SPEECH BY DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS COUNCIL OF SINGAPORE MR ESA MASOOD AT THE PARENTING SEMINAR AND IEF DISBURSEMENT CEREMONY 2018

Distinguished Speakers,

Respected Mosque Madrasah aLIVE Administrators

Beloved Parents and Guests

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh

1. A very good morning to all of you and thank you for joining us in today’s Parenting Seminar and Disbursement Ceremony.

2. Today’s seminar touches on a topic I believe is very close to our hearts. All of us as parents, want the best for our children, and as the demands of modern life get increasingly complex, we have to juggle multiple roles and responsibilities – as a parent to our children, as a child to our parents, as contributing colleagues to our teams at work, in guiding and supporting our children in their academic work, Islamic learning and the list goes on. In such a situation, and amidst the stresses of daily life, it is inevitable that we may feel at times whether we are being a “good enough” parent, and hence the term “parental guilt”.

3. Nevertheless, I applaud your effort for being here this morning to hear from our distinguished panel of speakers. It certainly it speaks about your commitment to better equip yourselves as parents, and I hope that you will benefit from the advice and tips that will be discussed by the speakers.

4. Indeed, even though our asatizah and teachers play an important role in equipping our children with useful knowledge, skills and values, parents play an indispensable role as well in reinforcing and role-modelling these values at home.

5. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 3 distinguished speakers we have today – Ms Katy Harris, Mdm Muzaiyanah Hamzah, and Ustaz Syed Mustafa Alsagoff – for accepting our invitations to bepart of this seminar.

Strengthening Values through Islamic Eduation

6. Allow me to now touch briefly on Muis’ efforts to support Islamiclearning. Muis’ Islamic education efforts delivered in our Mosque Madrasahs take reference from the tradition of the Prophet s.a.w. where he paid special attention to imparting good values and nurturing strong religious understanding among his companions, including the youth. This sunnah has always been Muis’ source of inspiration for nurturing our youth to be religiously resilient and morally strong.

7. Indeed for this reason, we have named our Mosque Madrasah programmes “aLIVE” – short for Living Islamic Values Everyday. While weekly classes are organised for the young at mosques, parents too are not left out. Seminars such as today’s and the Adult Islamic Learning programmes at our mosques or more endearingly known as ADIL, cater to adults and parents, to equip and enrich them with Islamic knowledge and relevant parenting skills.

8. Alhamdulillah, since its inception in 2004, aLIVE has grown in its reach and we now have more than 21,000 of our young attending aLIVE. We now have about 800 trained asatizahs conducting lessons island wide.

9. Going forward, Muis will continue to make efforts to improve the aLIVE programme, including updating the books and content to ensure that it addresses contemporary issues, and provides relevant guidance, particularly, for our young in their daily lives. We will also continue to support the asatizah who are teaching the programme through various trainings and workshops.

Ensuring Affordable Islamic Education

10. Beyond improving the quality of our Islamic Education programmes, Muis is committed to ensuring that these programmes are accessible and affordable for everyone. To achieve this, Muis
established the Islamic Education Fund in 2004. The Fund aims to help lower-income families in sending their children to our aLIVE programmes. The IEF which is funded by Zakat collections, are used to subsidise the costs of monthly fees and learning materials of the aLIVE programme.

11. I am pleased to note that, this year, Muis will be disbursing $1.3 million through IEF, which will assist 4,091 students. Together with this year’s disbursement, we have disbursed a total of $8.19 million under IEF over the last 14 years, to over 25,000 beneficiaries. Alhamdulillah.

12. I am glad that with the IEF, we are helping families such as Mdm Rosnah’s (not her real name), who is a single parent and working odd jobs but has all her six children in the aLIVE programme. Our teachers have shared that her children are attending classes regularly and are good examples to their peers. We hope that this can be an inspiration to all that no child should be deprived of Islamic education because of their financial difficulties.

13. In this regard, the community plays an important role in supporting our Islamic Education, through zakat and other forms of contribution. IEF is an example of how zakat is used to ease the burden of families who face financial challenges by supporting their children’s access to Islamic education, and we thank the community, and am sure many of you here today, for your contributions and support to Zakat.

Conclusion

14. Allow me to conclude by thanking all of you – parents, as part of the larger Muslim community, as well as mosque partners for supporting the work of Muis. Muis and the mosques are committed to improving our Islamic education programmes, and ensuring it remains affordable to all families.

15. We humbly request for your continued doa, support and involvement in this important effort. We hope and pray that as we provide our young with a good foundation in their Islamic learning, theywill grow up in turn to be good role models to their own children. We also hope they will grow up to uphold the teachings of Islam and example of the Prophet s.a.w. in spreading blessings to all around them and having a positive contribution to society in whatever fields they may pursue.

Thank you and I wish you a good and meaningful seminar.

Wabillahitaufik wal hidayah, wassalamu’alaikum wr wb.

Last updated on 07/12/2017