Why choose fatwa over civil laws? UN committee asks Putrajaya

Source: Malaysia Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — The Malaysian government should state the legality of Islamic edicts or fatwas and why they take precedence over civil laws despite not being legally binding, a United Nations (UN) committee has said.

The question was posed by Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, the vice-chair of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) committee in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday during a review of Malaysia’s progress on women’s rights which was broadcast live.

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Muslim couples, single parents seek to intervene in ‘Abdullah’ appeal

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Twenty couples and two single parents have filed an intervener application to be made parties in a Federal Court appeal that will decide whether a Muslim child conceived out of wedlock can take his or her father’s surname instead of “Abdullah”.

The applicants, who are from Johor, Melaka, Selangor, Perlis and Pahang, filed their legal papers on Dec 14 but their identities could not be revealed due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Lawyer Lokman Hakim, who is appearing for the applicants, said they wanted to participate in the case as the court’s outcome would have an effect on their children.

He said a 2003 fatwa issued by the National Fatwa Committee that an illegitimate child (“anak tak sah taraf”) should not be given the surname (“tidak boleh dinasabkan”) of the father or the person claiming to be the father was invalid.

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Constitutional view on Bin Abdullah case — Shad Saleem Faruqi

Source: The Star Online

BY SHAD SALEEM FARUQI

Shad Saleem Faruqi - file pic

Shad Saleem Faruqi – file pic

Islam is like a mansion with many rooms, and diversity abounds in Islamic jurisprudence.

COURT of Appeal judges Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Puan Sri Zaleha Yusof must be congratulated for their courageous and principled decision in the “Bin Abdullah” case.

Their verdict is based on sound principles of administrative law and has far-reaching, positive implications for our constitutional system.

The issue, in this case, was whether an illegitimate Muslim child can carry the name of his father. Read more

When civil courts and fatwa committees collide: The ‘bin Abdullah’ case

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Lawyer Latheefa Koya says that the Court of Appeal was right to say the NRD cannot be bound by such fatwas. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 ― The Court of Appeal’s landmark ruling this week allowing a Muslim child the right to bear his father’s name though he was conceived before his parents married has once again exposed the conflict between civil and Muslim laws in Malaysia.

Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria was reportedly outraged by the appellate court decision, claiming it had gone against the Federal Constitution which recognises Islam as the religion of the federation and should have followed a 2003 National Fatwa Committee’s decision on Muslim children conceived out of wedlock.

Harussani went on record to say that Muslims are obliged to obey Islamic laws even if “worldly laws have rejected them”.

This throws up two questions: Are civil courts legally bound to obey fatwas? Secondly, can or should civil laws be amended to be Shariah-compliant, failing which Muslims should be exempted from them? Read more

No dad’s name for ‘out-of-wedlock’ kids till top court rules, NRD says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

National Registration Department director-general Datuk Yazid Ramli (left) said children conceived out of wedlock would not get to bear their father’s name, despite the Court of Appeal’s landmark decision. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — The National Registration Department (NRD) said today children conceived out of wedlock will not get to bear their father’s name, despite a landmark decision allowing so by the Court of Appeal.

The department’s director-general Datuk Yazid Ramli said it maintain the status quo with regards to Muslim children conceived such a way as has applied to challenge the appellate court ruling with the Federal Court.

“The current implementation at the NRD in regards to a Muslim child conceived out of wedlock to bear the father’s name will continue as usual.

“Any amendment to the implementation will only be considered after the Federal Court decision,” he said in a statement.

He explained that the decision to keep to the status quo was based on the previous High Court decision that under Islamic laws, Muslim children are not allowed to bear the name of their purported father as they were born less than six months into their parents’ marriage. Read more

Female clerics declare fatwa on child marriage in Indonesia

Source: FMT News

'Female clerics know the issues and obstacles women face, we can take action and not just wait for the government to protect these children.' Pic from FMT News.

‘Female clerics know the issues and obstacles women face, we can take action and not just wait for the government to protect these children.’ Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Female clerics on Thursday issued an unprecedented fatwa against child marriage in Indonesia in a bid to stop young girls becoming brides in the world’s most populous Muslim country.

The fatwa – which is influential among Muslims but not legally binding – came at the end of an extraordinary three-day conference of female Islamic clerics: a rare example of women assuming a lead role in religious affairs in this mostly-Muslim country.

“Maternal mortality is very high in Indonesia. We as female clerics can play a role on the issue of child marriage,” conference organiser Ninik Rahayu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Read more

Selangor goes to apex court over Sisters in Islam ‘fatwa’ ruling

Source: FMT News

Selangor Islamic religious authorities to apply for leave to appeal in the Federal Court following Court of Appeal ruling that civil court can hear a challenge to a ‘fatwa’. Pic taken from FMT News.

