The Truth Revealed

Monday, January 20, 2014

Aziz Bari: Fatwa Council has no legal standing

The National Fatwa Council has no legal standing as matters concerning Islam is a state affair, says constitutional expert Abdul Aziz Bari.

"The National Fatwa Council resolution has no legal standing as Islam is a matter for the states, and such a group has no constitutional status.

"This federal-state division of powers which put Islam in the hands of the states is maintained by the federal constitution," he said in a statement today.

As such, he stressed, whatever the council says about the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department's (Jais) raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia on Jan 2 has no effect, be it on Muslims or non-Muslims.

"Even opinions issued by the state muftis that are issued on a personal basis and not done in the procedure required by the law in that particular state, are not binding.

"They remain personal opinions of the muftis. They are different from the court decisions which form part of the country's law," Abdul Aziz (left) noted.

He also pointed out that there were inconsistencies of edicts in different states.

"Interestingly enough, there are issues in which muftis do not have similar rulings, such as smoking.

“Some rule it as haram (prohibited) while some others rule as makruh (disapproved)," he said.

He added that only provisions contained in the relevant state enactments would make them binding on Muslims in the state.

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