SHAH ALAM, 4 Jun 2009: Current political realities in Malaysia require that PAS be led by ulama, said Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Mohamad Daud Iraqi today.
In his opening speech during the 48th PAS ulama muktamar, Daud said leadership by the ulama was a precedent that had been set by the Prophet Muhammad himself.
“Ulama are not merely religious advisers, but political leaders, as exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad and all other messengers of Allah,” he said.
Delegates listening to Daud delivering his opening speech
He also said that Islamic movements that were not led by ulama were not examples to be followed as they did not conform to this prophetic precedent in Islam.
He said that Islam as a religion and way of life needed to be implemented collectively, and was not solely a personal, individual faith.
“Thus, it is important for the collective to be spearheaded by the ulama,” he said.
However, Daud also said that the collective needed input from other experts, such as economists, experienced politicians, legal specialists and so on.
Daud He outlined four different categories of ulama:
- those who have religious knowledge but lack capacity to lead;
- those who have religious knowledge and have capacity to lead;
- those who lack religious knowledge but have capacity to lead;
- those who lack religious knowledge and lack capacity to lead.
He said ideally, it was the ulama who had both religious knowledge and capacity to lead who needed to lead the party, while the professionals and other categories of ulama could perform supporting functions.
He said, therefore, that PAS needed to focus on empowering the ulama, by completing their knowledge on current affairs and so on.
For example, he said the idea of the national unity government with Umno as mooted by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang should have ideally been studied by the ulama, and disseminated to PAS members effectively to avoid confusion.
“We are against Umno not because they are called ‘Umno’, but because they are Muslims who insist on holding on to colonial laws,” he said.
However, he added that the opportunity to cooperate with Umno was always there, as “no matter how misguided fellow Muslims are, they always have the opportunity to return to Allah’s ways.”
Daud’s speech will today be debated by the state level ulama chiefs. The muktamar for the party’s main body and elections for top party posts begins tomorrow.