PETALING JAYA: There is no need for Muslims to be overly concerned with the cutlery used at the homes of their non-Muslim friends, says Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.
He said that as long as the food served was halal, there should be no worries about consuming it, adding that some Muslims were known to have reservations using cups, plates and other utensils in non-Muslim homes.
Dr Asri said these Muslims feared these everyday utensils could be “tainted” with non-halal substances but he said such concerns were unfounded.
“It is not necessary or obligatory for Muslims to be unreasonably cautious of these ‘unseen possibilities’.
“What’s the use of paying a visit to the homes of our non-Muslims friends if we feel we can’t eat or drink there?” he said, in response to a question posed by a reader in the mufti’s weekly column on mStar Online, the Malay news portal of The Star.
Dr Asri expressed his disappointment with the prevalence of the misconception, which he described as “rubbish”.
“I am disappointed with such interpretations of Islam. The religion urges us to think; it heightens our intelligence. But these opinions only make a person less than intelligent .”
He also said Islam viewed acts that promoted good-neighbourliness and the strengthening of social bonds with non-Muslims as a positive thing.
“For Muslims, there is religious merit in doing good to both other Muslims and non-Muslims.
“This is a humanitarian issue and concerns the values of a civilised religion,” he said.
Dr Asri’s column, which kicked off last week, has generated considerable feedback in the form of comments and questions from Malaysians in the country and abroad.
Non-Muslim readers have written in to express their thanks for his comments last week, in which he said that Muslims should not be offended if non-Muslims used the salam to greet them.
Several readers said they had been reprimanded by some Muslims for doing so.
Readers, both Muslims and non-Muslims, are invited to send in their queries to the mufti. E-mail the questions, in English or Malay, to email@example.com.
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