KUALA LUMPUR: A man who declared himself as ‘Imam Mahdi’ was jailed two years and fined RM4,900 by the Syariah High Court today.
Syarie judge Mohd Amran Mat Zain handed down the sentence on Mat Alimin Abdullah, 36, after he pleaded guilty to the offence.
He also ordered the accused to serve six more months in jail in default of the fine.
Mat Alimin, who was not represented, was charged with making a false declaration of being Muhammad Al-Mahdi by saying "If I am speaking the truth, whoever mocks or lies to me, I leave it to Allah as I who is speaking today is Muhammad Al-Mahdi messenger of Allah. If I am speaking the truth and whoever ridicules me will be accursed by Allah. This is the promise of Prophet Muhammad".
He committed the offence at a meeting room at the Federal Territories Mufti office at Level 10 of Menara Pusat Islam, Jalan Perdana here between 3pm and 3.30pm on April 26.
The father of two was charged under Section 6 of the Syariah Criminal Act (Federal Territories) 1997 which carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or jail not more than three years or both upon conviction.
In mitigating for leniency, Mat Alimin repeatedly said that he was trying to find himself.
He told the court that he had never declared himself as Imam Mahdi and did not have any followers nor had he admitted it publicly before.
"I was on a journey to find out who I really am. My intention when I came to the office was to see the Mufti and tell him about me. About the voices I've been hearing.
"I did not want to be misguided but when I came there and told them about this, I was misunderstood," he said.
He added that he had sent 20 letters to the Prime Minister to tell about himself being Imam Mahdi and claimed that he did not receive any replies.
"Among others who I have sent the letters to were Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR vice-president) , some ministers as well as the Muftis but there were no replies.
"In the end, I had no one to turn to and decided to go to Jawi (Federal Territories Islamic Department) to tell them myself," he said.
However, Federal Territories Senior Syarie prosecutor Zainor Rashid Hassin urged for a deterrent sentence, saying that matters or offences relating to aqidah (faith) must be taken seriously.
According to the facts of the case, Jawi officers had received a complaint from the public on an incident where the accused had made a declaration that he was Imam Mahdi.
The accused told the officers that he bore signs of Iman Mahdi and claimed that he received a revelation directly and sometimes in his dreams from angel Jibril.
He had also claimed that he met with three of the angels in Islam namely Jibril, Israfil and Makail and dreamt of meeting the Prophet and would declare himself as Imam Mahdi on the 1st of Syawal 1437 Hijrah.