Bahai News -- Borneo Bulletin - 6 deviationist activities found in Brunei LOCAL NEWS

6 deviationist activities found in Brunei

By Azlan Othman

Overseas-bound students attending the briefing.

At least six types of deviationist activities involving foreigners have been found in the country, which is punishable by fines of up to $4,000 or six months imprisonment, since it was first detected in 1961 with 'Bahai' teachings.

The latest is known as 'Abdul Razak' teachings, which was detected recently.

Hjh Sarimah Hj Abu Bakar, Aqidah Control Section of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, said this at the briefing yesterday for overseas students.

However, Brunei's Aqidah religious authorities have been quick to respond in detecting and stopping such activities from encroaching the minds of the Muslim Ummah and against the teachings of 'Ahli Sunnah Waljamaah'.

With the appearance of such deviationist activities, a government gazette was also published and an Islamic Religious Council too issued acts that punished such activities.

According to Islamic Religious Council Act and Kadhi Court Chapter 77, Amendment 1984 relating to deviation activities, a three-month imprisonment or a fine of $2,000 awaits a person who conducts teachings, religious talk or a ceremony that is against the Islamic teachings.

Those who publish, issue, sell or bring religious books which are against Islamic teachings face six-month imprisonment or $4,000 fine. The books or documents could be confiscated.

Those who insult or caused insult to the Islamic religion or Islamic teachings or Fatwa, issued in accordance to the law, face six-month imprisonment or $4,000 fine. Meanwhile those who instigate Muslims against performing prayers or paying alms are also punishable by up to six-month imprisonment or a fine of $4,000.

'Bahai' teachings was first detected in 1961 when a foreign missionary tried to spread such teachings in the rural area of Tutong and Belait that led to the establishment of an association called 'Pertubuhan Agama Bahai Negeri Brunei'.

Bahai teachings taught people to believe in one religion called Bahai, which is a combination of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and other religions.

It was later followed by the appearance of a witch doctor who introduced a deviationist activity in the form of a martial art called 'Silat Lintau' in 1976. He claimed that there were four 'Kiblat' or prayer directions instead of one which is 'Ka'abah'.

Then Qadiani teachings came in 1989 which influenced Bruneian students studying in Europe. However, the family of the students quickly informed the religious authorities in the country.

In 1998, an Indian national from Sabah came to Brunei to spread Qadiani teachings but he was stopped from doing so.

The latest is 'Abdul Razak' teachings that claimed to be able to call the spirit of the deceased and believed that 'Zat' Allah enters the body of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Deviationist teaching is defined as any teaching or practise brought by Muslims or non-Muslims who claim that such teaching is based on Islamic teaching or not against Islamic teaching, but in reality such teaching and practice is against the belief and Islamic law which is in accordance to Quran and Al-Sunnah.

Among the criteria of deviationist activities include belief that is against 'Ahli Sunnah Waljamaah' such as believing that there are other holy books than Quran, belief that there are other prayer directions besides Ka'abah, question the truth of Quran and Hadith.

Other criteria include any group leader claiming to be Prophet Isa or Imam Al-Mahdi and so on, belief in the unification of various religions into one, idolise an individual, leader or a group such as claiming to have special powers or claiming to be able to redeem sins, as well as translating Quran and Hadith as he wishes.

©Copyright 2003, Borneo Bulletin (Brunei)

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