G25 misunderstands wasatiyyah concept, says PM's religious advisor

  • Nation
  • Friday, 11 Dec 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The G25 group of prominent Malays does not fully understand the concept of wasatiyyah (moderation) and maqasid syariah (Islamic jurisprudence), said Wasatiyyah Institute of Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Dr Abdullah Md Zin (pic).

Abdullah, who is also the Prime Minister's religious adviser said he had read media statements by G25 members which talked about matters which were clearly not in line with the concepts and at times even at odds with Islamic teachings.

He added that he felt compelled to issue a clarification as G25 members had reportedly said that they were fighting for wasatiyyah and maqasid syariah.

Abdullah said wasatiyyah, which is popularly defined as "moderation", does not encompass the full meaning of the concept.

He said that before the Government launched its aim to promote the wasatiyyah approach in 2013, the Prime Minister stressed that it could not be translated merely to mean moderation.

Abdullah said there were negative connotations if wasatiyyah was just defined as being "moderate".

"If it just means moderation, then it would mean that we must be moderate even when practising Islam," he said.

Abdullah said that wasatiyyah more accurately means "justly balanced" meaning that the concept covers justice, excellence and balance among others.

He added that the only bodies that could act on G25 following their statements on Syariah laws, especially khalwat (close proximity) laws are the state religious authorities.

Abdullah said so far the muftis of Negri Sembilan and Perak had already issued statements against the group.

G25 recently announced its plan to propose to the Government to review or abolish Syariah laws that were not in line with the spirit of the Federal Constitution, including those regarding khalwat.

The Wasatiyyah Institute of Malaysia is under the Prime Minister's Department.

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