Doctor must confirm if woman can recite kalimah syahadah before she died, says lawyer

The doctor who had attended to K. Surinder Kaur Bedi will need to confirm that she was conscious and capable of reciting the kalimah syahadah before she died. — AFP pic
The doctor who had attended to K. Surinder Kaur Bedi will need to confirm that she was conscious and capable of reciting the kalimah syahadah before she died. — AFP pic

GEORGE TOWN, April 2 — The doctor who had attended to K. Surinder Kaur Bedi will need to confirm that she was conscious and capable of reciting the kalimah syahadah before she died, a Syarie lawyer said.

Counsel Nizam Bashir said the deceased will have to be conscious, able to recite and understand the kalimah syahadah in order for her conversion to Islam to be valid.

“If the doctor says she was unconscious or incapable of reciting the kalimah syahadah, then the conversion is not valid,” he said when contacted.

He referred to the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Penang) Enactment 2004 which stated that a person must comply with certain requirements before a conversion is valid.

The first is that the person must utter in reasonably intelligible Arabic the two clauses of the Affirmation of Faith.

“At the time of uttering the two clauses, the person must be aware that they mean ‘I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I bear witness that the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. is the Messenger of Allah‘,” he said.

The person must also make the utterance on her own free will.

Surinder’s brother, Imran Khan Mohamad Qurban Ali, claimed the 37-year-old cook had recited the kalimah syahadah twice before him and their mother before she died.

He had asked that the Penang Islamic Department bury Surinder in accordance with Muslim rites and she was buried at the Jelutong Muslim Cemetery yesterday afternoon.

Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor had also issued an official letter to confirm that Surinder had converted to Islam based on Imran Khan’s claims.

The Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia Penang branch disputed Surinder’s conversion before she died.

They lodged a police report last night urging for a thorough investigation into the conversion.

The group’s spokesman, Naamjit Singh, said there were no official documentation to proof that Surinder had converted to Islam just hours before she died.

Surinder was sent to the Penang Hospital unconscious and in critical condition late Saturday night after an altercation with her 55-year-old boyfriend.

They couple were believed to be drunk that night and were in a heated argument before the man hit Surinder repeatedly with his helmet.

Surinder succumbed to her injuries at 5am yesterday while the man was remanded for murder.

The Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia Penang branch is expected to call for a press conference on their next course of action over this issue tomorrow morning.

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