‘Valet Doa’ operator told to stop it or face action, says minister


KUALA LUMPUR: The government has threatened to take action against a “Valet Doa” service operator who offers to courier the prayers of Muslims here to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina for a fee.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom today said the Selangor mufti and the state’s Islamic department had summoned those behind the service to instruct that it be discontinued.

“Although there is no fatwa (edict) by the mufti, any attempt to disobey the directive can result in action being taken after the instruction is issued,” he said in answering an oral question in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He was replying to Normala Abdul Samad (BN-Pasir Gudang) on measures the authorities had taken regarding this service which, she said, was tarnishing the image of Islam.

The “Valet Doa” service appeared on Facebook in late January. It was peddled by an individual calling himself Haji Arin.

It immediately attracted attention as it offered to deliver one’s prayers to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia with payment rates of between RM250 and RM5,000.

The promotion in its early stage gave a guarantee that prayers sent through the service would see wishes being fulfilled.

Jamil said the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) was cooperating with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to monitor the Facebook account, and would support any action the MCMC decided to take.

The account is still in operation, with the last posting made two days ago.

However, the phrase “confirm makbul” (fulfilment confirmed) has been replaced with “insyaAllah makbul” (fulfilment up to God), and the money-back guarantee for wishes that are unfulfilled within one year is no longer given.

According to a statement by the “Valet Doa” operator on Feb 19, the changes were made after many religious authorities, including Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria and Federal Territory mufti Zulkifli Mohamad, issued statements criticising the service.

Jamil said today the service had brought a negative effect on Islam, and led to misunderstandings and erosion of faith among Muslims.

“There are unhealthy elements in the advertisement. The organiser has to understand it is not wrong to convey someone else’s prayer but what is wrong is charging payment for doing it.”