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