Selangor Islamic religious authorities to apply for leave to appeal in the Federal Court following Court of Appeal ruling that civil court can hear a challenge to a ‘fatwa’. Pic taken from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Selangor government and its state religious authorities are going to the Federal Court to appeal a ruling that the civil court has jurisdiction to hear a constitutional challenge to a “fatwa” (religious edict).

Lawyer Farhan Haziq said this decision was conveyed by Selangor state legal adviser Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman to High Court deputy registrar Nazlin Othman during case management today .

“They will also apply for a stay of proceedings in the High Court pending the outcome in the Federal Court,” said the lawyer who appeared for Islamic non-governmental organisation Sisters in Islam (SIS) and two others.

The next case management has been fixed for April 10.

The Selangor authorities have to first file a leave to appeal application before the apex court determines whether there is merit to hear the merits of the case.

On March 2, the Court of Appeal said the civil court had jurisdiction to hear SIS’ complaint. Read more

SIS allowed to continue judicial review against ‘deviant’ fatwa

Source: The Malay Mail Online

sisters_in_islam_0203

Lawyer Surendra Ananth (third from left) and members and supporters of Sisters in Islam are pictured at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya, following the Court of Appeal’s favourable decision on March 2, 2017. — Picture by Zurairi AR

PUTRAJAYA, March 2 — The Court of Appeal reversed today a lower court’s ruling that had dismissed Sisters in Islam’s (SIS) judicial review application against a fatwa that labelled the women’s group as deviant.

The case will now be remitted to the Kuala Lumpur High Court to be heard in front of another judge, with case mention scheduled for March 9.

“We unanimously disagree with the High Court ruling. We allow the appeal,” Justice Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat told the court here when reading out the decision.

The panel that also included judges Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli and Datuk Zaleha Yusof did not go into the merits of the judicial review, and made no order with regards to costs.

The appellants were represented by lawyers Surendra Ananth and Fahri Azzat, while Selangor legal adviser Datuk Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman and lawyer Yusfarizal Yussoff presented for the respondents.

On October 31, 2014, SIS filed for judicial review of a gazetted fatwa in Selangor that declared the group as “deviants” in Islam due to their alleged religious liberalism and pluralism.

The fatwa also deemed any publications with elements of liberalism and religious pluralism as “haram”, or forbidden to Muslims, and can be seized by religious authorities. Read more

Scholar calls for debates on fatwas

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: A fatwa issued by any individual or group is only an opinion and need not be turned into law, according to a scholar representing Nahdatul Ulama, the world’s largest Islamic organisation.

Zuhairi Misrawi, speaking at a symposium here yesterday, noted that religious leaders were constantly issuing contradictory fatwas on certain issues.

This was why, he said, it was important for scholars to have debates on such issues.

He spoke of a current controversy in Indonesia related to the bid by Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaya Purnama to defend his post in elections in February. Read more

Court rejects Sisters in Islam’s legal bid against ‘deviant group’ label

Source: NST Online

The High Court today ruled that only the Syariah Court has the power to decide on the validity of the Selangor fatwa that labelled Sisters In Islam (SIS) as a ‘deviant group’. Pix by Muhd Zaaba Zakeria/NSTP

The High Court today ruled that only the Syariah Court has the power to decide on the validity of the Selangor fatwa that labelled Sisters In Islam (SIS) as a ‘deviant group’. Pix by Muhd Zaaba Zakeria/NSTP

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today ruled that only the Syariah Court has the power to decide on the validity of the Selangor fatwa that labelled Sisters In Islam (SIS) as a ‘deviant group.’

Judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah made this ruling in dismissing a legal challenge by SIS Forum (Malaysia) and two others against the decision of the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (MAIS) and the Selangor Fatwa Committee to brand SIS as deviating from Islamic teachings.

Hanipah ruled that the civil court has no jurisdiction to hear the judicial review as only the Syariah Court has exclusive jurisdiction to determine the validity of a fatwa per Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution.

Article 121(1A) states that Malaysia’s civil courts have no power to decide on matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Syariah Courts such as issues of fatwa and “aqidah”(faith).

“That the applicants have no remedy in the Syariah Courts does not give jurisdiction to the civil courts.

“It is for the legislators (lawmakers in parliament) to provide the remedy,” said Hanipah, adding that as a result she would not proceed to hear the merits of the judicial review application. She then dismissed the legal bid. Read more