Input by Ustazah Nuurunnuur
Adapted from “Risalah for Building a Singapore Muslim Community of Excellence published” by Office of the Mufti, and “Religion and Secularism: Seeking The Convergence” written by Ridhwan Mohd Basor.
In today’s post-modern world, it seems as if the pervasive narrative is that a person has to choose between religion and science, and cannot be of both.
Can secularism and religion co-exist? Can people of faith function well within a secular environment? The answers to these questions may seem obvious.
A profound understanding of religion is key.
In the first revelation to the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., the process of learning (encapsulated by the phrase ‘Iqra’ meaning ‘Read’) is linked to the beginning of life itself.
Muslims who truly understand the significance of this message will spend their lives seeking to further examine and study the creations of Allah s.w.t., while sharing their insights with the rest of humanity. There are many verses in the Holy Quran that call on mankind to continuously upgrade their knowledge and skills.
Moreover, science and technology is developing at an astonishing rate. Current research findings do not contradict the Holy Quran, but instead, support and expand on the Quranic arguments.
“We shall show them Our signs in every region of the earth and in themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord witnesses everything?”
If each individual Muslim were to continuously deepen their understanding of their religion, it is indeed possible for them to exercise sufficient flexibility to adapt to their surroundings without compromising their faith.
Religion and secularism may not necessarily be a zero-sum-game. In reality, Islam continues to triumph in today’s largely secular and increasingly Westernised world, as well as within Singapore’s religiously diverse landscape.