JOHOR BARU, Feb 2 — The Johor Islamic Religious Council (MAINJ) today issued a fatwa prohibiting Muslims from attending and participating in religious rituals of other faiths in the state.

State Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman, Mohd Fared Mohd Khalid, said that the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has consented to the fatwa, which came into effect today.

He said the ulama (religious scholars) from the four schools of Islamic thought, namely Shafie, Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali, have agreed that Muslims are prohibited from attending and participating in religious rituals of other faiths.


“These non-Islamic religious rituals include in houses of worship, as well as other places.

However, according to a number of scholars, Muslims are allowed to fulfil invitations to a ceremony in conjunction with a celebration of other faiths without a religious ritual ceremony, which is permissible, he told reporters at the Iskandar Islamic Centre, here, today.

Mohd Fared said that this fatwa is hoped to be able to provide a better understanding among Muslims in Johor, and at the same time, guidelines were also issued on non-Muslim festivals which Muslims can attend.


“Among other things, the ceremony is not accompanied by rituals including religious symbols, or singing religious songs which are against the Islamic faith,” he said.

Thus, Mohd Fared said that MAINJ will meet with religious leaders and management of non-Muslim houses of worship, to explain and clarify the guidelines.

“This ban is not meant to disturb the harmony between races, but simply to give advice and guidance, so that community leaders are careful in promoting togetherness without violating certain boundaries,” he said, adding that individuals who violate the guidelines can be prosecuted in accordance with Section 9 of the Johor Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 1997. — Bernama