Muslim charged with blasphemy a ‘lying deviant’, Perak mufti claims

Harussani alleged that Wan Sulaiman Wan Ismail, 53, had lied to his students that he was a very respected religious scholar who had given classes to all of the country's muftis. — File pic
Harussani alleged that Wan Sulaiman Wan Ismail, 53, had lied to his students that he was a very respected religious scholar who had given classes to all of the country's muftis. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — The Perak Muslim man who was charged with allegedly deriding hadith is an “outright liar” who taught “deviant” teachings, the state's mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria claimed today.

He alleged that Wan Sulaiman Wan Ismail, 53, had lied to his students that he was a very respected religious scholar who had given classes to all of the country's muftis.

"He is giving classes without sanction. He is an outright liar who has come up with so many excuses.

“He once claimed that all the muftis are his students," the Perak mufti told Malay Mail Online when asked to comment on the case.

In addition, Harussani accused Wan Sulaiman of claiming that the "shahadah", or the Islamic declaration of faith, must mention the latter’s name for it to be genuine.

"He also said the shahadah must come from him," the mufti added.

The shahadah is recited to reaffirm a Muslim’s belief and it is also recited to induct a convert into the faith.

Earlier today, Malay Mail Online reported that Wan Sulaiman was charged purportedly after asking several religious teachers, including scholars in the Ipoh mufti office, the Perak religious authorities and even state mosque imams for the origin of the shahadah, among others.

In 2014, Wan Sulaiman said Perak Islamic Religious Department (JAIP) had summoned him several times and tried to dissuade him from asking such questions.

But on January 21 this year, the state religious enforcers raided his home in Ipoh and confiscated his handwritten personal notes, besides screening his personal computer and mobile phone.

On the same day, Wan Sulaiman was charged in the Ipoh Shariah High Court under Section 15 of the Perak Shariah Criminal Enactment 1992 with “mocking, deriding, ridiculing or insulting Quranic or hadith texts”.

But Harussani today claimed the man was only charged for teaching without sanction.

"For now he is being charged for giving classes without approval. You have to ask JAIP the rest,” said Harussani.

The charge sheet sighted by Malay Mail Online did not state that Wan Sulaiman committed such offence.

JAIP could not be reached for comments at the time of writing.

Wan Sulaiman's case was initially to be heard on May 21 but it has been postponed to July 2. If found guilty, Wan Sulaiman can be fined not more than RM5,000, jailed not more than three years, or both.

His family and friends are expected to hold a press conference today to raise funds for his case.