MIRI: Languages play a crucial role in developing understanding of Islam, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“Muslims are not only required to recite daily prayers in Arabic, but in other languages as well to help convey the messages to others,” he said.
Speaking at an earth-breaking ceremony for a mosque in Pujut 5 this morning, Abang Johari recalled that during his younger days the Imam at his mosque preached in Urdu language.
“Those in the mosque at that time seemed to understand what the Imam preached about,” he said.
To him, using other languages besides Arabic during sermons is a holistic approach to let non-Arabs and non-Muslims understand what Islam is.
“In Kuching there is a mosque where they use English during their sermons. It works in conveying the messages,” he said.
He said people in Sarawak are fortunate as they are living in peace and harmony with one another regardless of their religious backgrounds.
“Preserve and maintain this for our future generations,” he said.
The construction of the Pujut 5 mosque on a half-acre piece of land next to a Muslim cemetery, which will take about 15 months to complete, has begun this month.
The RM2.5-million mosque to be called Surau Pujut and Islamic Information Centre will not only be a place of worship but also an Islamic information centre.
It will have a prayer hall for 185 people at a time, an office, a meeting room and an Imam’s room.
Also present at the earth-breaking ceremony were the chairman of Lembaga Amanah Kebajikan Melayu Miri Datuk Abdillah Abdul Rahim, Kabong assemblyman Mohd Chee Kadir and Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting.