Surau Kota Tinggi Incident: Should The Surau Be Demolished???

Kindly be informed that I had removed for a while the original article as I had to make some amendments, so that my points and views hopefully will not give wrong interpretation. I maintained some of the key part of original article (that was intended to be as question and finding answers).

First, let us read what the Star has reported:

JOHOR BARU: The surau at a resort which was used by non-Muslims in a religious ceremony is expected to be demolished after investigations  are completed.

Johor Islamic Religious Council (MAINJ) advisor Datuk Nooh Gadut said a decision on the surau would be made by Johor’s Fatwa Committee in a month’s time.

 “The surau cannot be demolished immediately as it is evidence in the case and is now being guarded by police and Rela,” he told reporters at his office on Tuesday.

Nooh said that his team would take over the investigations in accordance with Section 7A of Johor’s Syariah Criminal Enactment 1997, after the police have completed their investigations.

He added that the state Fatwa Committee will meet  next week to discuss the case.

 He said the findings of the meeting will be conveyed to MAINJ before being submitted to Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar as the head of religion.

 “The most sacred places on Earth are mosques and surau. Accordingly, they are not allowed to be used to carry out religious activities other than for Islam and if a surau is found to have hosted other religious activities, it can be demolished based on surah At-Taubah verse 107 (in the Quran),” he said.

Nooh said Sultan Ibrahim had ordered the Johor Islamic Religious Department to issue a circular for the determining of the Qiblat (the direction of Mecca for Muslims’ obligatory prayers) in every resort and hotel in the state.

“The purpose of the circular is for operators and resort owners in the state to comply with all procedures for the construction of mosques and surau and the direction of the Qiblat so that problems associated with misleading qiblat and other matters will not arise again,” he said.

 According to Nooh, Sultan Ibrahim also urged that the investigations be conducted immediately in according to existing laws.

“In this case, the Sultan is very concerned and has ordered the authorities involved to conduct a through investigation based on facts,” he said.

The owner of the resort, a Singaporean with permanent resident (PR) status in Malaysia, has been remanded for four days since Monday to facilitate investigations.

The case received wide coverage after an 85-second video clip of Buddhists engaged in a religious ceremony at the surau went viral on Youtube.

In GEORGE TOWN, Penang state executive councillor in charge of Islamic religious affairs, Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim, said the state government had issued a warning to owners of buildings, hotels and resorts in the state that have surau facilities not to allow them to be used for worshipping purposes by non-Muslims.

He said so far that had been no reports of a similar incident as what happened at the Sedili Besar resort and that anyone found not heeding the directive would have to face the law for insulting Islam.

Upon hearing such news, I can’t stop scratching my head.. what the hell is going on? What’s going on with us, muslims in Malaysia?

Incidents after incidents seems to be becoming a national and sensitive issue, and worse, muslims have become more and more sensitive towards things, even at some point, some of us are more clouded by sentiments and emotions, not viewing things with “iman” and knowledge.

Initially, I have just ONE question that I need to ask to all muslims, especially those are really fired up in regards to this issue:

Back in those days, Kaabah’s area was used as ritual for religion other than Islam. Did Rasulullah demolish Kaabah and tore the place apart?

The intention of this question is to find out is it due to the rituals perform that caused the surau to be demolished.

From this question, only one came up to me personally giving his answer and yes, this question actually is not relevant to the surau issue. Reason being Kaabah is the ultimate direction for muslim for prayer, but surau (and any prayer places for muslim) is a place with a purpose for prayers with direction to Kaabah.

Kindly also note that I am also not questioning the authority of Sultan Johor as ruler and MAIJ as council that carrying Islamic matters. I am merely looking at few point of views, so that the rationale to demolish the surau is acceptable.

I also had added some questions earlier, as follows:

I also can ask few more questions if I want to.. considering some cannot understand why such question is posted earlier…

  1. IF there was no video or picture taken on the incident and made known to public, will it be noticed?
  2. IF there was no video or picture taken on the incident and made known to public, will we know the kiblat of the surau is wrong?
  3. IF there was no video or picture taken on the incident and made known to public, shouldn’t muslim who have been praying there checked the direction of kiblat?
  4. IF there was no video or picture taken on the incident and made known to public, can the direction of the kiblat be checked and changed if wrong? Please also check IF your office surau is built in the right kiblat direction or your office just ensure the carpet of the surau or kiblat sign is according to rightful kiblat direction.. IF NOT, do you demolish your office surau?
  5. IS YOUR PRAYER ROOM, your house or office surau (usually) built in the direction of the kiblat???

These questions were asked with the intention for us to do some checking. The key point is – IF the video wasn’t published and made known, would we have to be jumping about this? Would the surau be a highlight and caused a demolition to be done? Further, would any of us are aware the things and matters need to be considered, adhered and followed when building a prayer place for muslim?

Let this incident be a lesson to all of us. Let it be a reminder how important it is to know the “little” things that should have been taken care of.

Importantly, let this incident be a self-check and not to be complacent in religious matters.

My dear muslims, please take a seat, relax, take a breath and think based on iman and knowledge. Please think properly before making any judgment that might be regretted after.

This is a humble question from me who is a nobody, who is having too little knowledge and a very fragile iman.

Thank you

NOTE: As mentioned in the news report, translation for Surah At Taubah verse 107 is as follows:

[English] And there are those who put up a mosque by way of mischief and infidelity – to disunite the Believers – and in preparation for one who warred against Allah and His Messenger aforetime. They will indeed swear that their intention is nothing but good But Allah doth declare that they are certainly liars.

[Bahasa Melayu] Dan (di antara orang-orang munafik juga ialah) orang- orang yang membina masjid dengan tujuan membahayakan (keselamatan orang-orang Islam), dan (menguatkan) keingkaran (mereka sendiri), serta memecah-belahkan perpaduan orang-orang yang beriman, dan juga untuk (dijadikan tempat) intipan bagi orang yang telah memerangi Allah dan RasulNya sebelum itu. Dan (apabila tujuan mereka yang buruk itu ketara), mereka akan bersumpah dengan berkata: “Tidaklah yang kami kehendaki (dengan mendirikan masjid ini) melainkan untuk kebaikan semata-mata”. Pada hal Allah menyaksikan, bahawa sesungguhnya mereka adalah berdusta.


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