Latest posts:
The World is Big Enough for All of Us – Imam Khalid Latif
MPF Ramadhan Workshop 2016
Dr. Mads Gilbert – Call for BDS (3/10/2015, Pusat Komuniti Bukit Bandaraya, KL)
Sheikh Nurudeen Lemu – The Width of the Straight Path
MPF Ramadhan Workshop 2015 (Day 1 Photo Gallery)

Latest posts:
Political Accountability: An Islamic Viewpoint
Political Funding and Transparency: An Islamic Perspective
A Youth Speaks
Human relations in multi-religious Malaysia: Debunking the religious myths!
Solidariti Merentasi Perbezaan Mempertahankan Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi

Latest posts:
BDS Malaysia on planned FIFA Congress 2017
Press Statement on Muslim Scholar, Dr Zakir Naik
IMAM Official Press Statement regarding the effects of vaccination
MPF Press Release: Honour and Dignity for All Mankind
BDS Malaysia Press Release: Boycott Apartheid Israel

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BDS Malaysia on planned FIFA Congress 2017

BDS Malaysia salutes the decision of the Malaysian government to maintain its stance of not allowing representatives of Israel to attend any meeting in Malaysia including the planned FIFA congress in May 2017. This is in line and in the spirit of BDS Israel, an international call by civil societies across the globe to boycott and isolate Israel for its continued oppression of the Palestinians.
(http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/08/165129/better-malaysia-not-host-fifa-congress-says-zahid)

BDA Malaysia wishes to remind everyone that Israel has kept Palestinians under a brutal military occupation and they have been subjected to countless atrocities for decades, including genocide and ethnic cleansing. Israel has also flouted international law on many occasions and continues to maintain an apartheid policy despite repeated condemnations by the international community.

The sacrifice of not being able to host the FIFA congress is minuscule compared to the sufferings of millions of Palestinians living in Israel, under occupation in the West bank and under siege in Gaza. Then there are those in diaspora unable to return to their land and homes despite being granted that right under international law.

Palestinian athletes, as with all other Palestinians, are subject to Israel’s injustice. Palestinian national footballer Mahmoud Sarsak was detained for 3 years without trial or charge. Zakaria Issa, a national striker was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment in 2003. Muhammad Nimr, a striker in the Palestinian youth football team was detained from 2007 to 2009. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/adri-nieuwhof/how-israel-derails-promising-careers-palestinian-football-stars

Additionally the Palestinians are denied their right to free travel, needing Israeli permission to enter or leave. Their daily lives are a web of checkpoints, ID cards and permits. Commuting is time-consuming, and very difficult, due to often arbitrary decisions by individual Israeli soldiers. Daily training is an extreme challenge for Palestinian athletes and training facilities are severely compromised. For example, Mary Al-Atrash, who is representing Palestine in the 2016 Rio Olympics, is only able to train in a 25 meter pool, instead of a standard-sized 50 meter pool, due to restrictions on her movement. It has been estimated that Palestinians lose 3 million working hours per day to travel (American Anthropological Association Task Force Israel Palestine, 2015).

In 1970 South Africa was formally ejected from the International Olympic Committee and banned from virtually all international sports till the end of its apartheid policies in 1990s. Advocates for Boycott South Africa argued, “no normal sport in an abnormal society”, that is, as long as the regime prevented everyone from participating equally in society, it should be excluded from participating equally in the international arena.

Sports, especially football, widely accepted as a global sport, is closely tied to national identity, thus making sporting isolation a bitter pill to swallow, as shown with South Africa. Therefore, the international community must stand firm and show Israel that Israelis do not deserve to have a place among the civilized people of the world, as long as their government continues their current policies and practice.

Israel must honor its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully comply with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194

Prof Dr. Mohd Nazari Ismail
Chairman
BDS Malaysia

The World is Big Enough for All of Us - Imam Khalid Latif

imam-khalid-4-august-2016-WEB

Press Statement on Muslim Scholar, Dr Zakir Naik

10 July 2016 / 5 Ramadhan 1437

 

Press Statement on Muslim Scholar, Dr Zakir Naik

 

Musa Mohd Nordin FRCPCH

Maszlee Malik PhD

Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)

 

Much has been said and written about the Muslim scholar, Dr Zakir Naik (DZN). Many are genuinely concerned about his style of preaching which they allege impinge abrasively on other religions (https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/348041).

 

Many others link his fiery speeches to potential IS threat to national security (https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/348000).

