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Swearing should take place after legal process, says National Fatwa Council

KUALA TERENGGANU, 26 Aug 2008: The National Fatwa Council is of the opinion that Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan should have sworn the Islamic way that he was sodomised by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim only after the legal process had taken place.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the “sumpah mubahalah” (swearing in the name of Allah) should involve both parties, the accused and the accuser, and not necessarily be done in a mosque.

He said the views put forward by various ulama on the swearing by Anwar’s former aide had confused the public and should thus serve as a lesson for all concerned.

“We (National Fatwa Council) feel that after the legal process has taken place, any of the parties who feels he has been violated or victimised could resort to muhabalah involving both parties.”

Ahmad Zahid was met by reporters after chairing a special meeting with the National Fatwa (Islamic Edict) Council’s committee at Wisma Darul Iman today.

He said the council was not siding with any individual in making the decision but wanted to uphold truth in accordance with Islamic principles.

“Islamic law is fair, so the people should not worry about whether the case should be resolved through the legal process in court or outside court through sumpah
mubahalah which should involve both parties but not necessarily at the same place.”

He also advised the people not to politicise or manipulate the issue as it must be referred to the ulama or religious texts.

Asked whether the oath taken by Mohd Saiful was valid, he said what the youth did was to clear his name and image.

He said the council also opined that holding the Quran when taking the oath in the mosque by Mohd Saiful was a technical matter which should not be disputed.

Ahmad Zahid also advised Muslims in the country not to simply resort to sumpah mubahalah including over small matters, as this must not be a trend.

“Go through the legal process first. Anyway, if there are too many of such swearing, it would lose its value and people will no longer believe in it,” he added. — Bernama

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