Nevertheless, since the ‘big man’ himself, the Perak Mufti, has issued a ruling or decree that the Friday congregational prayers are NOT compulsory, and since Malaysians are obligated to comply with these rulings and decrees issued by these authorities, I have since stopped doing my Friday congregational prayers. I no longer go to the mosque on Friday.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Soal agama perlu ikut fatwa
(Sinar Harian) - Hal ehwal agama perlu dirujuk kepada Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan yang telah ditubuhkan di negara ini dan bukannya berpandukan orang lain yang hanya berlatar belakangkan politik semata-mata.
Setiausaha Barisan Nasional (BN) Kelantan, Datuk Md. Alwi Che Ahmad berkata, dalam hal ini, hanya Majlis Fatwa sahaja yang berhak menentukan penggunaan kalimah ALLAH yang kini semakin hangat diperkatakan oleh setiap golongan masyarakat di sini.
“Kita mesti rujuk isu ini kepada Majlis Fatwa, kerana ini hal agama, maka hanya mufti sahaja yang boleh beri keputusan, bukan orang lain,” katanya.
Beliau diminta mengulas isu Setiausaha Agung DAP, Lim Guan Eng yang menuntut penggunaan nama Allah di dalam kitab Bible versi bahasa Melayu di negara ini.
Menurutnya, jika persoalan penggunaan kalimah Allah ditanya kepada golongan berkepentingan dalam sesebuah parti, jawapan yang akan diberikan sedikit sebanyak akan mempengaruhi ke arah pendapat peribadi sahaja.
Beliau berkata, kerajaan perlu akur dengan keputusan mufti kerana mufti adalah satu pertubuhan yang dilantik di bawah majlis agama Islam.
“Kenapa isu ini perlu dinaikkan oleh Lim Guan Eng sedangkan dari pengalaman saya, tiada perkataan ‘Allah’ digunakan dalam kitab Bible, maka di sini kita dapat lihat bahawa agama kita, cuba dipermainkan oleh pihak-pihak tertentu.
“Jika ia digunakan juga, maka, tiada beza antara agama kita dengan agama lain kerana ‘Allah’ dipakai oleh semua agama dan ini akan menimbulkan kecelaruan dan juga kebebasan beragama kepada generasi akan datang,” katanya.
Alwi yang juga Ketua Pembangkang di Dewan Undangan Negeri Kelantan itu juga berkata, kebebasan menggunakan kalimah ‘ALLAH’ untuk agama lain tidak boleh diberikan di Malaysia kerana perkara tersebut boleh membuatkan penganut agama lain mengambil kesempatan dalam agama Islam dan dalam masa yang sama juga menyamai tarafkan kedudukan ‘ALLAH’ dan juga tuhan mereka.
“Kita wajib pertahankan agama kita, hak kita, bukannya untuk dipermainkan, selandas dengan kepelbagaian kaum dan bangsa di negara ini, maka setiap pihak mesti bertanggungjawab untuk menjaga agama masing-masing," katanya.
The key issue in the above news report is: Kita mesti rujuk isu ini kepada Majlis Fatwa, kerana ini hal agama, maka hanya mufti sahaja yang boleh beri keputusan, bukan orang lain.
That loosely translates to: we must refer this matter/issue to the council that issues religious decrees because this is a religious matter so only the Mufti can give rulings and not any other people.
This statement implies that only a certain/selected group can interpret what God meant and the rest of us do not have the freedom or liberty to make any interpretations because we do not know what God wants.
How this group of people obtained the franchise or monopoly to act as God’s appointed spokesmen is not clear. That is not explained. I suppose your credentials would depend on where you studied religion and whether your certificate, diploma or degree is recognised.
What if I studied religion in one of the madrasah in Pakistan, Afghanistan, or any of the gohead-gostan countries (to quote the late Tan Sri P Ramlee)? Would my credentials be recognised?
