Post-Independence Era

1965 - 1999

After achieving independence, and as part of the country’s effort to be an independent and advanced nation, the Singapore government stressed the importance of practicing pure moral values as an asset in developing citizens who are useful to the country and nation.

During this time, there was an increase in the number of Islamic religious books written in English, with the intention to engage those who were more comfortable reading in English as well as recent converts to Islam.

The 1980s and 1990s saw the peak of publications on Islamic religious books by Singaporean authors.

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‘Know Islam’, 1974

Moulavi Babu Sahib was an esteemed local missionary who was a member of the Inter-Religious Organization (IRO) and often represented Islam in interfaith dialogue sessions. He was among the pioneers of Jamiyah, an organization that facilitated those who wanted to embrace Islam. He was responsible for the welfare of these new reverts, guiding them through any difficulties they might face while spreading knowledge to dispel any misconceptions about the religion.

Naturally, ‘Know Islam’ is a compilation of his lectures in the classes held for new reverts. These classes were the initiative by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), with the course content and syllabus prepared by Moulavi Babu Sahib. This book touched on the three branches of fundamental principles of Islam – Tauhid (belief in the Oneness of God), Fiqh (rituals of the religion) and Akhlaq (manners). Although the content was tailored with new reverts in mind, it was also suitable for Muslims who were getting to know the religion. What set this book apart was how Moulavi Babu Sahib presented logical proofs (mantiq) in explaining Allah’s s.w.t attributes. He also gave relevant contemporary examples when discussing issues in Akhlaq.

On patience (al-Hilm): .. a quality which lead its possessor to abstain from punishing those who wronged him despite his ability to do so.

Know Islam, Moulavi Babu Sahib

 

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Fajar Islam, 1980

The first edition of Fajar Islam (The Dawn of Islam) was published by MUIS in 1970 and served as a platform for writings by local scholars. Luminaries such as Moulavi Babu Sahib, Ustaz Syed Abdillah Ahmad Al-Jufri, Ustaz Osman Jantan and Shaikh Syed Isa Mohamed Semait have contributed to this publication. The early edition focused on religious issues and discussed the issue of deviation of the faith. Subsequently in the 1970s, the magazine also included the interesting Q&A section which featured the Mufti’s answers to questions put forth by readers. Dakwah was also an important theme in this magazine, where the role of mosques in spreading the message of Islam was discussed.

Educating Children Through Books and Songs

Ustazah Fatima SA Majeed has written many religious books on the topics of belief and practice of the religion, but her specialty was writing for young readers. She introduced the writing of children’s songs which incorporated Islamic values and introduced Islam to children through songs. Ustazah Fatima has written over 50 titles of children’s books with the theme of good values and manners. These books were written in both English and Malay and published by her own publishing company, Ze Majeed’s Publishing. Her collection of children’s songs and books feature colourful and interesting illustrations and is aimed at inculcating Islamic values and manners in a child’s everyday actions. 

Religious Knowledge Textbooks, 1960s - 1990s

  1. Pengetahuan Agama Islam (Menengah 1), 1965: 1st ed. Pustaka Nasional, (Jawi)
  2. Ringkasan Pelajaran Ugama Islam, 1966, Singapore: H.Hashim Abdullah, (Jawi)
  3. Pengetahuan Islam (Menengah Tiga), 1984: 1st ed. Pustaka Nasional (Rumi)
  4. Asas Agama Islam, 1991, Singapore: Pustaka Melayu

In 1984, Religious Knowledge as a subject was made compulsory in the national school curriculum with the aim of inculcating moral awareness, ethical and spiritual values, social responsibility and promoting religious harmony among students. Hence a textbook on Islamic Religious Knowledge was written by local scholars Ustaz Syed Abdillah Ahmad Al-Jufri and Haji Muhammad Ariff Ahmad with Shaikh Syed Isa Mohamed Semait as its project director. It was intended to introduce basic teachings of Islam and its history, development and achievements. However, five years later in 1989, there was a change in curriculum and Religious Knowledge was no longer a compulsory subject.

 

 

 

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4. Fiqh Minoriti Muslim (Publications of Asatizah’s Writings), 2008

The Beginners’ Manual on Islam; written by the late Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail was amongst the earliest publication of Pergas by a local Ustaz.

