Man behind ‘Valet Doa’ just advised to stop, minister says

By Ida Lim
Zulkifli said commercial services such as 'Valet Doa' is not in line with Islamic teachings. — Facebook screengrab

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 ― The Selangor Mufti Department has advised a man promoting “Valet Doa“ to stop offering the unorthodox prayer by proxy service in Mecca, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom told Parliament today.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and in charge of Islamic affairs said other mufti departments in Selangor, Sabah, Pahang and the Federal Territories had also issued advice and Islamic laws prohibiting the promotion of the “Valet Doa” service.

“The government have already reminded Muslims in this country to be wary and not to be deceived with individuals or organisations that offer 'Valet Doa' services in the holy city of Mecca with certain prices, including discounted prices,” Jamil Khir said.

“Based on the Selangor residence of this individual who was running Valet Doa, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department and the Selangor Mufti Department have called in this individual to advise him to stop the 'Valet Doa' services, because it can cause negative impact to the sanctity of Islam and cause misunderstanding and hurt akidah (faith),” he added.

Jamil Khir said the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) is working together with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to monitor the Facebook account promoting the “Valet Doa” services, besides supporting any MCMC efforts to eradicate activities that could affect Islam's sanctity.

“The government also urges Muslims to provide information to Jakim and state Islamic departments if there are any doubts or suspicions on an issue like this,” he said.

Jamil Khir, who oversees Islamic affairs, was responding to Pasir Gudang MP Datuk Normala Abdul Samad's question on the government's actions regarding the “Valet Doa” service.

Bukit Gantang MP Idris Ahmad noted that there has been schemes offered which appear to purport a fast-track route to heaven.

“What is the ministry's efforts to curb this problem, especially in protecting the image of Islam that has been tarnished and as if Islam can be bought and sold, or as if heaven is only for those who have money and those that don't have money will not have the chance to go to heaven?” Idris asked.

Jamil Khir responded that the federal government, state Islamic departments and mufti departments, Jakim and other Islamic agencies have been carrying out various efforts to increase Muslims' faith and understanding of Islam.

The service which started making waves on Facebook in January, is run by a man calling himself “Haji Arin”. His first trip to Mecca was scheduled for this month.

He offers a 365-day guarantee for customers, pledging to repeat the prayers according to the original package free of charge, if even one of the wishes of said customer did not come true within the space of a year. He promised a refund if the wishes were unfulfilled six months after a second prayer attempt.