Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

Swearing On The Quran

This blog post contains my personal views on Islam and may be a bit too preachy for some. Please skip it if that bothers you.

I feel that the time is right for me to do my duty as a Muslim and Malaysian by doing what is right. With this, I swore in the name of Allah at the Federal Territory Mosque this evening in accordance to the teachings of Islam and as advised by religious scholars and teachers that I was sodomised by Anwar Ibrahim.

The oath I’ve taken was done voluntarily and it was done to uphold the truth as a Muslim, a Malay and a Malaysian.

I understand that if the allegations and oath that I’ve taken under the name of Allah are not true, I will be cursed by God and tragedy and curse will come upon my family and the generations after me forever.

I’ve taken this oath to prove that my allegations are completely true. This is the best way for me to attain justice in the world and the hereafter and for me to redeem my pride and dignity as Allah is the only place where I can complain to.

I’ve done this for God and I took my oath in the house of God, that I was humiliated and sodomised by Anwar Ibrahim and I do not wish to lie to the world as he has done.

With this, I challenge Anwar Ibrahim to swear by Islam and do it in a mosque, witnessed by religious scholars, teachers and all Malaysians to deny what I’ve accused him of.

– statement by Saiful to the press, published in Malaysiakini on 15th August 2008 (link)

Saiful’s act of swearing on the Quran and subsequent statement to the press really bothered me. It helps spread misconceptions about Islam to the public and was a pointless move.

Swearing on the Quran

There are two views in Islam on the practice of swearing on the Quran.

The first view is that taking an oath on anything other than the name of God is invalid and unlawful.

The second view is that swearing on the Quran, as it contains the word of God, is equivalent to swearing in the name of God – provided that the oath does not refer to the Quran itself. In essence placing one’s hand on the book would be a symbolic gesture.

Regardless of the point of view taken, the practice of oath-taking to settle disputes is frowned upon in Islam, especially those who use the Quran as though to ‘legitimise’ their oath. In practice it is actually the accused that takes an oath to proclaim innocence, whereas the accuser provides evidence.

Is an oath evidence?

What kind of legal system would we have if the defendant and the plaintiff had the option of taking an oath to prove who is in the right? What happens when both parties take the oath – clearly one party is lying, so ultimately evidence has to be used to pass judgement. So the oaths themselves have no value, even when only one party makes it.

Given how easily abused the act of taking an oath is, I don’t believe it has any legal bearing for settling disputes. I was not able to confirm this, though Anwar did state to the press that he is not swearing on the Quran because that would affect the pending Syariah court case against Saiful. His view was that, “If both parties swore on the Quran that they are right, then the judgement is in God’s hands and the Syariah court can not be involved”.

Curse of God

Islam emphasises personal responsibility for one’s actions. You can be a mass-murdering rapist and while no doubt you will go to Hell forever, your children will not suffer for your actions.

The sins of the parents do not pass down to their children. So there is no such thing as being ‘cursed by God and tragedy and curse will come upon my family and the generations after me forever’.

While doing research on this I found it interesting to discover that taking an oath with a condition ‘whereby if I am lying then God’s wrath will befall me’ immediately nullifies the oath. As there is no video footage of the oath spoken, its not possible to judge the validity. If he did reference God’s retribution then its not binding and even if he is lying he is actually in the clear.

How is that for a publicity stunt? All the fame with no spiritual risk.

Dictating what God’s punishment will be for making a false oath is not a Muslim’s prerogative. To make a false oath is a major sin. That’s it. The punishment that comes is not knowable or decided by us.

Penance and a Point of Humour

If one takes an oath on a past event, such as a declaration of truth like what Saiful did, then there is no penance to be paid if it is false – all that is left is to continuously repent and ask forgiveness from God.

If one takes an oath for a future event, say to perform a task in the future, then a penance must be paid if it is broken, either:

  1. Feeding 10 poor persons with two meals each; or
  2. Give clothing to 10 poor persons, covering a majority of the body; or
  3. Free a slave; or
  4. If the oath-taker is too poor for the above options, then he may fast for three consecutive days;

Freeing a slave in this day and age? Hmm well I can think of one possible interpretation 😉

Closing

I personally don’t care whether Saiful is telling the truth, but I do get annoyed when he resorts to a stunt like this. Who cares about which side swears on the Quran first? Why the issuing of a challenge by Saiful and Putera Umno on this matter? Forgive me for saying this, but it makes Muslims look backward and childish. I can summarise it like this, “I swore on the Quran, you dare or not? You don’t dare then don’t talk!”

If he had no evidence then he should not have lodged the report. Life isn’t fair and many victims never see justice.

Anwar isn’t taking up Saiful’s challenge because he wants justice served – a serious accusation has been made against him and he wants Saiful to produce evidence, a fair request to make.

Let us see what the courts decide.

References

Vows & Oaths in Islam (link)
Is Swearing on the Quran Haram? (link)
A concise summary of the issue of swearing on the Quran (link)
Youtube video of Saiful speaking to the press (link)
Youtube video of Saiful taking the oath (link)

Update 20th August 2008
I came across a longer video that shows Saiful taking an oath while holding the Quran. I don’t see the Mufti’s of the mosque standing nearby so I don’t know whether he is repeating the oath he took with them, or this was the only oath.

Listening to his words carefully he says, “if he is lying, he is willing to face God’s wrath”, so perhaps he is not spiritually in the clear as I mentioned above. My view is that he is not saying God will punish him, just that he is willing to face any punishment – he’s not dictating God’s actions you see.

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Written by ak57

August 19, 2008 at 4:48 pm

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