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New Approaches Should Be Taken To Engage Youths To The Mosque

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KUALA LUMPUR: Mosques and Imams should take new approaches to attract more youths to visit the mosques often while ensuring they’re exposed to the right teachings of Islam.

Nasiruddin Shah Mosque Imam, Mohd Za’am Sidiqi Amran, 25 from Kelantan said there should be new approaches in terms of management of mosques in order to get youths in the right path of the religion.

“Perhaps there are weaknesses in how we manage the mosque and this is why the youths are uninterested in engaging with the mosques. We need to learn how to rectify our weakness and gain guidance from those who know better via various programmes or new methods.

“We do need to give the youths, who are exposed to deviant teachings proper guidance, so that they are not confused,” said Mohd Za’am.

Mohd Za’am is one of the youngest Imams at the National Imams’ Conference, held in conjunction with the 50th National Mosque jubilee celebration from Feb 22 to 24.

He is among the 150 Imams, from various mosques and district Kariah nationwide for the conference organised by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and National Mosque.

“The conference is a great effort by the government to help shape the community by bridging the gap between local Imams and the people. As a young Imam, I hope play a better role in communicating with the people,” he said.

The annual conference by Jakim is organised to produce more knowledgeable, charismatic Imams with wider exposure as well as better understanding of their roles in shaping the community. It is also held to expose the Imams on current issues and their duties in managing the mosques.

During the conference, the Imams were exposed to topics like integrity, mosque management, good and services tax implementation from the Islamic perspective, history, jihad and extremism.

Meanwhile the National Mosque grand Imam Tan Sri Syaikh Ismail Muhammad said that the conference presents a great platform for the Imams to exchange thoughts and address current issues.

He said the more experienced Imams can share their knowledge with the younger ones.

“It is a place where they can share and expand their knowledge about Islam and management of a mosque as well as voice out what they would like to say.

“There are also speakers, who will address and give proper explanation on issues like jihad, extremism and the Islamic State. The Imams here are mostly graduates from Islamic universities, they are not involved with such groups inside or outside the country,” he said.

When asked about the use of social media by Imams to disseminate Islamic teachings or giving clarifications, Syaikh Ismail said that Jakim and some mosques had already practice the usage of the medium to engage with the community.

In conjunction with the 50th National Mosque jubilee celebration, a lineup of events such as special sermon, writing competition, conferences, seminars and mosque innovation competition are being held.-NST


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