Controversial Astora Jabat invited to give talk without Perak govt’s knowledge

Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria said extending the invitation to Astora Jabat to speak at the IPT programme was imprudent and showed disrespect for the religious institution which had issued a fatwa on the latter’s writings. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria said extending the invitation to Astora Jabat to speak at the IPT programme was imprudent and showed disrespect for the religious institution which had issued a fatwa on the latter’s writings. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Oct 11 — A higher education institution (IPT) in Perak has been taken to task for inviting controversial writer Astora Jabat to speak at a programme without the state government’s knowledge.

State Islamic Affairs and Education, and Rural and Entrepreneurial Development Committee chairman,  Asmuni Awi said the Perak Islamic Religious Department (JAIPk) and Mufti Department were also not informed by the IPT’s management on inviting the writer to speak at the event.

“I got to know about this matter after it was viralled on social media and I did ask the academic association of the IPT about it, and it was clear that the association too did not know about the invitation to Astora Jabat.

“I want the IPT’s vice-chancellor to explain the matter,” he said when met by reporters at a state-level presentation of Awards for Islamic Education Excellence 2019, which was graced by the Sultan of Perak,  Sultan Nazrin Shah at the Perak Institute of Islamic Administration, here, today.

Asmuni said he would meet up with the IPT’s management for an explanation on the issue.

“We have already stated that any religious talk must be by those with credentials, otherwise with the permission or approval by the relevant authorities.

“I ask that all parties including learning institutions to adhere to the rulings made by the Fatwa Committee in order to avoid controversies or confusion,” he said.

Yesterday, Perak Mufti, Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria in a statement said extending the invitation to Astora Jabat to speak at the IPT programme was imprudent and showed disrespect for the religious institution which had issued a fatwa (edict) on the latter’s writings on azab kubur (punishment after death).

The Fatwa Committee at its 161st meeting, held on Dec 17, 2003, agreed to reject the writer’s take on azab kubur as it was deemed contradictory to Quranic teachings, the Sunnah and consensus of Islamic scholars. The committee’s decision was relayed through a government gazette dated July 29, 2004. — Bernama

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