PETALING JAYA, 28 Apr 2009: The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) has forbidden the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect to perform Friday prayers at their mosque with immediate effect.
In a letter to the Ahmadiyya dated 24 Apr 2009 made available to The Nut Graph, MAIS said, “If [the Ahmadiyya] fail to comply with, defy or neglect the directive, the council will take legal action without any notice.”
In a statement, Ahmadiyya spokesperson Ainul Yakin Muhd Zain said, “We … feel deeply hurt and aggrieved at this unjust action to deny us our right to perform our religious obligations.”
MAIS issued its directive on the grounds that the Ahmadiyya mosque did not get the council’s approval first.
In December 2008, Selangor religious exco Datuk Dr Hassan Ali said that he was willing to negotiate with the Ahmadiyya community over seizure of land which they used for their mosque.
Khalid Samad PAS Shah Alam chief and Member of Parliament Khalid Samad elaborated to The Nut Graph over the phone: “We should engage and discuss with the Ahmadiyya to understand their perspective.”
According to Ainul, however, no such dialogue has taken place between Hassan and the Ahmadiyya community.
“Besides, he is only willing to talk about the issue of land, not the issue of our aqidah (belief system),” Ainul said in a phone interview today.
“The way the Pakatan Rakyat government is treating us is the same as how the Barisan Nasional treated us,” Ainul added.
The Nut Graph was unable to reach Hassan, but Khalid said it was important to clarify the Ahmadiyya sect’s status.
“There are 1,001 religions in the world, so if they declare themselves non-Muslim, then the solution is easy for us,” he said.
“The problem is if they insist that they are still Muslims,” he noted.
However, Ainul said, “It is … incomprehensible to us that we are subjected to this kind of treatment, as firstly we have been declared non-Muslims.”
In 1975, the Selangor Fatwa Council issued a fatwa declaring the Ahmadiyya sect non-Muslim.
The fatwa also said that ideally, if the Ahmadiyya did not “repent and return to the true teachings of Islam, they should be killed by the Imam which is the King”.
Acknowledging, however, that this was not legally possible, the fatwa then recommended that the Ahmadiyya be stripped of all special Malay privileges.
To believe or not
According to constitutional law expert Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, however, such declarations that someone is a non-Muslim have massive consequences.
“Every religion has its own jurisdiction to ‘excommunicate’ deviant followers, but in this case it should be a matter of last resort since the implications are devastating,” he said in a phone interview.
Shad said that an official declaration that someone is Muslim or not has implications on the status of marriage, guardianship of children, and inheritance.
Shad also said that the fatwa itself seems to contradict Section 6 of the Selangor Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment, which says that it is illegal to declare any Muslim non-Muslim.
According to Shad, the authorities’ treatment of the Ahmadiyya stands in direct contrast with its treatment of cases such as Lina Joy‘s, in which a Muslim sought to publicly renounce Islam.
“We are effectively saying that an individual’s affirmation of faith is not enough for them to follow the religion of their choice,” he said.
MAIS billboard outside the Ahmadiyya headquarters in Batu Caves
(Pic courtesy of Ainul Yakin Muhd Zain)
“In Lina Joy’s case, she is being prevented from leaving Islam, while the Ahmadiyya are being forcefully kicked out and yet are still liable to punishment by the Islamic authorities,” he said.
Shad said that as far as the law was concerned, the Ahmadiyya should enjoy constitutional protection for their freedom of religion if they are considered non-Muslims.
“But if they want to declare themselves Muslim and follow their version of the faith, then the superior courts will defer to the syariah courts,” he said.
The Ahmadiyya movement was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, in 1889. They are sometimes inaccurately referred to as Qadianis.
Although Ahmadiyya consider themselves Muslim, mainstream Muslims reject this because the Ahmadiyya believe that Ahmad was the metaphorical second coming of Jesus.
The sect has its headquarters in the United Kingdom, and Ahmadiyya are persecuted by religious authorities in Muslim-majority countries such as Pakistan and Indonesia.
According to Ainul, there are approximately 1,500 Ahmadiyya followers in Malaysia, with the majority in Sabah.
Most Ahmadiyya Malaysians are ethnic Malays, and the movement was founded in Malaya in the 1930s.
I’m very disappointed with PAS Selangor and particularly Dr Hassan Ali. I think this guy should just leave PR and join his true callings within Umno.
Have they ever heard: “There is no compulsion in Islam” (Qur’an, 2:256)?
Ahmadiyya, all right-thinking Malaysians are with you to uphold the constitutional right to freedom of religion.
Founded in 1930. Now is 2009. Wow … ?
Hohoho … the Opus Dei of Islam … cool!
Just want to point out a small mistake here:
“Although Ahmadiyya consider themselves Muslim, mainstream Muslims reject this because the Ahmadiyya believe that Ahmad was the metaphorical second coming of Jesus.”
