Shariah Index good for non-Muslims too, PM says

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib  Razak attending the Ulama' Umara' programme and launches Syariah Index at Putrajaya International Convention Centre, February 10, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak attending the Ulama' Umara' programme and launches Syariah Index at Putrajaya International Convention Centre, February 10, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 10 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak launched today a Shariah Index to “scientifically” measure the country’s compliance to Islamic teachings, saying the index would also benefit non-Muslims.

The index will measure the compliance of eight fields — judiciary, politics, economics, health, education, culture, infrastructure and environment, and social — with “maqasid syariah”, or the intentions of Shariah.

“Non-Muslims also benefit from using the index,” Najib said in his keynote address at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre here.

“If we together accept the values of discipline, trust, justice, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency as universal values, then we will accept the two functions of the Malaysian Shariah Index that I mentioned just now,” the prime minister added.

The two functions of the index Najib referred to were to measure the Shariah-compliance of national policies, as well as the Shariah-compliance of their implementation.

Najib gave the examples of non-Muslims opening Islamic bank accounts and halal certification as proof of them accepting Islamic systems.

There are five aspects of “maqasid shariah”: preserving religion, life, intellect, heredity and possessions.

Naib first announced the index last year and said it was being developed through an effort spearheaded by Jakim in collaboration with the International Islamic University of Malaysia and the Islamic Missionary Foundation of Malaysia.

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