PUTRAJAYA: Islam must not be perceived as the property of the Malays, the minister in charge of Islamic affairs told a seminar on Islamic jurisprudence today.
Mujahid Yusof Rawa said Muslims in Malaysia should strive to fulfil Islam’s universal appeal based on the Quranic concept of “rahmatan lil alamin”, or mercy for the world.
“The choice we have is between creating a society that aspires rahmatan lil alamin based on maqasid shariah (higher objectives of Islamic laws) without racial and religious consideration, or to remain stagnant in a country where its people are racially polarised,” Mujahid told a seminar on Fiqh al-Waqi, or contemporary Islamic jurisprudence.
Mujahid said it was wrong to view Islam as a Malay religion because its teachings were universal.
“It will be an injustice if Islam is interpreted through the perspective of Malays only,” he said.
Another speaker at the conference, Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, urged Muslim scholars to understand different cultures and customs before issuing fatwas.
Asri said there were some who disagreed with this view by arguing that Islam was suitable for all times and places.
“This is a shallow view,” said Asri.
He said Muslims must come to terms with the reality of a changing world.
“There are different cultures and problems in different times and places,” he said.
He said Muslim scholars should take into account contemporary issues in coming out with Islamic rulings, instead of merely quoting verses from books of old.
“There are some who are too literal and follow rulings on politics and economy issued by scholars who are shallow and who lived in a different environment with different needs.”