GEORGE TOWN: A leader of the Ahmadi community here has urged the Penang Islamic authorities to stop labelling them as “kafir” or non-believers as it was against the teachings of the Prophet.
Islamic authorities in Malaysia have declared Ahmadi Islam as a deviationist sect because its followers believe Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, who died in 1908, is the promised Messiah.
Mainstream Muslims, on the other hand, believe the Messiah is Jesus the son of Mary, and that he will come back to earth in his second coming towards the end of time.
Northern Malaysia Ahmadi Muslim Community Association president Abdul Aziz Mohd Ibrahim said the recent comment by Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor that members of the community were to be considered followers of “a religion outside of Islam” was not right.
“The Penang mufti should be uniting all the sects in Islam. With all due respect, we hope he (the mufti) becomes a progressive Islamic leader by not simply declaring other sects or group to be non-Muslims.
“After all, the Prophet Muhammad had once said it was wrong to call anyone a kafir (non-believer), especially if they follow the five pillars of Islam and the six articles of faith,” Aziz told FMT.
Recently, Wan Salim had welcomed a court ruling allowing the followers of Ahmadi Islam to practice as they wished in Selangor, saying members of the community were not Muslims in the first place and Ahmadi Islam should be regarded as a religion other than Islam.
Wan Salim said the ruling was in the spirit of religious freedom as guaranteed in the Federal Constitution, adding that the Ahmadi Muslim sect was never recognised as part of Islam.
The Ahmadi community claims to have tens of millions of followers throughout the world. It currently has its headquarters in Britain.
There is also a strong presence of the Ahmadi community in Penang.