The Ahmadiyya do not just believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is a “metaphorical” second coming of Jesus and mainstream Islam does not just reject them because of this. Like the Baha’i faith, they actually do believe that their founder (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) is literally the Messiah as well as the Last Prophet of God. This goes against the basic tenets of Islam which stresses that Jesus (P) was the Messiah as well as Muhammad (P) as the Last Prophet and that there can be no Prophet after him. Hence the Ahmadiyya are a deviant sect out of the pale of Islam which can never be considered as “Muslims”.
Eric thanks your comments. Many on Malaysia Today are cursing Umno for this incident.
How about Shia Muslims? Are they considered Muslims in Malaysia?
Say the Ahmadiyya are not Muslims, does it justify MAIS’s preventing access to their place of worship? What does JPN write under Agama in their certs?
By labelling people “true”, or not, Muslims, a lot of harm is done here in God’s name. Not sure it is what He’d want.
Let’s be clear here. It is a simple equation. Ahmadiya/Qadiani is not Muslim and has nothing to do with Islam. As such how can they be holding Friday Prayers. When they do such a thing and confuse the generally ignorant Muslim population, that becomes a problem.
They should call themselves Ahmadiya/Qadiani or other names they feel suitable but they should not call themselves Islam Qadiani or Islam Ahamadiya.
Nobody can decide who is a Muslim and who not …
Even the holy prophet (saw) doesn’t decide about this matter. Religion is a personal matter with Allah ta’ala.
I can’t understand, why this simple fact is not clear to the mullahs and such organisations?
By the way, notice the pic: In the background “Love for all, hatred for none” and in the foreground the decision of the organisation, that this is not Islam.
I’m so tired of people defending these seriously medieval-Christian techniques at silencing other religions because ‘believers will be confused’!
Are these believers so stupid that they’ll run to any place that is having prayer sessions on Friday?
Whose fault is it if some believers are stupid?
How about a clue from history? Why was Islam in the medieval era and the Crusades superior to the civilization of the Roman Catholic Church? Hint: they weren’t the Roman Catholic Church!
Shinster Salam Reformasi Lawan Tetap Lawan! says
1.) To excommunicate someone merely because they are not the same as the mainstream is dangerous.
2.) However, already Fatwa council ruled in 1975 that this group is not Muslim anymore, I don’t think why should they go to their doorstep and put up such a signboard, and forbid them from organizing their own religious services. They are no longer Muslim, according to the authorities themselves. So what authority do they have to intervene in their activities ?
3.) I’m not sure if Archdiocese should go to each and every other religious sect that calls themselves Christians and hold weekly prayers on Sundays and ban them.
4.) Kafir-mengkafir is part of Malay culture, and PAS after all is still a Malay-dominated party.
5.) Please don’t excommunicate me, I have never declared that I’m a Muslim.
La ikraha fiddeen, there is no compulsion in religion. Muslims who try to stop people from leaving Islam or in the Ahmadiyya case try to force to call themselves anything but Muslims should heed this verse. The sad part is that you see more and more religious persecution (whether against fellow Muslims or other religions) in Muslim countries by so-called Muslims. On the other hand Christian and secular nations have adopted a more open and tolerant society when it comes to protecting the rights of people to freely practice what they believe in.
To Menj, Jesus or Hazrat Isa (as) was a prophet of God and is called rasulullah in the Quran. If Hazrat Muhammad (saw) was the last prophet and no other prophet can appear after him then Muslims should stop waiting for Hazrat Isa (as) to descend from the skies because that would refute their argument. What it basically comes down is a matter of identity. Non-Ahmadi Muslims believe that the same Jesus that was sent to the people of Israel is alive in heaven and will come back to lead the Muslims.
Ahmadis believe that Hazrat Isa was not physically lifted to heaven and survived crucifixion and continued his mission to preach to the scattered tribes of Israel and finally died in Kashmir, India. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a Muslim and a follower of the prophet Muhammad (saw) was the messiah of the latter days.
R.Prem Kumar says
This sect is being punished for adhering not to the form but the function of Islam?
Steven Ong says
When you contradict your actions and are not consistent with your judgment and verdict, you are called a hypocrite. There are many hypocrites who are very proud of their actions in unfortunately Malaysia. Sorry to say that.
Salah Nizami says
If one wants to call Ahmadis non-Muslim he may please himself. But to force us to believe ourselves as non-Muslim, is a blatant rape of human rights.
Ummah is waiting for the Promised Messiah. Ahmadis believe the Messiah has come. General Muslims believe the Messiah will come. There is no difference in faith. We differ in object. Look 3-144 the Prophet before Mohammad saw have passed away. No dead Prophet can reappear, only one from ummah has to be the Messiah of Islam.
Quran says who can be a greater zalim than the one who disables people from worship, people who are disabling us from prayers are wearing this cap – May the people of taqwa, heed and not flock with these.
Malaysia should learn from Pakistan, which has finally fully succumbed to the mullahs. Malaysia, avoid this known fate.
True Islam says
What verse of the Quran or saying of the Prophet (saw) says that any one who believes in a prophet after Muhammad (saw) is a non-Muslim?
