Farouk A Peru: Not Fasting In Public – God’s Assistants Are Back!

Farouk A Peru: Every year, it’s the same thing. Religious officers from state religious departments have begun operations to catch out Muslims who do not fast. They will be patrolling the streets looking for these naughty Muslims and in the past, have taken them away in hearses to be paraded for all to see. Is this an ‘Islamic’ activity?

Today, I read the ominous warning from an enforcement officer of the Islamic Religious Department of Malacca,  division operations unit chief Noraminuddin Aziz. He said “five or six JAIM officers would carry out the monitoring in rotation on premises suspected of being ”hotbeds” for Muslims who did not fast.

According to him, those caught would be given a summons notice and they would then have to go to the JAIM office to facilitate investigations under Section 49 of the Syariah Offences Enactment of Melaka 1991 for the offence of selling and eating food during Ramadan.

“In addition, Muslims found eating, drinking and smoking in public places can also be prosecuted under Section 49 of the same enactment with a maximum fine of RM1,000 or imprisonment up to six months, or both.”

What are the religious departments trying to achieve? 

I would like to ask the question – what are the religious departments trying to achieve here? That the Muslims achieve greater piety? Would forcing them to fast achieve that? Life is already hard enough! What if a person simply had too much on her plate that day (pardon the pun!) and simply needed a drink to keep going? If it wasn’t her day, she would be caught, fined RM1000 or face imprisonment! What kind of a system is this?

Another question I would like to ask is, how do the authorities recognise such individuals? I once had a Chindian schoolmate who had nightmares every Ramadhan. He looked Malay and so was in constant fear that he might get accosted for not fasting. This is the strange thing about these practices, it all boils down to simple racism.

In truth, these activities are there simply to give individuals who are otherwise unqualified for anything else jobs. These activities are a shame upon our society. The ulama keep drumming into people’s heads that ‘Islam is a religion of mercy’ and that Prophet Muhammad was a ‘rahmahlil ‘alameen’ (a mercy unto the worlds!) and he never institutionalised any of these good squads. Why not follow his sunnah here?

Khairy Jamaluddin, who only takes flattering questions, has rightly said that religious officers should stop these activities and help the poor instead. I could not agree more. Why are they wreaking havoc on people’s lives? Either get rid of them or replace the government who gave them authority!


By Farouk A Peru, Islamologist and author

Rebuilding Malaysia


  • Azhar says:

    [10:99] Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed.* Do you want to force the people to become believers?

    [2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
    Try goggle “fadilat ayat kursi”.
    Sadly, our main stream Islamic Authority and the Muslims masses are too obsess in parroting “ayat kursi” verse 2:255 but unfortunately oblivious to the straightforward commandment in the very next verse 2:256 and GOD’s catechize in verse 10:99

    [2:170] When they are told, “Follow what GOD has revealed herein,” they say, “We follow only what we found our parents doing.” What if their parents did not understand, and were not guided?
    [2:171] The example of such disbelievers is that of parrots who repeat what they hear of sounds and calls, without understanding. Deaf, dumb, and blind; they cannot understand.

  • Damiri says:

    Are we worshipping Allah or religious authority?

Leave a Comment