KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said the government is still discussing the tabling of the Mufti (Federal Territories) Bill, amid opposition over the law restricting candidates to follow certain Islamic schools of thoughts.

Anwar said, however, that there is no dispute over the Sunni sect, and this discussion will include four schools of jurisprudence under it: Shafie, Maliki, Hanafi and Hambali.

“We are currently discussing the Mufti Bill, with no dispute over the issue of Sunni teachings, referring to the views of Shafie, Maliki, Hanafi, Hambali.

“Sometimes, the details are discussed in depth so I defer to the experts and it will subsequently be referred to the Conference of Rulers,” he told reporters after his speech at Global Madani Forum 2024 here today.

Yesterday, Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail reportedly expressed opposition to the use of the Conference of Rulers' name in endorsing the Mufti Bill.

His disapproval was conveyed through a Facebook post by Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin saying that any adverse remarks could carry legal consequences.

On July 2, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar introduced the Mufti (Federal Territories) Bill 2024 for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat.

According to a Bernama report, the Bill outlines various responsibilities of the mufti, including advising the King on Shariah law matters, issuing fatwas, presenting Shariah law views in court, and determining the Qibla direction.

It had also spelt out several requirements for a mufti, including subscribing to:

  • Sunni sect
  • Shafie school of jurisprudence
  • Ash'arism and Maturidism schools of theology
  • Teachings of Imam al-Ghazali and Imam Junaid in Sufism

In Malaysia, only the Sunni denomination of Islam and its Shafie school of jurisprudence are considered official by Putrajaya. Other minority denominations such as Shiah and Ahmadi, and also the so-called “liberal Islam”, are considered deviants.