The G25 group of prominent Malays does not fully understand the concept of wasatiyyah and maqasid syariah which they claim to support, said chairman of the Wasatiyyah Institute of Malaysia Tan Sri Dr Abdullah Md Zin.
As chairman of the Wasatiyyah Institute, he said he felt compelled to clarify the matter because the G25 members had reportedly said that they were fighting for wasatiyyah, often translated as moderation, and the concept of maqasid syariah which means the purpose or intent of Islamic law.
He said despite claiming to be in line with the concepts, some of the statements by members of the G25 which he has read in the media talked about matters which were clearly not in line with the concepts and at times even at odds with Islamic teachings.
“They (G25) do not understand the term wasatiyyah and maqasid syariah,” Abdullah told a media conference at the sidelines of the Umno assembly.
Dr Abdullah, who is also the Prime Minister’s Religious Adviser, said the word moderation popularly used to define wasatiyyah does not encompass the full meaning of the concept.
He said that before the Government launched its aim to promote the approach of wasatiyyah in 2013, the Prime Minister stressed that wasatiyyah could not be translated merely to mean moderation.
“If it just means moderation, then it would mean that we must be moderate even in practising our religion, so there are negative connotations if we just defined the term as ‘moderate’.”
As such, the word wasatiyyah was used instead of moderation.
Dr Abdullah said that wasatiyyah more accurately means “justly balanced”, meaning that the concept covers justice, excellence and balance, among others.
He also explained that the only authorities that could act on the group following their statement regarding Syariah laws, especially those relating to khalwat, were the respective states.
G25 recently announced its plan to propose to the Government to review or abolish Syariah laws which were not in line with the spirit of the Federal Constitution, including those regarding khalwat (close proximity).
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