On 1st January 1997, in line with the country’s steadfast Islamic development and progress, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) was established by the Government of Malaysia - JAKIM Website
Guidelines For Muslims Celebrating Religious Festivals Of Non-Muslims
The 68th muzakarah of the National Fatwa Committee for Islamic Religious Affairs on April 12, 2005 discussed the Guidelines For Muslims Celebrating Religious Festivals Of Non-Muslims. The muzakarah has decided that:
In determining the non-Muslim celebrations that can be attended by Muslims, several main criteria should serve as guidelines so as not to contradict the teachings of Islam. The criteria are as follows:
- The event is not accompanied by ceremonies that are against the Islamic faith (aqidah).The meaning of “against the Islamic faith (aqidah)” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will lead to tarnishing the faith (aqidah) of Muslims.For example:
- to include religious symbols such as the cross, installing lights, candles, Christmas tree and so forth;
- to sing religious songs;
- to put any religious markings on the forehead, or other markings onto parts of the body;
- to deliver speech or gestures in the form of a praise to the non-Muslim religion;
- to bow or conduct acts of honour to the religious ceremony of non-Muslims.
- The event is not accompanied by acts against the Islamic law.The meaning of “against the Islamic law” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will contradict the Islamic teachings practised by the Muslim community.For example:
- Wearing red costumes like Santa Claus or other garments that reflect religion;
- Serving intoxicating food or beverages and the likes;
- Having sounds or ornaments like church bells, Christmas tree, temple or breaking of coconuts;
- Having ceremonies with elements of gaming, worship, cult, superstitions and the likes.
- The event is not accompanied by “acts that contradict with moral and cultural development of Muslim society” in this country.The meaning of “acts that contradict with moral and cultural development of Muslim society” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will contradict the values and norms of the Muslim society of this country which adheres to the Islamic teachings based on Ahlus Sunnah Wal-Jamaah.For example:
- Mixing freely without any limit or manners;
- Wearing conspicuous clothing;
- Singing songs that contain lyrics of obscenity and worship;
- Organising programmes such as beauty pageants, cock fighting and such.
- The event is not accompanied by acts that can “stir the sensitivity of Muslim community”.The meaning of “stir the sensitivity of Muslim community” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will offend the feelings of Muslims about their beliefs and practices.For Example:
- Speeches or songs in the form of non-Muslim religious propaganda;
- Speeches that insult the Muslims;
- Speeches that insult Islam;
- Presentations with the aim to ridicule the religious belief of Muslims.
- The organisers and the public are asked to get the views of religious authorities before organising or attending celebrations of non-Muslims.