SHAH ALAM - Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has advised Muslims, especially those in Selangor, not to be hasty in criticising any fatwa made by Islamic authorities without fully understanding why the edicts were issued.
He said they should, instead, put their confidence in the edicts and unite against any ideological or political interests that go against Islam.
"Any fatwa made in Selangor is valid only after it has received my assent and approval," the ruler said in his royal address when opening the Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Conference and Syariah Criminal Code Seminar at the State Secretariat building here yesterday.
Mentri Besar Azmin Ali was also present.
The Sultan said Muslims must stay united and think alike on religious teachings and this should be above political ideology and interest.
The Sultan regretted that unlike the religious scholars, many Muslims did not understand the fundamentals behind the Islamic laws that are enshrined in holy texts.
"Not understanding the law can threaten the peace, harmony and safety of a country.
"Muslims should, therefore, understand these laws and Allah's laws as stated in the Quran," he said.
"I am saying this because I do not want to see conflicts and quarrels among Muslims in managing and implementing Islamic matters to the point of undermining the religion, causing it to be mocked and questioned by irresponsible parties," he said.
Pointing out that Islam stands out because of its practice of moderation, Sultan Sharafuddin said he did not want to see this threatened by certain "extremists" in the country.
"I urge Muslims not to be influenced by those deviant teachings," he said.
Last week, Sisters in Islam (SIS) filed for a judicial review on a gazetted fatwa in Selangor that declared pluralism and liberalism as going against Islamic teachings and inferred that SIS had deviated from Islam.
SIS named the Selangor Fatwa Committee, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the state government as respondents in the review filed Friday at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Azmin has since proposed a meeting among SIS, the Selangor mufti and Mais in order to avert confusion and misunderstanding over the fatwa.