Monday, August 25, 2008

Islamic scholars defend validity of Saiful's swearing


Former National Fatwa Council chairman Datuk Dr Ismail Ibrahim said swearing in the name of Allah while holding the Quran to state truth should not be equated with the Christian way of swearing on the Bible.

He said in Islam, what was important was for the person to swear on his belief, and holding the Quran or not while doing so did not involve the question of his faith in Islam.

Therefore, Ismail said, the swearing in the mosque by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, had fulfilled the condition on swearing in the Islamic way between a servant of God and his Creator.

“The swearing is between him (Mohd Saiful) and Allah. If he had done it with sincerity, others should not dispute it,” he said when contacted for his comments on the polemics among ulamas on the swearing on the Quran by Mohd Saiful that he was sodomised by Anwar.

Ismail said Mohd Saiful had met the condition by saying in his oath,
“Wallahi, Wabillahi, Watallahi”, so the question of its validity did not arise at all.

He said whether Mohd Saiful held the Quran or not when taking the oath was not an issue and so should not be disputed.

“If we eat using fork and spoon like the Christians do, it does not make us Christians. Whatever we do depends on our intention.” He said as Malaysia practised civil law, the alleged sodomy case involving Mohd Saiful and Anwar would proceed in accordance with this law.

Ismail said it was not unusual for ulamas to have differing opinions on religious matters.

Meanwhile, Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has come out in defence of his stand that the “sumpah mubahalah” (swearing in the name of God) needed not necessarily be made in the syariah court.

He said the ulamas’ different views on the “sumpah laknat” (swearing in the face of divine retribution) by Mohd Saiful had resulted in public confusion, with some quarters manipulating the issue.

“Some are of the opinion that the swearing must be done in the syariah court and that truth be proven by calling four witnesses,” he said.

Islamic scholars defend validity of Saiful's swearing
New Straits Times, Malaysia