History of HBI
Himpunan Belia Islam (HBI) was formed in 1972 as a Sunni organization with the following motto, “To strive and defend the purity of Islamic teachings so as to create a society of firm believers who establish befitting acts”.
As an organization, HBI was broken into 5 districts namely the north, south, east, west and central and each district was managed by the District Management Committee (MKD). It introduced the system of usrah where members congregated in small groups to discuss on religious matters. The usrah system proved effective in disseminating information and encouraging the exchange of thoughts and ideas. These discussions also inevitably trained some of its members to be eloquent speakers.
As a Sunni organization, HBI undertook various projects to train and develop its members. Among its pioneer projects included a leadership camp in Pulau Tekong in 1974. A year later, a second camp was held at the Jihad mosque in Tampines. Most of the camp attendees were students from secondary schools and tertiary institutions. Through these camps, the idea of Islam as a complete way of life was imparted. This idea was further embedded and elaborated through various usrah sessions.
After the Islamic revolution, 3 HBI members received an invitation to go to Iran and upon their return, they shared what they see and learnt with the rest of the HBI members. Soon after, Brother Ahmad Barghaba, a Shia religious teacher, was invited to a session of question and answer on the Shia faith. He answered queries that members had on Shia practices such as the jama’ of prayers and why Shias regarded Imam Ali Amirul Mukminin highly. Using the Al-Quran and the book of Bukhari & Muslim, he explained and slowly, members began to understand the Shia school of taught. Soon after, another religious teacher from Indonesia, Ustaz Husain Shahab was invited to give a religious sermon and this opened more avenues for the members to discuss on Shiism.
The Shia ideology was also discussed in some usrah sessions. Without anyone’s knowledge, 7 members had embraced the Shia school of thought fully. On the night of Asyura, 10 members went to the residence of Brother Ameerali Jumabhoy to attend a majlis. From their first meeting with Brother Ameerali Jumabhoy, they seek his assistance and some of them were sent to Karachi to study while Brother Ameerali Jumabhoy invited religious teachers like Maulana Reza Pasha and Syed Zaki Zuwayj to come and give lectures on Shiism.
The first doa kumayl was held at one of the member’s residence using a cassette tape as a guide. By 1985, news of HBI members embracing the Shia faith made headline news in the Malay papers and there were furious debates asking for the Shia faith to be curbed. In 1985, HBI as an organization, gradually became a Shia organization and has since then, moved forward to promote the principles of Amar Bil Ma’ruf, Nahi anil Munkar through the teachings of Ahlul Bayt.