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Smoking and Islam
Selangor puts off Gazetting of Haram Ruling
December 28, 1995
SHAH ALAM, Wed. – The Selangor State Government has postponed the gazetting of the haram ruling on smoking for Muslims in the State until the matter is clarified by the islamic Centre.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said although the State Syarak Consultative Committee had ruled that smoking by Muslims was haram it would not enforce it as a law.
“This is something that is very difficult to be implemented. Because of that, the ruling can only be made into a law if it is accepted by all States in the country.
“To do that, the matter has to be referred to the Islamic Centre so that it can come out with a uniform ruling”, he told reporters after closing the Second Archipelago Silat. Festival at the Mara Institute of Technology indoor stadium here today.
Muhammad, who is also the State Islamic Affairs Committee chairman, said the State Government needed to get a consensus on the matter from the Islamic Centre and the Islamic Councils of other States before deciding on the next course of action.
He, however, said although the ruling was not enforced as law, it was very clear that it was made by the State Syarak Consultative Committee and it was up to the Muslims to take heed of it.
Asked to clarify why the ruling was difficult to implement Muhammad said; “if smoking is only not allowed for Muslims in Selangor, then they can go to other States to smoke. This will defeat the whole purpose of the ruling”.
The State Syarak Law Consultative Committee chairman Datuk Ishak Baharom had said on Saturday that smoking had been gazetted as haram for Muslims in the State effective Dec. 7.
Baharom said Muslims in the State must stop smoking as it was detrimental to health and added that it was haram effective from the date in line with the provisions of section 32 of the State Islamic Law Administration Enactment 1989.
In response to Baharom’s statement, the State Islamic Council deputy chairman Datuk Dr. Zainal Abidin Ahmad on Sunday said the State Government had no plan to penalise Muslims who smoke in the State.
He was quoted as saying that the decision announced by Baharom was unclear and needed to be further clarified.
The differing views of Mais and the committee has prompted several imam and bilal in the State yesterday to urge the National Fatwa Council to discuss the matter in depth to prevent any misunderstanding among the Muslims.
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