KUALA LUMPUR: Sisters in Islam (SIS) has welcomed Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah's statement last Friday that syariah courts need to be more attentive and careful in exposing case proceedings publicly, to safeguard a person’s dignity and honour.

The civil society group, in a statement today said some of the issues affect the organisation's work.

“From our experience, we have seen persons in positions of authority use the 'name and shame method' as a way of instilling Islamic morality, for example cases related to khalwat, children born out of wedlock issues, marriage of children to persons who have committed sexual crimes against them, to women’s dressing.

“A hadith of the Prophet (saw) in Sunan al-Tarmidhi states ‘Do not harm Muslims, and do not revile them, nor pursue their imperfections’. Hence, protection of a person’s dignity is imperative in serving justice the Islamic way,” it said.

The organisation added that in order to progress as an enlightened Muslim community, there is a need to adopt a more tolerant attitude towards "moral misdeeds" under the religion.

At the same time, SIS also pointed out that faraid (law dealing with the distribution of the estate of a deceased person) remained a significant discriminatory issue affecting Muslim women in the country.

"There is a flaw in understanding the laws on property and inheritance, compounded with bureaucratic red tapes and resulting in assets being frozen for a long periods of time."

SIS said there is a need for a systematic transformation to facilitate assets claims and withdrawal to ensure that they are distributed justly to family members.

In relation to the collection and distribution of zakat, it said that Islamic authorities should be bound by its accountability to the public.

"Transparency and good governance needs to be properly in place to ensure the public’s trust and confidence in managing these funds."

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