Opinion

The state is God?

Zan Azlee

Zan Azlee is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, New Media practitioner and lecturer. He runs Fat Bidin Media www.fatbidin.com

APRIL 20 — I am actually dumbfounded as to where in the religion of Islam it says the Kedah state government is God?

This is because, as far as I know, Muslims are actually only prohibited to ever question the will of God.

We are, however, perfectly allowed and even encouraged to question what is not clear to us in order to understand it better.

So, I am baffled as to why the Kedah state legislative assembly has decided to amend the Mufti and Fatwa Enactment (Kedah Darul Aman) 2008.

It was passed unanimously by the House that:

“Any fatwa decided by the state Mufti or Fatwa Committee, whether gazetted or not, cannot be challenged, appealed, reviewed, denied or questioned in any civil or syariah court.”

As I have mentioned previously, I don’t really think they can do this because if I’m not mistaken, members of the Kedah assembly are ordinary people and not God.

Fatwas are man-made, and are actually man’s attempt at trying to best understand and interpret God’s decree in whatever context.

What is known in Islam as Fiqh, or jurisprudence, is actually just opinions of jurists which then become a set of guidelines for people to follow.

But, as with anything that is man-made, it is open to flaws and hence, not only is it allowed to be questioned, questioning it should be mandatory so the flaws can be fixed.

The Quran states in Surah Ta Ha:

“Ask of Him: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

And how are people supposed to learn and understand anything if they are not allowed to ask and question as proposed by the Kedah legislative assembly?

The Prophet Muhammad did say:

“Whoever conceals knowledge would be muzzled on the Day of Resurrection with a muzzle of fire.”

And by not allowing their decisions to be ever challenged, appealed, reviewed, denied or questioned, they are imposing their thoughts on others, which is clearly unIslamic.

The Quran states in Surah Al Baqarah:

“There is no compulsion in Islam. Certainly, right has become clearly distinct from wrong.”

It is also unIslamic because the Kedah state government is obviously against the concept of Shura, which calls for the consultation of its people in matters of society.

The Quran states in Surah Al Shura:

“Those who listen to their Lord, and establish regular prayer; who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation; who spend out of what we bestow on them for sustenance, [are praised].”

“The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrong doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous.”

The Quran states in Surah Al Imran:

“So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].”

Finally, I am convinced that nowhere in the religion of Islam is it ever mentioned that the Kedah state government is God. Not in the Quran and not in the Hadiths.

So in accordance with Islam, all action taken by the government must always be questioned by the people for the best interest of the people.

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

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