Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria’s recent remarks criticising a requirement by PAS to have its candidates take an oath of loyalty, as well as his definition of the concept of jihad in Islam to include struggle for one's race, drew the ire of PAS leaders.
Information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said Harussani should first get his sources right before commenting on certain issues, and pointed out that the practice of oath-taking, or bay'ah, were a practice endorsed in Islam.
He cited the historic events during the life of Prophet Muhammad, such as the pledge taken by Muslims at al-Aqabah and the Hudaybiyah agreement which the Prophet entered into with his Makkan enemies.
“PAS imposes bay'ah on candidates representing the party so that they will not betray the people’s trust, especially when faced with UMNO's tactics of using money,” he explained.
PAS candidates, said the Pahang PAS commissioner, were always reminded to respect the trust placed on them by voters.
“If they are offered millions of ringgit to defect, leading to the fall of an elected government, is such an action acceptable under principle of Islam?
"In the Perak power grab, does Harussani condone the act?” he asked, referring to the coup in Perak in 2009 following a string of defections involving PKR and DAP elected state representatives.
PAS vice president Husam Musa meanwhile took Harussani to task for equating the Islamic notion of 'holy struggle', or jihad, with the struggle based on race.
“Islam transcends racial lines and is not limited to any community. Islam brings the agenda of justice, unity, fairness and welfare above racial considerations. UMNO only embraces Islam when it needs to,” said Husam, referring to Harussani's remarks made during his speech at the launch of Jalur Tiga, a new group formed by sacked PAS state assemblyman Dr Hasan Ali.
Husam opined that such views were proof of UMNO's failure to develop the Malay community. "It is wrong to put a racist Malay agenda above Islam,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Tuan Ibrahim also questioned Harussani’s consistency in advising the government on Islam, and cited his recent about-turn over his criticism against prime minister Najib Razak's presence at Thaipusam celebrations.
Harussani had earlier spoken out against Najib for “selling out his faith” by attending Thaipusam celebrations, only to retract it later following a conversation with the UMNO president.
“This is why many Muslims consider muftis like him... are merely tools for the leaders to justify their actions, even when they are against Islamic principles,” added Tuan Ibrahim.