JAKIM receives almost a billion ringgit a year from taxpayers, and I don’t know if they really have that much real work to do to warrant that kind of budget.
For example, the Director-General of JAKIM, Tan Sri Othman Mustapha, was busy few days ago beseeching Muslims not to keep dogs as pets because, according to him, Muslims are not permitted to touch dogs “for no reason”. This came about after a young Malay woman, Nurhanizah Abdul Rahman, was reported to have been keeping a stray dog as a pet.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when reading such statements from Muslim leaders. Don’t they have real work to do to make Muslims better equipped to face this hard world we live in?
Nurhanizah should be commended and supported for having a golden heart. She is obviously a caring and loving person who is providing a good life for her dog Bubu, and she has all the reason in the world to touch her dog.
A true Muslim is a kind and caring person. So, instead of scolding her, JAKIM should be proud of Nurhanizah’s kindness and humanity.
But let’s say that Othman is correct that it is sinful for Nurhanizah to touch a dog. Nurhanizah must be responsible for her sin, but she must manage that in her own way. She alone will bear that responsibility. Which human being, including Othman, is free from sin?
Othman should be concerned about his sins and not those of others. One does not become an angel just because one assumes the post of Director-General of JAKIM or by and serving the Prime Minister well. It’s not Othman’s business to ask dog-lovers to repent. That’s God’s business.
It appears to me that the problem with our Muslim leaders is that they like to talk about other people’s sins all the time — and not their own. They are preoccupied with the sins of others. They behave as if they themselves are free of sin, and so, every day, they tell fellow-Muslims how to lead good “sin-free” lives, as if only they know how.
This is what makes the Muslim community weak and divided. Muslim leaders are busy telling others what to do with respect to small irrelevant things when they themselves have contributed little to the development of their community.
Let God deal with the business of punishment and sin-management, and let JAKIM, for a start, concentrate on making sure that children in religious schools have proper curricula and teachers.
JAKIM can also make sure that all the zakat collected is used properly and in the best interests of the Muslim community. A proper audit on the application of collections should be thorough, and JAKIM can help streamline the administration of Muslim inheritance matters, which sometimes take years to settle because of inefficiency and bureaucratic delays. JAKIM can also make sure that the Baitul Mal organisation in each state is properly audited to prevent “leakages”.
There are many good tangible things JAKIM can do to help the Muslims other than telling them about sins. We already have enough preachers on TV and in the mosques for that.