“An ordinary feat that received extraordinary recognition.”
These were the words of Professor Emeritus Dr Azman Awang, deputy chairman of Saidina Abu Bakar As-Siddiq Mosque after it was named the inaugural winner of the National Press Club Malaysia (NPC)-Macrokiosk Muhibbah Awards.
The mosque in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, saw a Sikh doctor present a lecture to its congregation during Ramadan on how to quit smoking.
“Our mosque is not just a spiritual, but an educational centre. We want to reach out to all races and cultures,” said Azman.
“The local community, irrespective of their background, have reached out to us, wanting to know more about our activities, and we have even taken non-Muslims to the main prayer hall.”
Azman also credited the non-Muslim community in Bangsar, who joined them in their programmes.
The mosque’s chief Imam, Zakaria Yahya, expressed his gratitude for the award and said the anti-smoking lecturer was a collaboration between the mosque and the Lembah Pantai Health Office.
The Tanglin Health Clinic then sent a medical officer to give a lecture at the mosque.
“When it turned out that the assigned officer was a Sikh doctor, we decided to go ahead as it is not against our religion to learn from non-Muslims,” Zakaria said.
Recently, the mosque hosted unity Iftar for 30 non-Muslims from Bangsar and explained why Muslims fast.
The mosque also hosted a Muhibbah dinner for 20 community leaders from the Bangsar Baru Residents Association in conjunction with Chinese New Year this year.
In February last year, the mosque collaborated with non-governmental organisations to hold a ‘Harmony Programme’ in conjunction with Federal Territories Day, where ang-pows and other essentials were distributed to 50 Chinese families from the B40 group.
NPC president Datuk Ahirudin Attan thanked the mosque for organising the event and Macrokiosk for collaborating with NPC.
“We hope this award (to the mosque) will get the attention of the government so we can forge the spirit of unity and muhibbah,” said Ahirudin.
“Anything ordinary can be extraordinary if all parties played their role.”
Macrokiosk CEO Datuk Kenny Goh congratulated the mosque committee for winning the award and said the activities had impressed the judges as they embodied the spirit of muhibbah.
“We hope this award will continue to inspire others further to inculcate muhibbah as the Malaysian way of life,” said Goh.
Launched in April, everyday individuals, groups, and organisations that best personify the true spirit of muhibbah in Malaysia are set to be recognised through the Muhibbah Awards. The six winners will win a cash prize of RM2,000.
The award’s main sponsor is Macrokiosk, an enterprise solutions platform company headquartered in Asia.
The winners also receive vouchers and gift cards from the top regional lifestyle tea brand Tealive, supermarket chain Jaya Grocer and yoghurt franchise brand llaollao.