 

The media unashamedly sensationalized and tarnished the discourse by reporting that the militants in the terror attacks in Dhaka, Bangladesh, were inspired by him (http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/acharya-pramod-krishnam-demands-arrest-of-zakir-naik-for-inspiring-dhaka-attackers-2902041/).

 

The Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF) has stood on the sidelines since his early presence in Malaysia because we do not subscribe to his dialectical and combative approach, overbearing Islam over others, conscious or unconsciously proselytizing, and oftentimes oblivious of the local context and demography.

 

This differentiates the muballigh (preacher) ZN from our conception of a dai (Islamic worker). Islam’s concept of al-Hanifiyah (Semitic tradition) is the divine prescription towards all other non-Islamic religions. It allows “all the other religions” to be fully “others” without any reduction, deconstruction or relativisation. It acknowledges the plurality of religions and allows the adherents of all religions the plurality of laws to govern their lives within the aegis of their religious beliefs and principles. This is the gift of al-Hanifiyah to humanity.

 

This is in accordance with the calling of surah al-Hajj verse 40 which reads:

 

[They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right – only because they say, “Our Lord is Allah.” And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.

 

We therefore recognize and accept the presence of believers of other faiths, who have the inalienable right to their truth claims and our relationship and engagement is based and thrives on peaceful co-existence, harmonious cohesion and being mutually respectful of the other.

 

This is divinely enunciated as lita’rafu (know one another) in surah al-Hujurat verse 13:

 

O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nation and tribes that you may know one another. Lo! The noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.

 

In a similar vein, the maqasid shari’ah (higher objectives of Islamic law) epitomizes hifz ad-deen as the protection and preservation of all belief and moral systems, and enhances mutual respect and understanding between all religions.

 

We do not however overtly criticize DZN and his following, of his style and his methodology, because it is his ijtihad (juristic opinion) and prerogative vis a vis  the deliverance of Islam’s message of peace and mercy.

 

But we do take serious issues with those who unabashedly allege and accuse him of utterances and actions which are evidently false and treacherous, short of branding him an IS terrorist.

 

As we earlier stood strongly against the declarations of believers of other faiths as kafir harbi and kafir dhimmi, we will similarly condemn those who label DZN with  acrimonious and hostile islamophobic expressions (https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/347151).

We unequivocally condemn both the mainstream and alternative media which thrive on these islamophobic nuances.

 

We instead invite the genuine and sincere amongst us, to steer the discourse towards a civilizational dialogue, enhancing the higher purposes of aspiring for lita’rafu and not one driven by litanafasu, despise and envy of the other. Together, we can re-direct our religious diversity to work positively towards nation building and a civilizational construct, instead of being driven by a competitive zero sum game, where the winner takes all and the loser is vanquished.

 

It does not help that our socio-political governance has not been just and equitable to all religious quarters. If anything, the current ambience of heightened religious tension is a reflection of the failures of the ruling establishment. The politicization of religion and the irresponsible religious and racial rhetoric has unfortunately been the harbinger of most of our religious and racial disharmony. Allah (SWT) warns in surah al-Maidah verse 8:

 

O you who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that you deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Informed of what you do.

 

The final and universal message of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, re-asserted the principle of equality and dignity of all mankind when he said:

 

“O humankind! Your Lord is one Lord, and you have one father. All of you are from Adam, and Adam is from dust. The noblest of you is the most God-fearing. No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, no non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab, no black person has any superiority over a white person, and no white person has any superiority over a black person – superiority is only through piety.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhî)

 

There will always exist differences between human beings (see al-Quran: 11:118–19). Hence, it is neither possible, nor commanded, to make everyone believe in one faith (see al-Quran: 10:99). The call of Islam is not towards the homogenisation of society into one culture, identity or faith but the observation and practice of good conduct and civility so as to ensure that diversity will nurture justice, peace, the promotion of the common good and benefit (jalb al-masalih) and the avoidance and protection from harm (dar’ al mafasid).

 

Religious hegemony and intolerance in a pluralistic society will invariably result in conflict and will only frustrate the claim that Islam is a religion of compassion, peace, freedom and rahmatan lil alamin (mercy to all mankind).

IMAM Official Press Statement regarding the effects of vaccination

ISLAMIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA OFFICIAL PRESS STATEMENT

The Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMAM) would like to express our objections to the recent article published by Sinar Harian dated 27th June 2016 regarding the effects of vaccination.

