KUALA NERUS: The National Fatwa Council Muzakarah decided Thursday that touching and holding dogs is against mainstream Islamic doctrines in this country, which follows the Imam Shafie school of thought.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said Islam revered all animals including dogs, but Muslims must adhere to the stipulated Islamic code with regards to touching dogs.
He said this to reporters after closing the National Fatwa Committee Conference 2014, which was also attended by Malaysia Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Othman Mustaffa and National Fatwa Council chairman Tan Sri Dr Abdul Shukor Husin, here.
Jamil Khir said Jakim would call on the organisers of the recent (I Want to Touch a Dog) event to get a clearer picture.
The event, held at Central Park in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, attracted over 800 people from all faiths, and was held to encourage compassion towards dogs.
However, it drew flak from the Islamic religious authorities after some Muslim visitors to the event, including children, were pictured touching and petting the dogs at the event.
Jamil Khir also said the conference also discussed other major issues including the Islamic State (IS), particularly on Malaysian extremists fighting in Syria, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and surrogacy.
On IS, he said the Council found that Muslims were still confused about the context of jihad (holy war), martyrdom and the religious rulings on these - not just by Muslims in Malaysia but also throughout the world.
Jamil Khir said the Malaysians recruited were willing to fight in Syria in the name of IS, which was against true Islamic teachings.
On the GST to be implemented next April, Jamil Khir said the Council was of the view that Islam allowed a ruling Government to collect tax, but it had to be within the Islamic legal framework.
On surrogacy, the Minister said the Council decided that it was not encouraged except in mitigating circumstances.
He said the details of the decisions or edicts made by the council at its meeting would be released soon by the secretariat of the Malaysia National Fatwa Committee. - Bernama