KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — he Malay world is among the vital elements in determining Islam’s survival not only in the Asean region but across the world, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Regarding the Malay world as an invaluable asset, Ahmad Zahid said the inter-relationship between the Malay world and Islam started long ago with Malay being the lingua franca in spreading Islam in this region.
“In the view of (Dr Syed Naquib) al-Attas, the choice of Malay language usage by the religious preachers was deliberate. This is because the nature and history of the Malay language that are almost similar to that of the Arabic language… hence chosen as the language to spread Islam through the Quran.
“This is the uniqueness of the Malays, retaining their identity through usage of the Malay language and Jawi script as these two elements make the Malays remain as ‘Malays’ and not becoming ‘Arabs’.”
Ahmad Zahid said this in his speech before officially opening the International Institute of Islamic Civilisation and Malay World (ISTAC), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), here, today. — Bernama