It is About Sharing

Knowledge is for sharing. Do not keep your knowledge to yourself alone. Let it grows. The more you share, the more you learn and in the end you become a better person.

Surah Yaasin Amazing Recitation

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Al-Fatihah

Friday, April 11, 2008

New Regulation for the Convert

It was reported in todays' The Star online that the Government will soon introduce a regulation requiring non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam to inform their family before doing so. This will be in the form of a letter declaring that their families had been told and understood his or her decision.

I must say that it is high time for this type of regulation to take place, as it will save everybody i.e. the family members and the religious authority from going through the hassle of getting the Court declaration on the deceased's religion status. The hassle is not only on getting the Court declaration but also it involves the constitutional issue such as which Court will have the jurisdiction over the matter. Is it the Syariah Court or the Civil Court. While the Civil Court does not have jurisdiction on Islamic matters (as it falls within the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court), the Syariah Court does not have the jurisdiction over non muslim. So, for the deceased's family, it seems to be the losing end for them.

However, the report does not go into detail on the proposal of such regulation. We must bear in mind that even with such a reguulation in place, it does not nullify the conversion of a non muslim to muslim if he/she fails to duly inform the family. So, I hope, the government, in coming up with such regulation, to really study the issue thoroughly and to identify the efects of the regulation.

One thing I would suggest (not sure whether this has been in place or not), while it is good to have the letter informing the family members of the conversion, it is important to have written declaration in the form of statutory declaration by the convert to indicate the effective date of his/her conversion and if possible to have the declaration sworn in front of a non muslim commissioner for oath.

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