PETALING JAYA: A video by preacher Ustaz Azhar Idrus has caused an uproar on social media for his comments on why Muslims should refrain from cleaning up non-Muslims’ houses of worship that were affected by the floods.
In the video, which is over a minute long, Azhar was answering a question asking whether Muslims can help clean up Hindu temples that were affected by the floods.
He said those professing the Muslim faith can only clean up mosques and surau, but not houses of worship of other religions.
"We have our own religion. We can clean up mosques and surau, but we do not wash idols. And through that, we can differentiate those who are faithful from those who are impious," he said.
The video, which was uploaded on Wednesday (Dec 30), has received around 35,800 likes and 3,709 comments.
In the comments session, there were mixed reactions with some users calling out the preacher for being insensitive towards the predicament faced by flood victims while some agreed with him.
Tiktok user @AizatonTikTok said he will still offer to clean up temples, as he adheres to the teachings of Islam, which includes respecting other religions.
"As much as the others help us to clean up mosques, I will help them to clean up temples. Respect," he said.
User @thiagarajan292 questioned if Azhar helped any flood victims.
"Ustaz, did you help any flood victims? I have not seen your face," he said.
However, some social media users agreed with Azhar on the matter.
Nadraja@GK agreed that what the preacher was saying was correct and factual.
"That is why when it comes to seeking help from Muslims, there are many limitations. I understand."
Several days ago, a video documenting the efforts of young volunteers, including students from International Islamic University Malaysia cleaning a Hindu temple in Klang went viral on social media.
Nallan Dhanabalan’s video of the heartwarming event has since garnered upwards of 65,700 likes on TikTok, with the video also being shared on Twitter by local cartoonist Zunar.
Previously, Nallan shared a video of a group of Indian boys cleaning up a mosque nearby Klang that was affected by the floods.
In the video, a group of Indian boys are seen busy cleaning up the mosque, their hands full of mops and pails.
Azhar was not new to stoking controversy, in 2017 the preacher was condemned by moderation advocates saying that Muslim girls were marriageable at 15 and should not take photos in non-Muslim owned photo studios. Azhar was replying to a question from a reader in Harakah Daily's question-and-answer section.
He added that women were marrying later due to pursuing their education and by the time they are finished with university they are about 28 years old.
"But at 28, no one would want to marry them and even if there were, the women’s value has dropped," he said in the article.