On the 10th of January 2020, the Johor State Islamic Religious Department (JAINJ) ordered all mosques in the state of Johor to deliver a khutbah entitled “Avoid Hizb ut Tahrir” that contains many vile and absurd slander against Hizb ut Tahrir. It is sad that JAINJ was willing to use mosques throughout Johor as a place to spread lies on Hizb ut Tahrir. The house of Allah (swt), in which purity and glory are to be preserved, had been polluted by JAINJ with slander and falsehood that have been maliciously attributed to Hizb ut Tahrir.
After two states, Selangor and Sabah, had issued defamation verdicts on Hizb ut Tahrir, it is now Johor’s turn to do the same, and even more slanderous claims have been made compared to Selangor and Sabah. The focus of these religious departments, as it seems, is to aggravate Islamic movements that they do not agree with, find fault with the movements, and if they could not find a fault, they plot to defame them. This is what the Johor religious authorities have done to Hizb ut Tahrir. Hizb ut Tahrir had reminded JAINJ to not go ahead with their plan to order the delivering of the khutbah via a memorandum of protest and a peaceful rally held at the JAINJ headquarters. However, JAINJ seemed to maintain that the mosques are theirs and that they have the right to do anything in them, including polluting them! The Friday pulpit, which was supposed to be used to educate and mobilize the ummah, was consequently used by JAINJ as a political platform to slander those who disagree with it.
In the khutbah, all the points stated concerning Hizb ut Tahrir are mentioned to be fatwas made by the Johor Fatwa Committee. This has certainly added to our shock in that how could a body of pious people cast slander and lies against Hizb ut Tahrir, without first making tabayyun or meeting with Hizb ut Tahrir! Is this how a fatwa body produces a fatwa, without tabayyun, without verifying the validity of facts, without meeting and without consulting the party they are supposed to make fatwa on? It would have been appropriate if the Johor State Fatwa Committee called us in advance to ask or discuss our thoughts and views!
Among the slander that the Johor State Fatwa Committee and JAINJ put forth in the sermon were Hizb ut Tahrir’s views on the punishment of the grave, the belief that qadha ‘and qadar were taken from Greek philosophy and that human actions have nothing to do with qadha’ and the qadar of Allah (swt), that guidance and deviance are not from Allah (swt) but from man, disregarding ta’wil from mutashabihat evidences, declaring that anyone can do ijtihad, that men and women are free to shake hands and it is mubah (permissible) to kiss non-mahram women without intent to commit adultery. Based on the slander, it is clear that the Johor State Fatwa Committee not only didn’t conduct a proper study, or, even if it was conducted, it was only half-baked; they had only picked old slanders that had been around in the cyber world and slander that had been created by those who loathed Hizb ut Tahrir.
Besides the half-cooked slander, Hizb ut Tahrir is also accused of posing a threat to Muslim unity, national security and peace. We wonder how is it possible for a fatwa to be issued based on assumptions and, worse, is contrary to facts! For more than 20 years since the existence of Hizb ut Tahrir in Malaysia, we are perplexed as to when did the Johor State Committee witness that the country has been in turmoil and chaos caused by the party! As if that is not enough, the text of the sermon continued with slander and lies by accusing Hizb ut Tahrir of saying that a leader who does not implement Islam should be combated. The Johor State Fatwa Committee as well as JAINJ seem to have lost their sanity when making such direct accusations in the real world. This allegation is clearly malicious to Hizb ut Tahrir.
It is henceforth most appropriate to remind the Fatwa Committee and JAINJ of Allah’s (swt) warning on the sin of propagating lies and slander. وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ بِغَيْرِ مَا اكْتَسَبُوا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلُوا بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُّبِينًا “And those who hurt the believing men and the believing women without their doing anything (wrong), surely, they bear (themselves) the burden of a false allegation and an open sin.” [al-Ahzāb: 58]. Be advised that the slander, if they spread widely, will, by Allah’s (swt) permission, return to their master. Indeed, the slander and deception that are cast forth will do no good neither in the world nor in the hereafter. Choose to be amongst those in the hereafter, who meets Allah (swt) without bearing the sins of those who were slandered.
Dr. Mohammad – Malaysia