Jakim: Muslims need not join mass multi-faith prayer sessions, but non-Muslims free to do so

Kenneth Tee
Muslims perform Friday prayers at a mosque in Sepang on August 2, 2013. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) today said that Muslims are not obligated to join mass prayer sessions, whether together silently or in succession, with other religions in any organised events.

The federal Islamic body referred to a decision made during a national fatwa committee meeting in 2006, and a similar Federal Territories-level meeting.

“It is not ‘harus’ for Muslims to participate in mass prayer sessions with other religions,” said the agency’s corporate communications unit in a statement.

“Harus” refers to a neutral Shariah ruling that means “allowed”, as opposed to “wajib” or obligated and “haram” or forbidden.

However, Jakim said non-Muslims are not restricted from organising or joining such mass prayers.

Jakim said it made the decision following an inquiry by the Department of National Unity and Integration under the Prime Minister’s Department on August 6 of instances involving Muslims participating in such prayers.

The statement came after The Malaysian Insight earlier today reported an alleged directive by the Prime Minister’s Department barring both Muslims and non-Muslims prying together.

It reported that the directive was from the committee to promote understanding and harmony between religions under the Department of National Unity and Integration.

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