KUALA LUMPUR 28 JULY 2017. Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi bersama Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom (kiri) beramah mesra dengan sebahagian ulama dari pelbagai negara selepas Majlis Penutupan Persidangan Ulama Antarabangsa dan Majlis Zikir Perdana Sedunia 2017 di Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. NSTP/AIZUDDIN SAAD


KUALA LUMPUR: Asia’s first World Sufi Centre is set to be built here in Kuala Lumpur next year, in a bid to unite practitioners of Sufism around the world and to counter deviant and radical teachings.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the project had received a funding of USD1 million (RM4.28 million) from an anonymous philanthropist.“All practitioners of Sufism are welcome to gather here with us. I understand that Sufis do not reject worldly affairs but are focused on worshipping God and the deepening of their relationship with God.

“I urge all Sufis to set aside whatever differences they have between themselves. We will use Kuala Lumpur to unify our thoughts so Muslim communities the world over could be united. We also want the world to do away with any negative perception, apprehension and prejudice against Islam and Muslims,” he said at the closing ceremony of the International Conference of Ulama at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia here today.

Spearheaded by Pertubuhan Tarekat Muktabar Malaysia (Pertama), the centre would also become the host of the International Journal of Sufism.The three-day conference saw Malaysian and international clerics from 38 countries presenting their thoughts on the challenges of reviving Islamic civilization, posed by secularism, secularization, as well as radicalism and extremism.Present was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and Pertama president Datuk Ashari Ibrahim.

Zahid, who is also Home Minister, in his closing speech, urged Muslims to set aside their differences and stand up for Islam.“Even though we adhere to different sects, we are guided by the same God and His holy book. The aim is to uphold world peace and not avoid disputes.“Whether we follow the sect of Sunni or Shia, we must work together to uphold Islam from being belittled by others,” he said.

Zahid also urged Muslims to denounce the atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians in Jerusalem who had been oppressed by Zionist armed forces.“We must band together with our minds and hearts to go against Israel’s cruelty and stop the efforts to change Israel’s capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.“We must recognise Palestine as an independent nation and let Palestinians themselves determine the direction their government will take,” he said adding that there is no intention to become enemies with Jewish people but to condemn a regime which has rejected Islam and deprived Palestinians of their rights.

In an ad-lib remark, Zahid also reiterated his allegiance to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the latter’s efforts in upholding moderate Islam.“I am loyal to him (Najib) and I believe in his efforts to promote the concept of moderate Islam. I will make sure that it is translated in our system. I promise I will continuously assist him as his deputy,” he added.

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