Jakim: Not compulsory for Muslims to participate in inter-faith prayers

Jakim: Not compulsory for Muslims to participate in inter-faith prayers

PUCHONG: It is not compulsory for Muslims to participate in inter-faith joint prayers, says the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

However, it did not prevent those from other faiths to organise or participate in such events.

Jakim’s statement come following a directive from a committee to promote understanding and harmony between religions, which is under the National Unity and Integration Department, that both of these types of prayers should not be held in the same programme

Jakim said on Aug 6, the National Unity and Integration Department had asked the former for its views on the involvement of Muslims in mass prayers silently or if the prayers should take turns according to the respective religions during such events.

“Jakim had given its views based on the decision made by the National Fatwa Muzakarah Committee Council (MKI) in Islamic affairs, as well as the Federal Territories Syarak Consultative Committee, which met in 2006, that did not make it compulsory for Muslims to get involved in mass prayers with other religions.

“However, the decision did not prevent those from other religions to organise or be involved in such an event,” it said.

An online portal reported that the committee to promote understanding and harmony between religions, which is under the National Unity and Integration Department, had issued the directive on Sept 3.

The directive mentioned two types of prayer sessions – one where Muslims recite their prayer simultaneously with members of other faiths who recites their own prayers before a function begins.

The second is when Muslims and non-Muslim groups each pray before a function begins.

The directive stated that on the advice from Jakim, both of these types of prayers should not be held in the same programme.

It instead said that such prayers should be replaced with activities where the message of unity is shared.

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