Perlis mufti advises Muslims to avoid ceremonies of other religions


(Bernama) – Perlis Mufti, Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya (pic) has advised Muslims not to be directly involved in the ceremonies of other religions, including the Songkran festival.

He said giving a present or extending good wishes to a non-Muslim in conjunction with that person’s religious celebration was not an issue, but they should not be attending the religious ceremonies.

“The Songkran festival is clearly a religious occasion as during the ceremony, the statue of Buddha will be given a bath and the bath water will then be distributed to the attendees for them to receive blessings,” he explained.

Because of that, he said, Muslims should not be attending such ceremonies.

It is understood that Perlis will be holding a Songkran festival in Kuala Perlis this Saturday and the festival is included in the state’s tourism calendar.

Juanda also reminded Muslim traders who display the photograph of the 25th Sultan of Kedah, the late Sultan Abdul Hamid, at their premises with the aim of bringing luck to their business, to remove the photo immediately as this is contrary to Islamic teachings.

He said the traders’ belief that the long tail feathers of the burung cenderawasih (bird of paradise) on the sultan’s ‘tengkolok’ (headdress) as seen in the photograph could give them good luck in business, smacked of polytheism and such a belief must cease.

“The Perlis Fatwa Council had decided five years ago that the practice was wrong in religion and the notice on the fatwa (edict) was distributed through the local authorities two years ago. However, there are still traders who hold on to the belief,” he said.

On the fatwa that deemed the drinking of ketum water as haram (forbidden), Juanda said the Perlis Fatwa Council was waiting for the Home Ministry’s response to its suggestion of placing the offence of drinking ketum water under the Dangerous Drugs Act and not under the Poisons Act as practised now.