(fz.com) - There is a need for reformation among the PAS ulama (religious scholars) so that they would be more closely guided by Islamic principles, said PAS Deputy President Mohamed Sabu and if need be, they should re-learn these principles from non-Muslims who are practising them.
Mohamed, who is better known as Mat Sabu, said that ulama should not merely polish their appearance, but also update themselves on issues of corruption and social justice.
"Our ulama are not willing to read any books on socialism or communism, to know what these are about, and they need to open up more to the world. It is not only in Malaysia but the world over. There should be reform in Al Azhar University," he said.
"It will take time for one to change, but the top ulama have to accept that it is time to reform their thinking. You can keep your jubah and serban, but thinking has to be more open, especially on social justice," said Mohamed. However, he acknowledged that it will take time for Malaysian Muslims to stand up to seek reform among the ulama.
He was replying to the question of why PAS had failed in its governance of the Kedah state, as reflected in the Auditor-General's Report 2011, which had noted the weak financial performance of the state.
Since PAS took over the state in 2008, many of the promised projects for the people in Kedah had failed to take off.
The present menteri besar of Kedah Datuk Seri Abdul Azizan Razak is considered a member of the ulama as he is a graduate of Al Azhar University and was head of the Sharia' Department of the University of Malaya.
Mohamed said that in comparison, PAS has managed to rule Kelantan effectively as menteri besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat is an alim (religious scholar) who is also very open in his ideas.
"But then again, Nik Aziz is a gift of God to PAS," said Mohamed.
Mohamed warned that if ulama do not reform before they are given power, they will stray from the will of the people and become like the Mughals of India.
Read more at: http://fz.com/content/ulama-need-reformasi-pas-move-forward