JAKIM has once again stressed the fact that inter-religious marriages and relationships are not tolerated in Malaysia. According to Datuk Othman Mustapha, director general of the Malaysian Islamic-Development Department (JAKIM) – any marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim is outlawed, and the state Islamic religious authorities will carry out necessary actions.
He says that Islamic family laws state that no Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman and no Muslim woman can marry a non-Muslim man.
“A marriage between spouses of different religions is completely prohibited and against the principle of beliefs of the Shafie sect (Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah) in Malaysia,” he added.
He also commented on a University Malaya’s study in which the issue of liberalism in Muslim marriages was a focus. In this study, the phenomenon of non-Muslim spouses not having to convert from their religions was highlighted. University Malaya Academy of Islamic Studies, Department of Akidah and Islamic Thought Associate Prof Dr Khadijah Hambali has urged religious authorities in the country to conduct specific actions to curb the phenomenon.
While we are in fact aware that non-Muslims marrying a Muslim would convert into Islam before the marriage ceremony, to highlight the importance of this issue seems a bit threatening for people of any religion. So why the sudden urge to stress the issue? Aren’t people free to fall in love with whoever they choose and figure out the best options for themselves?
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