IN accordance with a fatwa issued by the Johor Islamic Religious Council (MAINJ), Muslims are not permitted to attend or take part in religious ceremonies of other faiths in the state.
Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has given his approval to the fatwa and went into force yesterday (Feb 2), according to the chairman of the state’s Islamic Religious Affairs committee Mohd Fared Mohd Khalid.
“The ulama (religious experts) of the four schools of Islamic thought, namely Shafie, Hanafi, Maliki, and Hanbali, have agreed that Muslims are not permitted to attend or participate in religious rites of other faiths.
“These non-Islamic religious rituals include in houses of worship, as well as other places,” Bernama reported Mohd Fared as saying.
Moreover, Mohd Fared noted that a number of scholars have stated that Muslims are permitted to accept invitations to a ceremony in conjunction with a celebration of other faiths without engaging in a religious ritual rite.
This fatwa is intended to help Muslims in Johor understand each other better while guidelines regarding non-Muslim festivities that Muslims can attend were also issued.
“Among other things, the ceremony is not accompanied by rituals including religious symbols, or singing religious songs which are against the Islamic faith.
“MAINJ will meet with religious leaders and the administration of non-Muslim sites of worship to explain and clarify the guidelines,” he added.
According to him, this ban is not meant to disturb the harmony between races, but simply to give advice and guidance, so that community leaders are careful in promoting togetherness without violating certain boundaries.
Furthermore, adding that individuals who violate the guidelines can be prosecuted in accordance with Section 9 of the Johor Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 1997. — Feb 3, 2023
Main photo credit: Royal Press Office