Zaid: Refer to Quran, don’t just accept muftis’ words

zaid-ibrahimPETALING JAYA: Do your own research instead of relying solely on the words of a religious leader, said former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim.

He was speaking in support of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s comments that any 1MDB-sponsored haj was not “mabrur” (not accepted).

“We don’t need to be a mufti to know what is halal and what is haram. We have been taught of this since we were little,” said Zaid in an interview with FMT.

“If we do illegal things (for money), if we take money that comes from haram (forbidden) sources, then it doesn’t matter if we go to Mecca or Medina, it would not be accepted if the money is haram.

“And that was what Mahathir raised. If we use 1MDB’s money to perform haj, then it would not be mabrur .”

1MDB has denied as “baseless and unsubstantiated” the allegation by Mahathir that the state-owned firm had been sponsoring haj pilgrimages for imams and village leaders through its foundation using “stolen” money.

1MDB said it had generated its own funds from its previous energy production facilities, and more recently, in real estate development.

“Funds generated from these business operations are contributed to Yayasan 1MDB, which then uses such funds to sponsor the Program Khas Haji,” it added in a statement issued earlier.

Some federal ministers and muftis had also came to 1MDB’s defence.

Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman had said whether someone’s haj was accepted by God or not had nothing to do with the source of funding, but the deeds of those performing the haj.

Zaid said: “Of course 1MDB would say the money was not stolen, and that it was generated from businesses. But I hope the Malays and the Muslims will not get confused. What Mahathir said was right.

“And if some muftis want to defend 1MDB, that too, we can understand. But we have to check when these religious leaders speak, we have to ask, who pays their salary?

“Because there are many people who are trading religion. Just like some politicians who use Islam (to gain influence).”

He added that while there were good and honest religious leaders, there were also those who lived paycheck by paycheck and, hence, had no choice but to say good things about the government.

“There are plenty of Islamic books and Al-Quran translations out there. So do your own research and think for yourself instead of relying solely on the words of religious leaders.”