Later in 2008, Pergas collaborated with Pustaka Nasional to publish 3 books written by local asatizah, namely Fiqh Minoriti Muslim (Fiqh for the Muslim Minority), Menunggak Nilai, Melurus Faham (Upholding the traditions, enhancing the understanding) and 40 Hadis seruan Nabi Muhammad SAW kepada umatnya (40 Hadis from the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.)

Apart from these books, the book by Ustaz Mohamad Hasbi Bin Hassan – Istilah-Istilah Ilmu Tasauf (The Terminology in the Science of Tasauf) – was published back in 2011.

12. Wasat Online, 2015

A platform that serves in publishing the writings and research papers with the concept of moderation in Islam as the main theme. It was published online and later printed into a book.

11. Footprints of Muslim Scholars’ Heritage in Singapore, 2014

A bibliography of the past luminous scholars from our Beacons of the Ummah series were collated. This is in conjunction with the Footprints of Muslim Scholars’ Heritage in Singapore Exhibition.

This effort was expanded in 2019 with the publication of the 100 Years Bibliography of the Asatizah.

This reference is vital in ensuring the contributions of asatizah in the field of writing is well documented and assist researchers to find resources for their writings.

10. Launch of the Syed Ahmad Semait Reference Library (SASRL), 2013

SASRL was established as a center of reference on the writings on Islam. It specializes in the collection of the thesis written by local asatizah.

9. Publication of Pergas Institute of Islamic Religious Studies (IPIP), 2012

An effort, which focuses on publishing religious textbooks that were written and compiled by asatizah. The textbooks are used for IPIP students in particular and have served of benefit the local madrasah students, and as well as the Muslim community in Singapore. Examples of publications include the review and a contextualize understanding to Pengetahuan Islam (Islamic Revealed Knowledge), Ulum Al-Quran (Sciences of the Quran) and Ulum Al-Hadith (Sciences of Hadith books).

8. Beacons of the Ummah: Tracing the Footsteps of Islamic Religious Leaders, 2011

A publication that narrates the biography of Singapore Muslim scholars and academician which aims in providing the inspiration for the Malay Muslim community. 

Currently three such series have been published in Malay Language with two series translated into the English language.

7. Jurnal Dakwah, 2010

A journal that features studies on Islam and the Singapore Muslim community. Started in 2010, it is the only local Islamic journal available thus far and has reached its 6th edition.

6. Moderation in Islam in the Context of the Muslim Community in Singapore, 2004

A significant publication that encompasses the Moderation in Islam framework based on the Singapore context. The views presented in this book are supported by the scholars and asatizah present at the Konvensyen Ulama (Muslim Scholar’s Convention) which was held in 2004.

5. Istilah Tasauf (Publications of Asatizah’s Writings), 2002

The Beginners’ Manual on Islam; written by the late Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail was amongst the earliest publication of Pergas by a local Ustaz.

Later in 2008, Pergas collaborated with Pustaka Nasional to publish 3 books written by local asatizah, namely Fiqh Minoriti Muslim (Fiqh for the Muslim Minority), Menunggak Nilai, Melurus Faham (Upholding the traditions, enhancing the understanding) and 40 Hadis seruan Nabi Muhammad SAW kepada umatnya (40 Hadis from the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.)

Apart from these books, the book by Ustaz Mohamad Hasbi Bin Hassan – Istilah-Istilah Ilmu Tasauf (The Terminology in the Science of Tasauf) – was published back in 2011.

3. Beginners manual (Publications of Asatizah’s Writings), 2002

The Beginners’ Manual on Islam; written by the late Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail was amongst the earliest publication of Pergas by a local Ustaz.

Later in 2008, Pergas collaborated with Pustaka Nasional to publish 3 books written by local asatizah, namely Fiqh Minoriti Muslim (Fiqh for the Muslim Minority), Menunggak Nilai, Melurus Faham (Upholding the traditions, enhancing the understanding) and 40 Hadis seruan Nabi Muhammad SAW kepada umatnya (40 Hadis from the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.)

Apart from these books, the book by Ustaz Mohamad Hasbi Bin Hassan – Istilah-Istilah Ilmu Tasauf (The Terminology in the Science of Tasauf) – was published back in 2011.

2. Ar-Risalah Magazine, 1997

Started in 1997, Ar-Risalah (the Message), the triannual magazine featuring thematic articles by local asatizah. To date, the magazine has published more than 25 issues.

1. Sinar Magazine, 1981

The earliest magazine published by Pergas called Sinar (Ray).

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