2. Among others, the Sinar Harian article alleged that vaccination was responsible for causing the child to be disabled. The unfortunate events surrounding the child’s disability was neither investigated nor independently verified.

3. The effect of such misleading news and poor investigative reporting would only be detrimental to the continuing efforts of the Ministry of Health to promote the National Immunisation Program towards eliminating vaccine preventable disease and mitigating the current outbreaks of measles and diphtheria.

4. IMAM urges the mass media and news agencies to investigate thoroughly and verify these claims of Adverse Effects Following Immunisations (AEFI). Vaccines are administered to healthy children and adults. Therefore, they are manufactured to meet the most stringent and highest standards of safety. Before vaccines are licensed, the National Regulatory Authorities (NRA) requires many years of research, clinical trials and testing to ensure safety. This process may take 10-15 years or longer. In the majority of cases, vaccines are effective in protecting the person from disease and cause no side effects. A few may experience mild AEFI eg soreness, swelling or redness at the injection site, low grade fever or slight malaise. In extremely rare circumstances, people may experience more serious side effects, like allergic reactions. These reactions are so rare that the risk is very difficult to quantify.

  1. In recent years, a number of web sites providing unbalanced, misleading and alarming vaccine safety information were established, which raised undue fears among parents and patients. Myths and misinformation about vaccine safety can confuse parents who are trying to make sound decisions about their children’s health care. Inaccurate and sensationalisation of health news reporting only serves to erode the public trust in the immunization campaigns of the Ministry of Health. Besides, it is against best journalistic practices and code of ethics.
  1. Misinformation is rife on the Internet, making it hard to find reliable sources of information. In 2003, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), WHO and keys NGOs initiated the Vaccine Safety Net Project (VSN) to respond promptly, efficiently, and scientifically to vaccine safety issues of potential global importance. A list of reliable websites on vaccines in 10 different languages can be found on the website: www.who.int/vaccine_safety/initiative/communication/network/vaccine_safety_websites/en/
  1. IMAM with her over 3,000 members of medical practitioners and health care providers is ready to offer professional expertise to institutions who wish to obtain further information or organize discussions regarding immunizations. IMAM would like to extend this invitation to the mass media and news agencies so as to ensure accurate information about immunsiation and other health related issue is reported and disseminated.

 

Prof Dato’ Dr Abd Rahim Mohamad

President, IMAM

Honour and Dignity for All Mankind

Maszlee Malik PhD

Musa Mohd Nordin FRCPCH

Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)

 

‘If your Lord so willed, He could have made mankind one people. (al-Qur’an 11:118)

 

But, He created them in diverse forms to dwell in His kingdom. God created the different sexes and ethnic groups among mankind (30:22) that they might know and understand each other (49:13).

 

“O mankind!  We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (li ta’Arafu)”. (al-Qur’an 49:13)

 

The famous Tunisian Islamic scholar, Tahir Ibn Ashur in his commentary of this verse, mentioned that the import of piety after emphasizing the pluralistic nature of humankind was to educate mankind the true meaning of humility and mutual recognition through the practice of mutually knowing each other (Ibn Ashur, Tahir (no date), al-Tahrir wa al-Tanwir, Tunis: Dar Suhnun, 10/259).

 

Islam commands the believers to embrace diversity because it is part of the law of nature (Sunnatullah) that He created. It acknowledges the plurality of religions and allows the adherents of all religions the plurality of laws to govern their lives within the aegis of their religious beliefs and principles (see al-Quran: 8:72–5; 35:32; 4:95; 60:8–9).

 

The call of Islam is not towards the homogenisation of society into one culture, identity or faith but the observation and practise of good conduct and civility so as to ensure that diversity will nurture peace and the common good. The Qur’ān proclaims that differences among human beings will remain (see al-Quran: 11:118–19). Hence, it is neither possible, nor commanded, to make everyone believe in one faith (see al-Quran: 10:99).

 

Peaceful co-existence with the other and mutual respect is a fundamental teaching of Islam. This is manifested through Islam’s commands to respect other faiths, to avoid interfering in matters concerning other religions (see al-Quran: 109:1–6), prohibitions against any form of compulsion and coercion in faith (see al-Quran: 2:256, 272; 10:99) and rebuking or insulting other faiths (see al-Quran: 6:108).

