A Singapore Government Agency Website

Media Statement on Key Changes to Senior Religious Leadership in Muis


9 January 2020

1. The Mufti of Singapore is a position appointed under the Administration of Muslim Law Act, and is a position that is accorded significant respect by Singaporean Muslims, including the Asatizah fraternity, as well as by the religious leaders of other communities, and from around the world.

2. The Mufti sets the tone for the Islamic religious leadership fraternity in Singapore, and plays a vital role in strengthening social cohesion by fostering the community’s integration in the wider multi-religious society. As chair of the Fatwa Committee, Mufti also oversees key religious rulings that guide the Muslim community in Singapore.

3. On 1 Mar 2020, Ustaz Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram will step down and Ustaz Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir will be appointed as Mufti of the Republic of Singapore. The appointment of the Mufti is made by the President of Singapore in consultation with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.

4. Dr Fatris, age 49, has decided to step down after completing his current term of appointment to give new leaders the opportunity to lead the community. Said Dr Fatris: “In addition to working with my peers to provide sound and relevant religious guidance to the community, I also saw it as my responsibility to develop the next generation of asatizah and ulama. I am happy to see through the development of the next generation of religious scholars in Singapore with a good mix of knowledge, training and experience, who are ready to take over from me and guide Singaporean Muslims in their religious life.”

5. During his nine years as Mufti, Dr Fatris has strengthened the Office of The Mufti as well as the development of religious teachers, officers and scholars in Singapore. He has led the development of many progressive religious policies, not only in terms of religious guidance on complex issues, but also in developing programmes and institutions which will strengthen the development of the next generation of asatizah and religious scholars. This includes guiding the younger Associate members of the Fatwa Committee, developing the Asatizah Recognition Scheme, with its focus on Continuing Professional Education and its Code of Ethics, as well as the Committee on Future Asatizah.

6. Dr Fatris will continue to serve as a Senior Associate Member of the Fatwa Committee and chair the Al-Quran Steering Committee. As an elder, he will continue to mentor and guide the new team as well as younger members of the asatizah fraternity in Singapore.

7. Current Deputy Mufti, Dr Nazirudin, 43, has extensive experience in the Office of Mufti, and has made significant contributions in supporting Mufti to advance religious policies. On his appointment, Dr Nazirudin commented, “I am deeply humbled to accept this responsibility, and pledge to further advance the good work of my predecessors. I consider myself blessed to have benefited from the guidance of Dr Fatris for more than ten years. He and the senior asatizah and religious scholars in Singapore are sterling examples for me to follow in developing an exemplary socio-religious life in the modern world. I will be working very closely with a strong team in the Office of the Mufti to serve the Singapore Muslim community and the wider society in achieving greater progress and social cohesion.”

8. Dr Nazirudin will be supported by two Deputy Muftis, Ustaz Mohd Murat Md Aris as well as Ustaz Dr Mohammad Hannan Hassan.

9. Ustaz Murat will oversee religious policies (including Fatwa development and the Asatizah Recognition Scheme). A well-known religious scholar who commands the respect of the asatizah fraternity for his depth of theological knowledge and understanding of Islam, Ustaz Murat has extensive experience in religious policy work in Muis, as well in the religious education sector.

10. Ustaz Dr Hannan will oversee asatizah development and madrasah curriculum. He is currently Deputy Director (Capability Building) in the Office of Mufti, and also ViceDean of Muis Academy. He is currently leading the development of the Post-Graduate Certificate in Islam in Contemporary Societies. He was previously overseeing the development of the Harmony Centre, and has extensive experience in interfaith relations work and in madrasah curriculum development.