim to offer, locally and internationally, humanitarian relief to victims of disasters and also to promote social welfare.
As the President of InsafHRM I am appealing to all SAS ‘old boys’ for contributions, monetary and otherwise to help fund our welfare programmes.
At the moment we are looking for second hand or new vehicles (4x4 if possible) to accommodate our mobile clinics (we supply medicines and medical services for villagers who have no access to it) in the rural areas of Selangor and we are hoping to extend this service to the Southern region (Johor, Melaka, and Negeri Senbilan).
Please contact me on my mobile – 012 3940447 or call our office number 03-4251 9444.
Thank you.
Ishak Abdul Kadir

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Experience at St.Francis' Institute Malacca, last Saturday night

By: Daniel Tan

James Sia (deputy president of St Francis Association) invited my dad & I to his Alma mater which is celebrating 130 years anniversary dinner last Saturday and my dad was keen to go down memory lane, hence I made the trip specially for him.

  • There were 2 Brother visitors from Rome, Brother Ambrose plus whatever remaining of the La Salle brothers were there that evening. I guess we have to invite as many La Salle brothers and ex teachers.
  • There were about 900 people attending the dinner.
  • They sold Franciscan T-shirts at RM30, mugs at RM10 to raise funds, while the boys and girls goes round collecting donations. And many of them even have the 'graduation years' knitted onto the sleeves. Batch 1972 and 1976 were very active. My dad is batch 1947, one of the last of the Mohicans!!!!!!!!!!! I think we can have this, I will be proud to wear it.
  • You have to buy drinks via vouchers and off course the collection goes back to the school
  • The school band entertain us while some 'old boys' (professional singers) took over and entertain the night.
  • The night was brighten up by a very long fireworks display that lit up Banda Hilir, perhaps to the delight of tourist and locals too.
  • Interestingly, no Negara Ku but the school anthem was sang loud and proud.......i think I can lead that provided I get back the lyrics J
  • The oldest Franciscan was 88 years old Horace Sta Maria and he got back from Perth to attend this anniversary! Many came from all over the country as well as from overseas. Seated beside me was this 70 years Mr Ram that came back from Phuket as he is still a senior man working in Phuket for a rubber mill and he was proud to be back to his Alma mater. Very interesting.
  • They rang the traditional school bell and you can see the pride.
  • The rallying call that made last Saturday's night event a success was the 130 years.
  • The evening started with a mass in the beautiful chapel for Catholics, ex student, family & friends
  • Many family members also attended, so it is not just an all boys gathering JJ
I think James Lee idea of open day of SAS is a very good idea as I actually brought my sons to SAS to show them around recently during CNY. But we have to find a rallying call so that we can get all the support from ex students. We can take all these good ideas and apply them to our proposed MAA Dinner which will take place on the 4th.September 2010.
I will take leave now and cheers.