What verse or saying supports declaring a person non-Muslim after he/she has said they were Muslim?
What verse or saying gives anyone or any group of people the right to declare a Muslim as non-Muslim under any circumstances?
Ahmadis are the only group since the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the early Muslims to be persecuted for saying “La illaha illillah Muhammadur Rasulullah”
amir aziz says
Its sheer injustice to ban any one from one’s own belief.
One thing we have to keep in mind that Ahmadiyya have two sections. One is called Lahori Ahmadies and the other one is Qadiani Ahmadies, the one which has been banned. Lahori Ahmadis believe in the finality of Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). They believe that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a reformer and not a prophet. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad never claimed to be a prophet. They also believe that the one who recites shahada is a Muslim. These beliefs of Lahori Ahmadis are quite different and contrary to Qadaini’s beliefs. So the blame goes to Qadani beliefs and not to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian as he never claimed to be a prophet and neither he declared his opponents out of Islam.
Dr Tahir says
I strongly condemn the decision of Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) and strongly believe that prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the last prophet. May Allah taala have mercy on us.
Who is a Muslim? Check http://ahmadiyya.org/sa-case/intro.htm for the case in South Africa and all the arguments.
Human Right Watch says
I regretfully say that I had a decent and moderate image of Malaysia in my mind, not any more. Let me assure you that if MAIS doesn’t reverse the decision, then Pakistan is their future.
During this critical time when illiterate fundamentalists have hijacked Islam, Malaysians should have joined this moderate and tolerant sect of Islam to show the world the true and beautiful picture of this great and peaceful religion. Alas, they’ve joined the wrong side.
@Shinster Salam Reformasi Lawan Tetap Lawan!
“I’m not sure if Archdiocese should go to each and every other religious sect that calls themselves Christians and hold weekly prayers on Sundays and ban them.”
You may want to document yourself a bit before you comment. Which Archdiocese exactly? The Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Syriac, etc? Just like there is no one single version of Islam, there is no one single version of Christianity.
@Eric, who asked:
“How about Shia Muslims? Are they considered Muslims in Malaysia?”
Are you trying to divert from the topic? There is nothing mentioned here about the Shias. But if you really want to know, the Shias are indeed not considered as Muslims at all by the Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan (National Fatwa Council) or any state Islamic body for that matter, in Malaysia.
“Say the Ahmadiyya are not Muslims, does it justify MAIS’s preventing access to their place of worship?”
That is not for me to comment. I don’t see why not, however, since the administration of Islamic affairs in Selangor is under their purview.
Response to “Ahmadi”:
“To Menj, Jesus or Hazrat Isa (as) was a prophet of God and is called rasulullah in the Quran. If Hazrat Muhammad (saw) was the last prophet and no other prophet can appear after him then Muslims should stop waiting for Hazrat Isa (as) to descend from the skies.”
That is a common claim of the Ahmadiyya, however this “view” is simply plain wrong, for the simple reason that when Jesus (AS) returns to the world, as Muslims believe, he will judge the world according to the shari’ah of Muhammad (SAWS) who has come before him. This is reported in an authentic Bukhari hadith.
Just because Jesus (AS) has returned does not change anything in the status of Muhammad (SAWS) as the Last Prophet, nor does it make Jesus (AS) “the last prophet”, since Jesus (AS) was already a prophet before Muhammad (SAWS).
“Ahmadis believe that Hazrat Isa was not physically lifted to heaven and survived crucifixion and continued his mission to preach to the scattered tribes of Israel and finally died in Kashmir, India. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a Muslim and a follower of the prophet Muhammad (saw) was the messiah of the latter days.”
Which is why the Ahmadiyyah are considered deviant, out of the fold of Islam and certainly by no stretch of the imagination can they ever be called or regarded as “Muslims”.
Ahmadiyyah took an Indian for their “last prophet”. Muslims believe that Muhammad (SAWS), an Arab, was the last prophet. Ahmadiyyah took an Indian for their (false) “messiah”. Muslims believe that Jesus (AS), a Jew, was the messiah.
@Menj, thanks for your replies.
“Are you trying to divert from the topic? … But if you really want to know, the Shias are indeed not considered as Muslims at all by the Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan (National Fatwa Council) or any state Islamic body for that matter, in Malaysia.”
I am not trying to divert from the topic. I am showcasing how some, you included, pretend to know who is a Muslim and who is not. This obviously is not restricted to Islam unfortunately.
This game of “(s)he is such and such because I (or they) say so” is purely relative. Case in point: with the Shia, Iran differs from Malaysia and we are only talking about today without any historical reference. Therefore, the ground for banning any type of worship on bases other than fairly objective grounds, such as safety, is extremely flimsy and not at all related to God’s will.
MAIS is therefore way out of its league here. I just hope freedom of religion as defined in the Federal Constitution will prevail in the end.
You didn’t reply to me on “What does JPN write under Agama in their certs?”