Peaceful co-existence and harmonious cohesion with other religious communities has been well documented in Islamic history since the Prophet (pbuh) began his call to Islam in Makkah and unfolded one of the greatest political documents in human history, Sahifah al-Madinah or the constitution of Madinah (622 AD). This treatise embraced 20 major principles including Unity, Diversity, Conduct, Fighting Injustice, Search or Striving for Peace, Freedom of Religion and the Rule of Law.

 

Another illustrious model was the La Convivencia (co-existence) in Andalusia during the Islamic rule in Spain. The spirit of mutual respect and recognition did not only flourish   the Islamic civilisation, but also enhanced the Christian and Jewish intellectual and cultural environment (Pagden, Anthony (2008). Worlds at War: The 2,500-Year Struggle between East & West. New York: Oxford University Press: 153-54).

 

Therefore, mutual respect (tasamuh) and recognition (tafahum) of other believers and their beliefs are sacred and sine qua non to ensure a harmonious and peaceful world community.

 

On the contrary, religious hegemony and intolerance in a pluralistic society will invariably result in conflict and will only frustrate the claim that Islam is a religion of compassion, peace and freedom.

 

Embracing and respecting diversity, loving and cultivating it, is a source of enrichment and beauty, an essential element of our human experience.

 

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, (pbuh) said:

 

“O humankind! Your Lord is one Lord, and you have one father. All of you are from Adam, and Adam is from dust. The noblest of you is the most God-fearing. No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, no non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab, no black person has any superiority over a white person, and no white person has any superiority over a black person – superiority is only through piety.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhî)

 

 

In the above mentioned final sermon during his farewell pilgrimage (khutbah al-wida’), Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mainstreamed and highlighted the principle of human equality and dignity.

 

Instead of directing his message exclusively to the Muslim community, the Prophet (pbuh) preceded with a universal appeal to mankind by asserting the principle of equality. This important principle and guidance implies that he is not self-centred nor concerned only about the Muslim community’s interest and affairs, but rather his deliverance as “the mercy for all mankind” as stated in the Qur’an (3: 110).

 

Toynbee (1948: 205) regarded the Islamic notion of human equality as “one of the outstanding achievements of Islam” in which according to him, “in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue”. (Toynbee, Arnold (1948). Civilization on Trial. New York: Oxford University Press: 205).

 

In the same vein, Gibb (1932: 379) notes that: “No other society has such a record of success uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavours so many and so various races of mankind.” (Gibb, Sir Hamilton A.R. (1958). Mohammedanism. Cambridge: Mentor Edition: 379).

 

Never before has our beloved nation witness such an excess of religious and racial strife since the bloody days of 13 May 1969.  The latest fatwa (religious edict) of the Mufti of Pahang is one such gross aberration to the values of equality, diversity, mutual respect and harmony espoused by the teachings of the Quran and the authentic traditions of the prophet (pbuh). And unless this malicious abuse of religious authority is checked with an effective and just political and societal governance we are surely on the slippery slope of anarchy.

 

The term harbi as defined by the fuqaha (Muslim jurists) since the early writings of Muhammad bin Hasan al-Shaibani and Imam al-Awza’ie in their treatise of ‘Fiqh al-Siyar’(International Relations in Islam), implies that the person or group can be legitimately killed by Muslims due to their infidelity and aggression towards the Islamic state or community. Hence, declaring certain individuals or groups in Malaysia kafir harbi tantamounts to legitimizing the ISIS discourse and would open the floodgates of violent acts on Malaysian soil.

 

The classification of non-Muslim residents in the Islamic state into harbi and dhimmi is a historical issue that emerged during the classical period due to the global socio-political conditions then. States were not built on political identity as presently, but were kingdoms and empires that resort to religious and tribalistic identity as their legitimacy.

 

The new reality of nation-state framework and socio-politics has long been addressed by Muslim rulers and scholars alike.

 

In 1839, the Ottoman ruler, Sultan Abdul Majid, issued the Khatti-Sherif of Gulhane, proclaiming the principle of equality between the Muslims and the Christians. This virtually erased the classical legal status of the dhimmis (Al-Ghunaimi, Mohammad Talaat, 1968: 213)

 

The Muslims scholar Fathi Osman wrote;

 

“I do not think Muslims have any legal problem with regards to full equality with non-Muslims in rights and obligations. What emerged as the status of “dhimmis”; (non-Muslims within the Muslim state) was historically developed rather than built in the permanent laws of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Many scholars, including the Westerners, admit that the status of non-Muslims in the Muslim world during the Middle Ages, was better than what the Jews or other religious minorities received in the Christian countries in those ages.” (Human Rights in the Contemporary World . Problems for Muslims and Others. http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/private/cmje/issues/Human_Rights_in_the_Contemporary.pdf)

