KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Awang insists that political sermons should be allowed in mosques and suraus, in defiance of the Terengganu Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council’s (Maidam) decision to bar politicians from speaking in the Muslim houses of worship.
The MP for Marang said even prophets were known to give political sermons in mosques and that Muslim leaders are obliged to “speak up” including through political sermons, as he responded to the news of the ban.
“We must realise in Islam, politics and religion are inseparable. Even prophets gave political sermons,” he told reporters in Marang, Terengganu, last night.
“When we talk about Islam and politics, then that’s Islam’s politics. It’s not wrong and we are obliged to speak up.
“What is wrong we must speak up about it. Be it about economics, politics or whatever, Muslims are obliged to speak up if they see something wrong,” he added.
A video of the news conference was aired on his Facebook account.
He said the necessity to voice out against “wrongness” is part of the Islamic teaching called “amar makruf nahi mungkar”, Arabic for “enjoining good and forbidding wrong”.
Some Muslim scholars interpret it as the duty of a Muslim to prevent and disapprove of transgression or indecency.
Politicians have been barred from delivering religious lectures or ceramahs in mosques and suraus in Terengganu, Maidam announced last Tuesday.
In a statement announcing the ban, Terengganu Ruler Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin said he “was upset” that some politicians delivered religious lectures or classes and led Friday prayers without the council’s approval.
In Malaysia, the sultan is the supreme religious leader of his respective state. A state’s Islamic affairs body has complete autonomy over religious affairs, often dictated by a mufti.
Most states ban political leaders and activists from giving religious ceramahs or lectures without its permission.
Earlier this month, Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj decreed that mosques and suraus in the state be free of political influence and elements to prevent fights among Muslims.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah issued a similar call in September last year, saying mosques should be used to promote goodness and not used as a political arena or a place to insult fellow Muslims.
Back in October 2019, Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Shah told Islamic preachers to step down if they wished to use mosques in the state for political purposes.