Illi Najwa still a Muslim, says Johor mufti

JOHOR BARU: Johorean Illi Najwa Saddique, who married Indian national hockey captain Manpreet Singh Pawar at a Sikh temple in India, is still a Muslim, says state mufti Datuk Yahya Ahmad.

He said the Johor Religious Islamic Department (JAINJ) had carried out a thorough investigation and found that Illi Najwa is still a Muslim.

JAINJ, he added, had called up Illi Najwa, 27, and her mother as well as several other witnesses to record their statements.

“Investigations revealed that Illi Najwa has never renounced Islam and today, she is with us to have an audience with His Majesty, ” Yahya said in a statement posted on Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar’s official Facebook page.

Yesterday, the Johor Ruler granted an audience to Illi Najwa, who had courted controversy last year for holding a marriage ceremony with Manpreet, 28, at a Sikh temple in Punjab.

Yahya was present during yesterday’s meeting at Istana Bukit Pelangi here, along with JAINJ director Datuk Md Rofiki Shamsudin.

During the audience, Yahya presented the investigation report from JAINJ on the marriage and religious status of Illi Najwa and her partner.

The couple’s local wedding registration is in the process, he said.

“There is no problem registering their marriage and this issue is over, ” he said.

Illi Najwa, a niece of National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, came under scrutiny after she posted news of her travelling to India to get married to Manpreet and videos of her wedding in a Sikh ceremony went viral.

In December last year, Sultan Ibrahim decreed that JAINJ and the state Mufti Department investigate the religious status of Illi Najwa.

It was reportedly love at first sight for Illi Najwa and the Punjab-born Manpreet when they met in 2013 during his participation in the Sultan of Johor Cup.

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