 

Many contemporary Muslim scholars, the likes of Syaikh Muhamamd Abu Zahrah, Syaikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Syaikh Dr Yusuf Qaradawi, Syeikh Wahbah al-Zuhayli, Dr Fahmi Huwaidi and Dr Muhammad Emarah Syakh has opined that the categories of kafir harbi and kafir dhimmi are no longer relevant and applicable within the socio-political structure of the modern world today. Instead, under the framework of constitutional modern state that has been acknowledged by most Muslim prominent scholars, it should be replaced by the termMuwatin which denotes citizens, who are granted equal rights, similar to the majority Muslim population of the contemporary Islamic state.

 

Allah has created all human beings with honour and dignity, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and has elevated their status above His other creations. Allah says in the Quran (17:70)

 

We gave honour and dignity (Karamat) to the children of Adam

 

As much as we would like to be honored and shown dignity, we have to recognize the dignity and honour of others.

 

Unfortunately, the actions of the few in our country, which among others has inadvertently equated Islam with religious intolerance and racism, their failure to recognize the equality of man before his creator, their parochial understanding of the brotherhood of man and their blatant impingement on other religions has tarnished the image of the messenger of Allah (pbuh) as rahmatan lil alamin, mercy upon mankind.

 

We hope this inclusive approach helps to reassure our fellow Malaysians from other belief systems of the Islamic position on human relations in our multi religious community. Together, hand in hand in religious harmony we can build a “Better Malaysia” founded on the eternal values of justice, equality, mutual benefit (masalih mushtarakah) and the brotherhood and dignity of mankind.

MPF Ramadhan Workshop 2016

mpf-ramadan-workshop-2016

BDS Malaysia Press Release: Boycott Apartheid Israel

27 December 2015
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Malaysia (BDS Malaysia) PRESS RELEASE
BOYCOTT APARTHEID ISRAEL

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Malaysia (BDS Malaysia) is very concerned with the recent statement by Perak DAP leader, Chong Zhemin regarding the decision by the Malaysian government to refuse  visas to two Israeli windsurfers due to participate in the Youth Sailing World Championships in Langkawi.
Notwithstanding his retraction, we are nonetheless bewildered as to why he issued it in the first place.

There is a growing global movement that is protesting the ethnic cleansing, racial apartheid and military occupation of Palestine by Israel. Sports have not been spared by the Israeli authorities. Palestinian footballers have been killed, stadiums bombed and players have been refused permission to travel to matches.

Following a campaign by Palestinian sports team and activists across Europe, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) rejected an Israeli bid to host games during the 2020 European Championships.

World soccer superstars, the likes of Christiano Ronaldo, Brazilian Ronaldo and Eric Cantona are active campaigners for boycotting Israel, calling it a racist state, which violates human rights.

BDS campaign “ADIDAS: Don’t run with Israeli Apartheid” finally ended ADIDAS sponsorship of the Jerusalem marathon.

BDS has evolved into a truly global human rights based movement against Israel until it complies with international law.
And BDS Malaysia calls upon all Malaysians to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian popular resistance and boycott Israel until it:

1. Ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantles the Apartheid Wall;

2. Recognise the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

Prof Mohd Nazari Ismail
Chairman, BDS MALAYSIA

MPF Press Release on “HALAL TROLLEYS”

The recent media report where the minister for Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan (KPDNKK) was quoted as saying that his ministry is mulling a new legislation that requires supermarkets nationwide provide separate trolleys for halal and non-halal products naturally drew many negative comments.

Whilst the ministry’s worry about the viability of the proposed new legislation is the significant cost it would incur on businesses concerned, for many it is the further segregation of Muslims and non-Muslims that is uppermost. The last thing we need is a new law that will likely exacerbate polarization along religious and racial lines.

Before the ministry comes up with the idea of legislation, we wonder to what extent, such a measure is demanded by Muslims apart from that espoused by the spokesperson of Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM), Datuk Nadzim Johan, “Ia satu cadangan yang baik kerana akan mendidik masyarakat untuk memahami batasan dan keperluan rakyat pelbagai kaum dan agama.”

Or from the deputy president of  FOMCA, Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman who agreed with the idea, “terutamanya bagi mencegah pencampuran produk halal dan tidak halal, yang boleh membawa kepada pencemaran silang (cross-contamination).”

