On February 10, Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria slammed Prime Minister Najib Razak’s attendance of Thaipusam celebrations at Batu Caves as 'sacrificing his faith' and was not Islamic.
He was also dismayed when Najib wore the 'kurta' when attending the festival.
However, he took a 360 degree turn yesterday after 'listening' to the prime minister. And finally, Harussani agreed that what Najib did was not against Islamic doctrine.
Mufti pun boleh cakap lepas ke? I don't know why must it took Najib to explain for Harussani to understand. He should have given it a deep thought before making such statements.
Wrong perception and adverse impression always lead to bad words. As I mentioned in my few postings, if we keep on getting the picture from people who are against somebody, the subject will remain rotten forever.
Now, back to the 'kurta'. I think mostly each and everyone of us is aware that kurta is a traditional attire. In India, the Muslims also wear it, just like our 'baju Melayu' which is well-accepted among our multi-racial society.
In Indonesia, for instance, a drive from Medan to Lake Toba will take us through Prapat where pig sellers along the road wear the traditional 'songkok'.
I don't think 'songkok' symbolises a religion. Its more of a traditional patch in the Nusantara. The 'jalabiyah' among the Arabs does not reflect Islam as the non-Muslim such as the Jews and the Erithrean Christians also wear it.
Even the 'cheongsam' does not signifies a religion as it is only a part of the Chinese culture attire.
I am sad that so many people made so many unfair statements about issues pertaining to attire, festivals and processions. In a Malaysian context where we are proud of our multi-religion, multi-racial and multi-culture society, we have long accepted each other's tradition as a common heritage.
Najib attended the function as a leader of a multi-racial and multi-religious nation, who respects other religions and faiths (as encouraged by Islam) and in showing appreciation for the contribution of the Hindus toward nation building.
And what is wrong if he enters the temple?
Hassan al-Turabi, the Sudanese ulama whom I stayed with in Khartoum in 1996, used to say that even non-Muslims can walk into a mosque to seek shelter from his enemy or from the rain. However, it is sad to note that most Muslims are ignoring such an Islamic reality nowadays.
I hope we don't make such a 'silly' mistake anymore.
'Lakum dinukum waliyaddin'...