| Azlan Othman |
THE Ministry of Religious Affairs urged the public here not to participate in events that go against the Syarak, religious practice, public interest, religious harmony, ethics and those that touch on sensitivity of Muslims in this country.
The ministry made this statement yesterday with reference to the recent ‘I Want to Touch a Dog’ event held in a neighbouring country, which has since become the latest buzz among netizens of Brunei.
It said, this matter has caused anxiety among the public, especially Muslims, as it clearly goes against the religious sect foothold and religious practice of this country. According to the Shafi’e Sect, Muslims are prohibited from deliberately touching a dog as it is forbidden in Islam.
While Islam urges the Ummah to cleanse themselves after touching such ‘filth’ (categorised as ‘Mughallazah’) it is not an excuse that permits a person to do so deliberately. Such action is the same as a person who commits sin by reasoning that he will repent later.
State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abd Aziz bin Juned in his 2012 decree had quoted Imam Ibnu Hajar Rahimahullah, who in his book, al-Hawasyi al-Madaniyyah, said it is forbidden for the body or clothing to be littered with filth without reason.
Hence, according to the State Mufti, intentionally having filth on the body, clothing or hair is ‘haram’ or forbidden, especially if such filth is ‘Mughallazah.’
Touching a dog intentionally is like deliberately exposing yourself to what is unclean. Hence it is forbidden to touch a dog, even if it is dry.
Islam does not despise dogs or condone torturing, hitting or killing them as these acts go against the teachings of Islam.
Dogs deserve love, compassion and care. However, according to the Shafi’e Sect, Muslims are not allowed to take them on as pets or to hold them.
The Muslim community’s foothold in this country is according to Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, Mazhab Shafi’e based on the constitution.
In this context, towards realising the aspiration of becoming a Zikir nation, it is not appropriate for such events to be held or followed by the community of this country, in line with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s titah during the revelation of the Holy Al-Quran 1435 Hijrah (July 14, 2014).
In the titah, the monarch said, “In Brunei, we wholeheartedly carry out our pious acts with truth. We do whatever the religion and Al-Quran ordered us. We must be more cautious and avoid getting trapped by copying or accepting what others do.”
The monarch had also called on Muslim Ummah to avoid importing problems, especially in the aspect of religious practice.
The ministry ended its statement by saying, “In this context, parties wishing to hold events or programmes that touch on the religious practice, the sanctity of the religion or have doubts relating to it should first refer to the religious authorities of this country.”