Selangor Sultan: Nothing wrong with Muslims visiting other places of worship
KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 —The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah today said there is nothing to stop Muslims from visiting other places of worship.
He said non-Muslims can visit other religions' places of worship but asked that they do not take part in any rituals or practices.
"There is nothing wrong with attending a wedding or a wake at a church, for example, but Muslims must just observe. Likewise, Christians, I believe, would not join in the prayers or rituals at a Taoist temple,” he said during an interview with The Star.
Sultan Sharafuddin shared a story where his late grandfather Sultan Alam Shah who was an attendee at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, had asked the state Mufti if he could participate in the event.
This was after he had returned from Mecca.
"The Mufti said there was nothing wrong with it if he did not take part in any ritual such as prayers,” he recalled.
The Mufti even said that he could wear the medals and insignia which had the depiction of the cross on it as they weren't religious items.
Sultan Sharafuddin also commented on the recent Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) claims that activities, where Muslims visit non-Muslim houses of worship such as temples, churches, and gurdwaras to learn about these religions apart from their own, should be rejected and restricted.
He said their message was correct and clear and it was best to avoid confusion and misunderstandings since there are laws preventing the proselytisation of other religions to Muslims.
He also urged that politicians not use religion to further their agendas and to do their homework before criticising Mais.
"Only I, as the head of Islam in Selangor and Mais are the authorities of the religion in the state.
"Politicians can say whatever they want but they do not have the final say or authority,” he said.