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Nik Aziz denies “heaven” statements; Fatwa Council to clarify

KOTA BARU, 18 Aug 2009: PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat today denied having said that Umno members would not go to heaven

The Kelantan menteri besar also denied saying yesterday that they could not go to heaven as they practised a form of “false Islam” brought from Palestine and not the Islam as preached by PAS.

He claimed the misquoted statements were an attempt by certain quarters to cause friction between him and the Palestine authority and create a new issue in the run-up to the Permatang Pasir by-election.

“I read two mainstream newspapers where I saw the word ‘Palestine’. I strongly deny this. I also don’t always use the words ‘Umno members’ and ‘Umno supporters’,” he told reporters here today.

Nik Aziz was reported to have made the statement in Bukit Mertajam yesterday, in which he was also quoted saying that the Islam preached by PAS was different from that practised by Umno members

He explained that what he meant was that Muslims who separated iman (faith) from Islam would not go to heaven.

“The two are inseparable, just like the body and soul. They must be together or one.

“What I’m saying here is not new. [Separation of faith from Islam] had caused the ulama to leave Umno and form PAS in 1951. Umno’s efforts for Islam alone without iman will not be accepted by Allah,” he said.

Nik Aziz said he would discuss with his lawyers to see what action could be taken against the media over their controversial reports on his statement.

Fatwa and ulama

In PUTRAJAYA, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told reporters that the National Fatwa Council and ulama have been asked to make clarifications on Nik Aziz’s alleged statements.

Muhyiddin said it was better for ulama to evaluate whether Nik Aziz was right or whether his views were contrary to the the religion, and advise what action needed to be taken.

“I have mentioned [that] all kinds of fatwa will be made by the opposition. Now with the Permatang Pasir by-election taking place, I have been proven right,” Muyhiddin said.

“Although I understand Islam, any statement I make wil be interpreted in a political angle. In this matter, I do not want to resort to politics. This about religion, faith and religious doctrines.

“It’s better that the National Fatwa Council and ulama make a decision on this. The faster, the better,” he said.

The deputy prime minister added that Nik Aziz, as a person knowledgeable in Islam, should not be making such statements, but this was not something new from him.

“[Nik Aziz] makes all sorts of statements which, to me, are often in conflict with Islam,” he said, adding that if PAS claimed to practice politics based on Islam, its leaders should advise Nik Aziz “not to shoot his mouth off”.

“This is not good for Islam. All this while we (Umno) have shown our willingness to cooperate to develop the country, in the interests of Muslims and the spirit of unity. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Umno have stated this, but in a situation like this, political allegations in the guise of religion complicates things.

“As such, I leave it to [Nik Aziz] to think [about] what he should do,” Muyhiddin said. — Bernama

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