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'Keep religion out of politics'


MAAL HIJRAH MESSAGE: Sultan urges Muslims to uphold sanctity of Islam with strength and wisdom

SHAH ALAM: MUSLIMS, especially Malays, were yesterday urged to be wary and re-evaluate their position to ensure they are not influenced by the incitements and propaganda of free thinkers, liberals or pluralists.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor said being influenced by such people could destroy one's faith and make one turn against Allah (syirik).

He said he did not want to see Malays leave Islam. Instead, he wanted the Malays to uphold the sanctity of Islam with strength and wisdom as was done by Prophet Muhammad, his friends, mujahids and past Islamic leaders.

Speaking at the 1434 Maal Hijrah celebration at Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque last night, Sultan Sharafuddin said he wanted to take the opportunity to advise and remind the Malays following the surfacing of recent issues concerning religious freedom.

"As the head of Islam and protector of the interests and rights of Malays in Selangor, I am fully responsible at all times to ensure that the sanctity of Islam and interests of the Malays are safeguarded.

"Lately, I find that the sanctity of Islam has been tainted when religious rules and Quranic interpretation arbitrarily politicised to garner support."

Sultan Sharafuddin said people must stop politicising Islam, as it could mislead the rakyat and cause a split amongst Muslims.

"I want to remind everyone not to mix religion with politics as it can confuse and divide the community. Instead, I urge Malays to unite, help one another, strengthen the bond between Muslims and defend the sanctity of Islam."

He said confusion arises when those who are not knowledgeable or qualified to interpret Quranic verses or matters concerning Allah's law, interpret things according to their own understanding and will, and sometimes arriving at arguable conclusions.

This was because Quranic verses are not like poems which can be interpreted according to one's own taste and understanding, he said.

Malay leaders of the past, Sultan Sharafuddin said, had wisely inserted the definition of Malays in Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution which defined them as those that practise Malay culture, converse in the Malay language and practice Islam.

"If one of the above is not practised, then he or she cannot be regarded as a Malay."

He also pointed out that Article 3 of the Constitution stated Islam as the official religion of the nation.

He said if the Malays could easily renounce Islam, the old Malay proverb "tidak Melayu hilang di dunia" would no longer apply and the Malays would one day become extinct.

People greeting Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque during the Maal Hijrah celebration last nightyesterday. Pic by Roslin Mat Tahir

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