KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that constructive discourse should be promoted rather than criticised excessively, especially those involving discussions about the Quran.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Anwar touched on a recent event involving civil servants where he emphasised the importance of values and morals in carrying out duties, trust and responsibilities, linking them to the story of seven “Ashabul Kahfi” (men of the cave).
That subject has since been widely discussed on social media.
Sebelum ini dalam satu majlis, saya pernah beritahu penjawat awam, baik yang di atas mahu pun di bawah kepentingan nilai dan akhlak dalam menjalankan tugas, amanah serta tanggungjawab yang diamanahkah.Sejauh mana kesibukan kita, kepesatan pembangunan sementalahan teknologi… pic.twitter.com/FGQ3pJZbru
— Anwar Ibrahim (@anwaribrahim) December 31, 2023
“I relate the story of the seven young men as mentioned in Surah Al-Kahf in the Quran, where during that time, the unjust system, government and a cruel king who worshipped idols were rejected by the believers, including these youths who took refuge in a cave.
“The message is about the steadfastness and firmness of these young men’s faith that shielded them from polytheism and depravity. Therefore, it is appropriate for civil servants to take lessons from this story,” Anwar said.
However, Anwar said that his views were misinterpreted to the extent that some were criticised and ridiculed by certain parties, including preachers and scholars, which he described as excessive and unacceptable.
In a short video uploaded in the post, Anwar said his intention in delivering such a message to civil servants was to remind them that economic sustainability, progress and good governance should be aligned with faith, values and morals.
“That is why when I was appointed as prime minister, among the first books that I requested Jakim (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) to distribute widely was Adabul Ikhtilaf Fil Islam by the late Sh Taha Jabir al-Alwani, which discusses ethics of disagreement in Islam,” he said.
He cited those who display blind devotion to their political parties and resort to criticising, cursing and slandering people who are not with them, to the extent of labelling them the worst of enemies.
“That is why I requested that this book be read because there are ways of voicing differing opinions,” he said.
Anwar also explained that the move to introduce Imam Nawawi’s 40 Hadis Appreciation module to Muslim students in schools starting next year is aimed at enhancing the public’s understanding of Islam. — Bernama