And if a significant proportion of Muslims sees it as a necessity or a priority in the present climate of religious over-zealousness, has it been thoroughly studied and explained by the religious authorities?

There is likely a spectrum of scholarly opinions on this matter if we include independent but well respected scholars outside of the official religious establishment.

We would like to humbly pitch our understanding of the higher objectives of the Islamic jurisprudence (Maqasid Shari’ah) on this matter. This issue is neither new nor problematic elsewhere in the Muslim world but somehow hits a raw nerve with some Muslims in Malaysia.

The religious scholars agree unequivocally that porcine meat is not allowed, haram, for consumption by Muslims based on the injunctions in the Quranic verse 145, Surah al-An’Am;

“Say, I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine – for indeed, it is impure – or it be [that slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.”

However, the Muslim scholars differed on three major aspects related to the flesh of swine, namely:

1.    Is it categorised as najis (impure) mughallazah or mutawassitah?

2.    How should it be cleansed? This would depend on its category.

3.    They also differed if body parts of the swine (skin, hair, bones) can be utilized after it has been cleansed

The majority of Muslims scholars opined that it is categorized as najis mutawassitah, and only requires cleansing with one wash only upon touch. It is similar to cleansing of impurities like blood, pus, faeces, urine and wounds.

Imam Shafie, the “official mazhab” in Malaysia, categorized it as najis mughallazah which has similar najis properties as a dog and must be cleansed 7 times, one wash with soil water. This is the accepted opinion in mazhab Shafie with the notable exception of Imam Nawawi.

However, further interrogation into the basis for this najis mughallazah  opinion shows that it is neither a sound nor correct inference of verse 5 of Surah al-Maidah or the authentic hadith from Abu Hurarirah on cleansing as compiled by Imam Muslim in his Al-Jami’ al-Sahih.

This “minority” Shafie opinion is obviously burdening the Muslims in Malaysia and has been illustrated in the proposed legislation, is very provocative and unnecessarily creating a further hostile divide along religious and racial lines.

And besides, the Quran clearly stipulates;

“And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty”
(Al-Hajj 22:78)

And it was narrated from Aisha (RA) that, given a choice, the Prophet (SAW) will opt for “the less burdensome, provided it was permissible”
(Bukhari & Muslim).

Clearly, this calls for more in-depth study, dialogue and communication between ALL stakeholders (not just KPDNKK, FOMCA or PPIM), all religious communities and religious experts before we even think about a new law.

In the final analysis, it is hoped that authentic religious mutual respect and common sense will prevail over religious bigotry and insensitivity.

Often times, one wonders whether these parochial and trivial issues are mainstreamed by design to derail us from the acute and  critical issues plaguing our nation.

In a national ambience of ambiguity, lack of accountability, transparency and failure of political governance, we should not be easily distracted by petty and shallow issues like “halal trolleys” but instead focus our attention and energies on “fiqh awlawiyat” (jurisprudence of priorities),  to uplift this country from the  abyss of religious and racial strife, economic meltdown and a failed nation state.

Board of Directors
Muslim Professional Forum

Press Release: "Kesetiaan Kepada Raja Dan Negara"

7 October 2015
Press Release:”Kesetiaan Kepada Raja Dan Negara”

The Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF) applaud the statement issued by the Conference of Malay Rulers on the 1MDB debacle.

The sentiments expressed shows that our Rulers are cognizant and sensitive towards the impasse and doldrums faced by their subjects in the quest for resolution of this highly charged national dilemma.

The MPF fully concur with the Rulers’ decree for an immediate and urgent probe into 1MDB to mitigate the economic hardship that is currently being suffered by the rakyat, corporations, businesses and the Malaysian economy at large.

A comprehensive and transparent investigation needs to be undertaken and without any interference from anyone, to diagnose the economic malady and bring to justice the guilty individuals or parties.

This SOS economic plea has been echoed by the lay public, key opinion leaders, civil society and professional economic institutions to address the “elephant in the room” which would otherwise threaten our economic stability and national security.

Anything less than this would erode the trust of the rakyat and the confidence of international markets and junk us as a perilously failed nation. It is imperative that the political governance heed the call of the Malay Rulers’ Conference and act NOW.

As enshrined in the Rukunegara, “Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara”, our loyalty to the King and country is paramount.

Board of Directors
Muslim Professionals Forum

Dr. Mads Gilbert - Call for BDS (3/11/2015, KGPA, KL)

MadsGilbertKL-INSTAGRAM