SURVEYOR Mohd Zahry Shaikh Abdul Rahman was conferred the Tokoh Maal Hijrah award at the state’s Awal Muharram celebration.
Zahry, 63, from Balik Pulau, is a 1979 alumni of Universiti Sains Malaysia and was involved in the founding of the university’s Muslim Staff Association (PKIUSM).
He had contributed his expertise in Islamic architecture studies during the building of the Falak Sheikh Tahir centre in Balik Pulau for moon observation.
He was a former five-term councillor with the then Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) and is married to Zuraidah Nasir. They have nine children, aged 19 to 35, working in various professional sectors.
Thousands of Muslims had earlier converged at Masjid Abdullah Fahim in Kepala Batas, Penang, for the Awal Muharramcelebration, also called Maal Hijrah, to mark the beginning of the Islamic New Year.
Many also participated in the Ummah Assembly ceremony at the mosque.
Present were Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas and his consort Toh Puan Majimor Shariff, Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon and his wife Datin Nor Azizah Haron, Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim, state secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus and Seberang Prai Municipal Council president Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif.
Muslims also attended a sharing segment on hijrah by panellists Dr Rubiah Kulop Hamzah and Ustaz Mohamed Hanafiah that was moderated by Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department deputy director (education) Ustaz Khairul Aman Bistaman.