Book Review – Countering Islamic State Ideology: Voices of Singapore Religious Scholars, by Sheikh Mohamed Farouq, in Wasat, August 2021

Click here to read the review. Click here for more information about the book.

Book Review – Countering Islamic State Ideology: Voices of Singapore Religious Scholars, by Amjad Mohamed Saleem, in Academia Letters, July 2021.

Click here to read and download the review. Click here for more information about the book.

Article – Islam on Identity, Racism and Patriotism

By Muhammad Haniff Hassan This article was published with some editing under the title, “Racism Has No Place in Islam”, in MuslimSG, on 28 July 2021, at here. Recent months have seen several racism related incidents that went viral on social media and received coverage by mainstream media outlets. Incidents such as the video of […]

Short Article – Powerful Conversations Between A Father and A Son: Lessons from Prophet Ibrahim a.s and Prophet Ismail a.s.

This article was published by Muslim.SG, 19 July 2021, at here. The Malay version is available here. Surah As-Saffat, verse 101-111, relates to us the story of Prophet Ibrahim a.s. and Prophet Ismail a.s, which later became the celebration of Aidiladha. Let us explore beyond the religious rites per se and discover other lessons from […]

Short Article – Equal Shares of Inheritance for Muslim Children: A Forgotten Perspective

By Muhammad Haniff Hassan (This article was published in Karyawan, vol. 16, no. 3, July 2021. Click here for online version and here for print edition. The article was adapted from the original Malay article titled, “Boleh bahagi harta sama rata kepada anak lelaki, perempuan dalam Islam?” first published by Berita Mediacorp, on 8 January […]

Book Review – Countering Islamic State Ideology: Voices of Singapore Scholars, edited by Muhammad Haniff Hassan and Rohan Gunaratna

A book review by Adil Rasheed, a Research Fellow, at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi, India. Published in Journal of Defence Studies, vol. 15, no. 2, April-June 2021. Click here to read or download the review. Click here for original source. Click here more information about the book.

Long Article – The Contextualisation of Islam in a Secular State: A Study of Singapore


Muslim-minority communities throughout the world grapple with the contextualisation of Islam in the modern world. Islamic religious scholars, or the ulama, have to issue jurisprudential rulings in accordance with the social, political and religious contexts in which they operate. In doing so, they simultaneously have to deal with matters pertaining to authority and legitimacy. This paper analyses the contextualisation of Islam in secular states, with specific reference to Singapore. A few arguments will be made. Firstly, the paper will tackle the theological justifications for the contextualisation of Islam, which in the first place makes subsequent discussions possible. At the same time, the paper will highlight the limits of contextualisation. Secondly, the paper will focus on the secular state of Singapore, and the issue of contextualisation in the context of the Muslim minority community there. It is argued that the discourse on contexualisation in Singapore is not novel. We further contend that the socio-political context in Singapore rightly drives the discussion on contextualisation, but suggest areas of contention in such efforts. Even though the state is the most dominant actor in the country, and thus its ideologies and attitudes toward Islam is a key determinant in the faith’s contextualisation, other actors display agency in the process too. This paper is situated within the literature on state-society and state-Islam relations.

Short Article – Preserving Social Harmony: Lessons from the Marrakesh Declaration for Minority Muslims Living in Non-Muslim Countries

This article presents lessons for minority Muslims living in non-Muslim countries based on the Marrakesh Declaration. It gives emphasis for the Singapore Muslim community on how to contribute and maintain social harmony.

This article provides the background, objectives, and theological basis of the Marrakesh Declaration. This is followed by an analysis of its significance to contemporary Muslims. The article ends with a theological way forward for the Muslim community in Singapore.

My Book (Co-Edited Volume) – Countering Islamic State Ideology: Voices of Singapore Religious Scholars

To order, click here. Click here, for overview (Content, Preface, Foreword and Introduction) Click here for a review of the book.

Long Article – Al-Wala’ (Loyalty) to Government in the Context of Muslim Minority in Singapore

Many studies have shown the centrality of the Al-Wala’ Wa Al-Bara’ (WB), a concept which means “Loyalty and Disavowal” in extremist ideology of IS, Al-Qaeda and their likes. Thus, addressing this concept and how it is applied and understood by Muslims is necessary as part of efforts to countering extremist ideology, deradicalising extremist individuals and inoculating general Muslims from the concept’s negative effects. This article seeks to challenge two ideas related to Al-Wala’ Wa Al-Bara’ (WB), and is subscribed to by many Muslims today. This article first challenges the idea that WB is one of the fundamentals of Islamic faith (`aqidah) that must be uncompromisingly adhered to by all Muslims. The second idea which this article challenges is the idea that it is absolutely prohibited in Islam for Muslims to appoint a non-Muslim as state leader and pledge loyalty or obedience to him. Instead, this article argues that WB is a product of human ijtihad (human effort to deduce meanings from Islamic scriptures) and therefore is open to review, rethinking and criticism. As a result, minority Muslims who have been placed in a difficult theological position in political affairs as a result of WB should not hesitate to critically review it. This paper provides the study of a reviewed position by two key institutions – the Association of Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Singapore (PERGAS) and Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) – that represent Muslim scholars in Singapore which view the prohibition as only applicable to a hostile non-Muslim ruler/person, not all of them.