Careless display of Quranic verses may be an offence

Careless display of Quranic verses may be an offence

PUTRAJAYA - Quranic verses, held by Muslims to be sacred and a reminder of their faith in Islam and Allah, cannot be carelessly displayed at business premises under a proposed amendment to the Printing of Quranic Text Act.

For instance, Muslims traders, including restaurant operators, must ensure the Quranic verses are displayed at an appropriate raised level and in a clean area at their premises.

"The amendment is also aimed at stopping Muslims from misusing Quranic verses by treating them as azimat (good luck charm) to boost business," said Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Currently, there is no law to punish those who mishandle Quranic verses or use them as a talisman, he told reporters after a meeting with the Al-Quran Control and Printing Licensing Board here yesterday.

The minister said under the amendments, the Home Ministry can penalise those who mishandle the verses. The proposed penalty for any of the offences is a fine of up to RM50,000 (S$19,320) or a jail term of up to five years.

"The amendments are being finalised and will be tabled in Parliament by the end of the year," Ahmad Zahid said.

It is a norm in Muslim households and business premises to have Quranic verses in frames and hung on walls to serve as a reminder of their spiritual path and to strengthen their faith.

Business premises, particularly restaurants, favour the Seribu Dinar verse, which purportedly could draw more profits for them although most Muslims frown upon such belief as the verse is, like all other Quranic verses, a spiritual guidance, not a piece of amulet.

Board chairman Tan Sri Harrusani Zakaria said being dependent on the Seribu Dinar and Quranic verses to boost sales could lead one astray from the aqidah (Islamic code of faith).

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