10 things about: Nik Aziz, ‘Tok Guru’

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was perhaps best known for his humility, having lived in an old wooden house even while heading Kelantan for over two decades.

Nik Aziz, who was PAS’ spiritual adviser for 24 years since 1991, died at 84 yesterday after battling prostate cancer.

For all his humility, Nik Aziz sparked controversies with his fundamental Islamic approach of governance when he became Kelantan mentri besar after the Islamist party won the east coast state in 1990, reportedly banning public dancing and singing, as well as imposing gender segregation at payment counters in supermarkets.

He also reportedly banned lipstick in government departments in 1996. His remarks on rape and beautiful women also did not go down well with women’s groups.

Yet, Nik Aziz was also hailed for standing up to proposals for a PAS-Umno unity government, saying in 2013 that he would not allow it for as long as he lived.

Nik Aziz, who was PAS’ spiritual adviser for 24 years since 1991, died at 84 yesterday after battling prostate cancer. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Nik Aziz, who was PAS’ spiritual adviser for 24 years since 1991, died at 84 yesterday after battling prostate cancer. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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Here are Nik Aziz’s 10 quotable quotes on politics, women and spirituality:

– No one can arrange for unity between PAS and Umno, what more to do so secretly. This party is open to the public and it belongs to its members. I will not allow it, as long as I’m alive, I will not permit efforts to foster unity between PAS and Umno, [May 2013]

– Umno rejects Islam. We can see that they mock Islam. They throw away Islam like expired goods, like expired medicine that we throw away. [November 2012]

– PAS almost crumbled because of unity attempts with BN (Barisan Nasional). There is a lesson to be learnt from this...BN is an unfaithful partner. [June 2010]

– Pretty women have already been endowed with looks. They usually end up having rich husbands. It is the women who don’t have the looks that we should give a little help to. We give them jobs, so they can have money. [July 1999]

– If a woman comes into the office wearing lipstick, that defeats the purpose of covering her head with a scarf. [August 1996]

– She exposed her ‘aurat’. Got raped. Serves her right that she got raped. She’s cheap. She cheapened her calves, face, thighs. She’s cheap. Rape lah. [January 2008]

– The problem now is that there are people who want God to be translated to ‘Allah’. This is not correct. God means ‘Tuhan’; it doesn’t mean ‘Allah’. ‘Allah’ is different, ‘Tuhan’ is different...the real ‘Tuhan’ is ‘Allah’, but God in the English language cannot be translated to ‘Allah’, only ‘Tuhan’. [January 2014]

– Worship isn’t just a matter of praying; worship actually means humbling yourself before God. [August 2009]

– If a car is damaged, a mechanic will fix it. If the body has ailments, a doctor will heal it. If people have problems in life, it is the Creator of mankind that we must refer to. It’s so strange for people to confess Allah SWT as God, but refuse to refer to Allah’s commandments when they face problems. [May 2010]

– Those who break ties from God are like a wau with a broken string. Even though the wau with the broken string looks great, moving to the left and to the right, flying high upon the wind, it will not last long as it will fall eventually. Compare that to a wau with a string. It’s controlled by the string. So it is with people who break ties with God and those who are tied to God. [February 2010]

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