PETALING JAYA: Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Noor said the teachings of foreign preachers could contradict the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah doctrine which is widely adopted in Malaysia.
Wan Salim said there were enough local preachers nationwide who could shed light on Islam just as well.
He said while generally there was no difference when it came to Islamic teachings around the world, some were interspersed with local culture that saw practices differ from one region to another, such as the Middle East, Africa and Indo-Pakistan.
In those regions, Muslims predominantly adhered to the Hanafi or Hanbali school of thought, he said.
“In this side of the world we follow the Syafie school of thought,” he told FMT.
There are four primary Sunni schools of thought, with the remaining one being Maliki.
Wan Salim was commenting on Terengganu’s edict or fatwa against Syrian-born preacher Mhd Mohib Khouli Nazem who is based in Besut.
Terengganu mufti Sabri Haron said the teachings by the preacher, known as Ustaz Mohib, were “misguided, misleading and contradicted the pillars of Islamic faith”.
Sabri said Mohib’s teachings amounted to a form of religious extremism and were a threat to national security. Others have alleged that he was spreading pro-Wahhabi beliefs.
Wan Salim said Muslim unity in the nation could be threatened if foreign preachers were given a free rein and not monitored. It also had the potential of creating dangerous groups like the Islamic State militants, he added.
In some cases, Wan Salim said, foreign preachers would interpret the religion according to their own understanding which could lead to conflict among members of the community.
He cited the likes of Mohib who had been critical of local preachers and would belittle them.
Meanwhile, Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman said while there was no issue over foreign preachers giving talks in the country, the authorities needed to keep tabs on them.
These foreign preachers should also get the authorities’ approval before giving religious talks, he added.