Let us take Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat as an example. His Islamic studies began in pondok schools (madrasah) in Kelantan and Terengganu. He then went on to study religion in Uttar Pradesh, India, after which he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Studies and Master of Arts in Islamic jurisprudence from the Al-Azhar University, Egypt.
Would, therefore, Nik Aziz’s decrees be recognised? And Nik Aziz has ruled that it is not against Islam for non-Muslims to use the Allah word. Other religious scholars, however, do not agree with this. Hence we have two opposing views, both views from scholars with credentials.
But which one do we accept as correct and which one do we reject as wrong? And what is the basis for accepting or rejecting these decrees? Is it based on the credentials of the person issuing the decree? Is it based on our political affiliation and hence we decide based on what is politically expedient? Is it based on our religious leaning and depending on the sect that we follow? What is the basis of our acceptance or rejection of these religious decrees?
What we are currently told is that the government decides -- so we have to just follow what the government says -- but issued through the ‘mouths’ of certain bodies such as MAIS, JAIS, JAKIM, IKIM, Majlis Fatwah, Persatuan Ulama’, the Muftis, and so on.
There are so many ‘authorities’ on Islam in Malaysia.
Let us contemplate one example. When I was in Kamunting back in 2008, we were told by the detention camp authorities that we are not allowed to do our Friday congregational prayers. (In fact, after I was released, I made a police report at the Sentul Police Station regarding this matter).
It is not that the 50 or 60 of us detainees wanted permission to walk to the mosque down the road to do these Friday prayers -- even if they handcuffed us and chained us in a chain gang (which means there would be no way we could escape). We wanted to do these Friday prayers within our own cellblock.
But we were told we are not allowed to do our Friday prayers because they are not compulsory and that this was a ruling or decree by the famous Perak Mufti himself. So why are we so stubborn in insisting that we be allowed to do our Friday prayers? The Mufti is the highest religious authority in Perak and Kamunting is in Perak. So don’t be stubborn and listen to what you have been told, they said.
Then came Hari Raya (I was in Kamunting for Hari Raya 2008) and the other detainees got together to do their Hari Raya congregational prayers. I, however, was not allowed to join them because I was in solitary confinement so I was not allowed to mix with the other detainees. Nevertheless, I could hear them do the Hari Raya prayers next door to my cellblock.
Now, as far as I know, the Friday congregational prayers are compulsory while the Hari Raya congregational prayers are not. But the government denied the detainees permission to do the compulsory Friday congregational prayers but allowed them to do the optional Hari Raya congregational prayers. And this was based on the ruling or decree by the highest religious authority in the State of Perak, the Mufti.
I do not have any certificate, diploma or degree from any of the Islamic universities but my common sense tells me that when something is compulsory then you must do it and when something is optional you are not obligated to do it. And even a ten-year-old Malay-Muslim can tell you that the Friday congregational prayers are compulsory while the Hari Raya congregational prayers are not.
Nevertheless, since the ‘big man’ himself, the Perak Mufti, has issued a ruling or decree that the Friday congregational prayers are NOT compulsory, and since Malaysians are obligated to comply with these rulings and decrees issued by these authorities, I have since stopped doing my Friday congregational prayers. I no longer go to the mosque on Fridays.
I am still waiting for the Perak Mufti to issue a new ruling or decree saying that the Friday congregational prayers are, in fact, compulsory. And since he has not and until he does then I would regard this ruling or decree as binding and something that I am obligated to comply with.
So, yes, the Mufti is the highest religious authority in the land. He tells us what we must and must not do. And we must follow what he tells us to do, or not to do. And the Perak Mufti has told us that we cannot do the Friday prayers because they are not compulsory. So who am I to argue with the highest religious authority in the land? I do what he tells us to do and not do what he tells us not to do. And he said: DO NOT do your Friday congregational prayers. So be it. I stopped doing them. After all, I am a good Malaysian and an obedient Muslim.