As Muslims, we are constantly taught to be grateful to Allah for all His blessings. Being thankful in Islam means showing gratitude to Allah for everything that He has planned for us.
Allah says, “Be thankful to God: whoever gives thanks benefits his own soul, and as for those who are thankless – God is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise.” ❤️ (Qur’an: Chapter 31, Verse 12)
Living in Singapore, we are so used to having everything go smoothly for us that we complain about even the slightest things. Truth is, sometimes, we forget that we have so much more than many others around the world. So, if you find yourself in this situation, here are 8 reasons why you should be grateful to be a Muslim in Singapore!
1. Availability of resources to learn Islam
One of the things which makes us thankful to live in Singapore is the wealth of resources that are easily accessible to us. We know how easy it is to get caught up with worldly affairs. Sometimes, keeping up with our ibadah becomes secondary (is anyone else guilty of this?😢) So, resources in the form of apps and websites such as MuslimSG and LearnIslamSG are really handy, as we get to learn on the go!
Other than providing basic information for Muslims like prayer times, qiblah direction, MUIS halal-certified eateries and mosque locations in Singapore, the MuslimSG app also has articles on religious issues, Islamic history, Muslim lifestyles and more. Most of these articles are written by the Asatizah Youth Network so you can be assured that they are from a trusted source 🤗
Plus, there’s a section where you can find FAQs on religious matters provided by Office of the Mufti. If you are looking for classes, you can sign up for classes at “Classes & E-learning” tab on the app!
#HHWT Tip: Other than the MuslimSG app, there are plenty of online classes and lectures available, from Quran recitation classes to Islamic studies courses. You can also browse free materials on YouTube, listen to free podcasts, and download Quran recitation apps. Alhamdulillah for technology! Just a word of advice, ensure that the religious content that you are accessing online are credible and reliable. There are religious misinformation online, so always consult your local religious teachers if you are unsure. If the religious content promotes hatred, violence and isolation, do not rely on them.
2. Multi-racial and multi-religious society
“In diversity, there is beauty and there is strength,”- Maya Angelou. We are blessed to live in Singapore where people of various races and religions co-exist harmoniously. We get to interact with, learn from and embrace people who are different from us on a daily basis 👍
Being a multi-racial society also means that Muslims in Singapore aren’t just synonymous with a single race or culture. Living in Singapore constantly reminds us of how diverse Islam is, with our Chinese Muslim friends providing such an example – celebrating Chinese New Year together with their loved ones! Isn’t it amazing how Islam transcends race?
3. Integrated society
Besides the fact that the social fabric of Singapore is so diverse, it helps that we’re getting to understand each other more and there are more avenues for inter-faith dialogue. In a time where there’s a lot of extremism in the world and there are many negative stereotypes towards Muslims, it’s a blessing to have an integrated society which is essential in breaking barriers ❤️
Credit: @muhammadsadikin on Instagram
Being in an integrated society also means going beyond religious tolerance and respecting and accepting other religions. It’s heartening to know that in Singapore, we are largely accepting of each other’s beliefs and we haven’t been swayed by the hatred and extremism that exist in some other parts of the world.
On top of that, Muslims in Singapore are also encouraged to be gracious to other communities and give them well wishes during their festivities like Christmas, for example. After all, Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. continued to respect other faiths even when there are differences between Muslim and Christian groups. It is mentioned in the Quran:
“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them.” (Quran Chapter 60: Verse 8)
4. Wide variety of Halal food and cuisines
One of the things that’s great about living in a cosmopolitan city like Singapore is that we get to enjoy a wide variety of Halal food. Gone are the days when halal food only meant Malay, Indian or Middle Eastern cuisine. Now, you can have Halal-certified ramen for lunch, dim sum for tea, and char kway teow for dinner. The range of halal cuisines we have here in Singapore is truly remarkable!
2018 alone has seen a surge in halal-certified and Muslim-owned eateries in Singapore, from authentic hand-pulled noodles from China to big fast-food chains like Subway becoming halal 😋 With more restaurants opening their doors to Muslims, there’s just so much to be thankful for.
#HHWT Tip: Not sure if an eatery is halal? Use MuslimSG app’s “Halal Makan Places” section to find out if an eatery is Halal-certified by MUIS!
5. Easy access to prayer spaces
Even though Singapore is a secular country, there are over 70 mosques, and you can easily find one in almost every neighbourhood!
Credit: Masjid Sultan Singapore on Facebook
With the MuslimSG app, you can conveniently click on the “Find a Mosque” tab to see if there’s a mosque near you! So, it won’t be hard to do your prayers when you’re out and about.
Besides mosques, it’s also easy to find a prayer space at popular tourist attractions like Changi Airport, Sentosa, Universal Studios and more. If you’re looking for more places to pray in Singapore, check out the full list of prayer spaces near Singapore’s touristy areas!
6. Opportunities to travel
The Singapore passport gives us visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 189 destinations.
With so many opportunities to travel, we are able to see the world and witness the beauty of Allah’s creations. This is a humbling experience as travelling makes us realise that we’re so small as compared to the vast wonders of the world 😍
Credit: @therightwan on Instagram
More than just seeing what the world has to offer, travelling also helps us to spread the message of humanity espoused by Islam in places where our faith is not widely represented. It’s an opportunity to change someone’s negative perception of Islam. It might be as simple as showing kindness and explaining the beauty of Islam to a street vendor, your Airbnb host, or a stranger you bump into on the street, but that might make all the difference. To have the chance to spread such a powerful message is something we should treasure and be grateful for!
Muslim poet, Jalal al-Din al-Rumi is believed to have said, “Travel brings power and love back to your life”. Indeed, travel will help to open our minds as we explore the vastness of God’s earth, experience different cultures and be more appreciative of the blessings from Allah.
7. Avenues to help less fortunate
While we are thankful for all the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon us, Islam also encourages us to be generous and charitable.
With plenty of avenues to help the less fortunate in Singapore, it’s easier to fulfill this deed for Allah, and this is something to be grateful for.
Credit: RLAF on Facebook
Organisations like International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and other humanitarian organisations worldwide have relief efforts to aid in causes like the recent Indonesian tsunami, Rohingya crisis, Syrian crisis and Gaza. But as they say, charity begins at home. If you feel like it’s a bit of a stretch to volunteer your time for a relief effort overseas, you can still make your contributions to humanitarian causes through organizations like Mercy Relief, BAPA and the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation (RLAF).
#HHWT Tip: Did you know that you can also make donations through the MuslimSG app? All you have to do is click on the “Donation” tab on the app and you can choose the cause you want to contribute to!
8. Vibrant Muslim community
There is a strong sense of camaraderie and close ties among the Muslim community in Singapore. This is especially true during Ramadan where mosques will have nightly breaking of fast and congregational tarawih prayers. No matter who you are and where you come from, you’ll be welcomed with open arms, and that’s something to be thankful for ❤️
Credit: Zakat.SG on Facebook
Other than Ramadan, mosques in Singapore also celebrate significant Islamic festivals like Maulidur Rasul and Awal Muharram. These religious activities not only foster a sense of closeness with our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, but also act as a reminder for us to be better Muslims.
From plenty of options to improve our religious knowledge to peaceful coexistence with other religions and a variety of halal food, there are so many things to be thankful for as a Muslim in Singapore. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are but if we constantly remind ourselves to show gratitude to Allah, He will grant us even greater things and lead us on the path to Jannah, InsyaAllah ☺️
This article is brought to you by LearnIslam.Sg.