The last titah amanat of Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah II, 1984

The following is a letter written by Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah II to the Head of the Religious Council of Perak that was published in the February 1984 issue of Suara Majlis, the official newsletter of the State Islamic Religious Council of Perak:

Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah II's last titah amanat to the people of Perak, 1984. (Image courtesy of YM Raja Nur Jannah Raja Hirdan)

The letter was written three days before Almarhum’s demise in Lumut. The content of the letter basically reads:

To the Head of the State Religious Council,

Teachings on the tenets of Islam in Perak appears to be flourishing and following this, I would like to instruct the State Religious Council to take this opportunity to take greater efforts in spreading the knowledge of Islam effectively to all Muslims in the state.

The Islamic way of life is well defined in the Al-Quran but its interpretation at times has not been specific to time and place. A lot of the messages that have been conveyed to the people are done in a fearful way. Instead, I would advocate that gentler efforts are made to instil a sense of love of Islam and to respect the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad SAW and love towards Allah.

Give the Muslims a realisation and renewed vigour to lead his life on this earth and to prepare for the hereafter. However, to solely focus on the hereafter and eschewing living one’s life in this world is sheer folly. Reminders on the principles of Islam needs to include clarification so as the Muslim is able to clearly understand his duties to achieve success, both in this world and in the hereafter. Thus, I would like to see more lectures and courses organised by the Council, so as to allow some improvement in the teaching of Islam to the people of the State.

I am afraid to note that many religious teachers are regurgitating the same prescribed messages to put fear in the masses. It would be more productive if the message of goodness is conveyed in a more benign manner so as to make a person love his faith unconditionally.

Also, many of today’s youth do not understand fully the beauty of Islam, and I would like to see further emphasis on involving the younger generations of Muslims in learning more about their own faith. I hope steps will be taken by the Council and support is given by the Muslims of Perak in this endeavour.

DYMM Idris Iskandar Shah

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The editors would like to thank YM Raja Nur Jannah Raja Hirdan in sharing this rare gem of a find!

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Announcement regarding the passing of Almarhumah YMM Raja Perempuan Muzwin

Almarhumah YMM Raja Perempuan Muzwin. (Photo courtesy of YM Raja Nor Izaliah Raja Dato

It is with great sadness to announce the recent demise of Almarhumah YMM Raja Perempuan Muzwin binti Raja Ariff Shah. She died on the afternoon of Thursday, 6 October 2011 at 4.20 PM, at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur. She will be interred after Asar prayers at the Al-Ghufran Royal Mausoleum on Bukit Chandan in Kuala Kangsar today.

الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
“Who, when a misfortune overtakes them, say: ‘Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return’.” – Al-Baqarah 2:156

May Allah swt grant Almarhumah jannah. Al-Fatihah.

We at SembangKuala would like to extend our sincerest condolences to Almarhumah’s sons and daughters – YAM Raja Dato’ Seri Iskandar Dzulkarnain, the Raja Kecil Besar of Perak; YAM Raja Dato’ Seri Nazhatul Shima, the Raja Puan Mahkota of Perak; DYMM Tuanku Raja Zarith Sofiah, consort to DYMM Sultan Ibrahim of Johor; and YAM Raja Dato’ Seri Jamil Ariffin; as well as the rest of Almarhumah’s family.

A posthumous SembangKuala post on Almarhumah will be published in the near future, insyaAllah. For the time being, you may wish to read these past posts pertaining Almarhumah:

1. The penganugerahan gelaran ceremony for DYMM Raja Perempuan Muzwin, 1963
2. Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah II: an officer and a gentleman

Almarhumah was consort to Almarhum Sultan Idris Mutawakkil Alallahi Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar. She was 82.

DYMM Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah

Portrait of DYMM Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris, DK (Johor) SPMJ SPCM. (Source: Portal Rasmi Kerajaan Negeri Johor Darul Ta'zim)

DYMM Raja Zarith Sofiah, consort to the Sultan of Johor DYMM Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, was born on 14 August 1959 in Batu Gajah. She is the second daughter and third child to Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah Al-Mutawakkil Alallahi Shah when he was the Raja Muda, and YMM Raja Muzwin binti Raja Ariff Shah, who was the then Raja Puan Besar. Raja Zarith Sofiah received her primary education at Sekolah Rendah Datin Khadijah in Kuala Kangsar until standard six, following which she entered Sekolah Raja Perempuan Kelsom to continue her secondary education. She then continued her secondary education in September 1972 at Cheltenham Ladies’ College in England until the sixth form. In September 1977, she then went to Davies’ College, London and was then accepted to read Chinese Studies at Somerville College, Oxford after passing the Oxford Entrance Examination. During her years in Somerville, she visited Turkey and performed the umrah with her family in 1980. She later graduated with a Bachelors of Arts from Somerville in June 1983. She was then admitted to the degree of Master of Arts in 1986 post-matriculation, as per tradition in Oxford.

Raja Zarith Sofiah and Sultan (then Tunku Mahkota) Ibrahim cutting the cake at their wedding in 1983.

In 1983, Raja Zarith Sofiah was married to DYMM Sultan Ibrahim, who was at that time Tunku Mahkota of Johor. Two years later, she and Tunku Ibrahim performed the hajj in Makkah.

Official portrait of DYMM Raja Zarith Sofiah as the chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. (Souce: Official website of UTM)

Like her late father, Raja Zarith Sofiah is talented in art. Some of her works can be seen in the souvenir book for the Pesta Lukisan Kanak-Kanak. In addition to Bahasa Malaysia and English, she could converse in Mandarin Chinese, Italian and French. Her down-to-earth personality shows and she has been described as ‘the people’s Princess’ (Raja berjiwa rakyat). During the recent floods in Johor, she had personally visited victims in flood relief centres, regardless of race. She is very supportive of and has shown great interest in the people working with emergency services.

Raja Zarith Sofiah is the Chairperson of the Community Services Committee of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, a Royal Fellow at the School of Language and Linguistic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and writes the column Mind Matters for The Star. She is a patron of the Johor Spastic Children’s Association, Rotary Club of Tebrau Heart Fund and the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association. Raja Zarith Sofia is currently the chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru.

DYMM Raja Zarith Sofiah - academician and humanitarian. Left: Listening intently in a seminar at at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies in Kuala Lumpur, July 2010 (Source: NST). Right: Comforting an elderly flood victim in Pagoh, February 2011 (Source: The Star).

Raja Zarith Sofiah was awarded the Seri Paduka Cura DiManjakini (SPCM) by her father, the Sultan of Perak, in March 1983. She was awarded Darjah Kerabat (Johor) and the Seri Paduka Mahkota Johor by the Sultan of Johor.

DYMM Raja Zarith Sofiah at the Al-Ghufran Royal Mausoleum, Kuala Kangsar during a tahlil and ziarah, 2010. (Photo: Raja Nur Jannah Raja Hirdan)

Raja Zarith Sofiah and Sultan Ibrahim have six children – Tunku Ismail Idris Abdul Majid Abu Bakar (the current Tunku Mahkota of Johor), Tunku Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, Tunku Idris, Tunku Abdul Jalil, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tunku Abu Bakar.

Reference:
1. Portal Rasmi Kerajaan Negeri Johor Darul Ta’zim
2. Wikipedia. Raja Zarith Sofia.