King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah of Malaysia has awarded Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Chairman of the Emirates Fatwa Council, the "Ma'al Hijrah Recipient" award for his efforts in spreading science, values of peace, tolerance, coexistence and positive influence in the world.
The award is the highest honour given by the Kingdom of Malaysia to Muslim scholars.
In his acceptance speech, bin Bayyah praised Malaysia's representation of Islam saying it presents the world with an "authentic Islamic narrative through principles of coexistence and harmony." He noted that the UAE shares the same principles as indicated with the declaration of 2019 as the 'Year of Tolerance.' He also highlighted the UAE's efforts over the last decade in spreading the values of peace via the annual Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies - which Bin Bayyah presides over - and in countering terrorism and extremism.
Bin Bayyah concluded by stating, "We in the UAE share your [Malaysia's] firm conviction that there is no future for mankind except through peace and harmony. Coexistence is the only option for us in the world."
The Malaysian King awarded Bin Bayyah in the presence of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, and a number of religious and political figures.