Day 1

Posted On July 22, 2007

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The first physical evidence of the arrival of Islam in Malaysia is said to be the gravestone (dated 1303 or 1387) with Arabic inscription found in Champa, Terengganu. The location of Champa in the Chinese trade route set off the theory that Islam came to Malaysia through China. Historical evidence also attributes the introduction of Islam to the Muslim Indian traders.
The founder of Melaka, Parameswara, is said to have converted to Islam in 1414 after marrying a princess from Pasai. At the close of the 14th century, Melaka became the first powerful Islamic empire in the region.
It is generally acknowledged that Islam began to spread from Melaka to Southeast Asia as a whole through social contacts in the form of trades, political marriages and by conquest.
Throughout the 15th century, Melaka was reputed as the commercial and Islamic centre in the region. The incorporation of Islamic ideas into the Malay culture led to the notion DAY 1 (Jul 22, Sun) ISLAM that to become Muslim was to masuk Melayu. The religion became so ingrained that Islamic rituals were practised as Malay culture.
Johor was the first Malay state to organise Islam on a bureaucratic basis (1895), followed by Kelantan in 1915. The Federal Constitution positions Islam as the religion of Malaysia. Islamic administration differs from state to state with its own syariah courts conducting legal matters related to personal and family laws of Muslims. As a result of the dakwah movement in the 1970s, Islamic influence is evident in the dress-code, art, media, education system, etc.

Islam also plays an important part in the nation’s politics. The struggle between political Islam and cultural Islam is seen taking place in recent years. Many conservative Muslims see Islam as a subject that cannot be challenged conventionally or constitutionally.


1. Praise God for
a. The relatively progressive and moderate form of Islam in the country.
b. Those who, while holding on to their Islamic faith, advocate and uphold religious freedom for others.
c. His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong as head of religion, and the sultans, for their forward thinking form of Islamic leadership.
2. Islamic family law and bureaucracy to be just and impartial so that the welfare of the Muslim women will be safeguarded.
3. Syariah courts to respect and recognise the constitutional and judicial responsibility of the civil courts in the matters of conversion, individual’s right to religious liberty, and the custody of children of a civil marriage.
4. Civil court judges of Islamic faith to be courageous, open-minded, and impartial in exercising their judicial
duties in the matters that involve Muslim and non- Muslim parties.
5. Against the spirit behind ultra-conservatism that may lead to religious extremism.


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