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Fatwa on the Characteristics of Deviant Teachings (English)

FATWA ON THE CHARACTERISTICS OF DEVIANT TEACHINGS

ADMINISTRATION OF MUSLIM LAW ACT

(CHAPTER 3, SECTION 32)

 

 

FATWA ISSUED

BY

FATWA (LEGAL) COMMITTEE, ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS COUNCIL OF SINGAPORE

 

The Fatwa Committee discussed the characteristics of deviant teachings on 9th February 2021, 28th April 2021, 3rd June 2021 and 5th July 2021

FATWA

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيد المرسلين وإمام المتقين نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين. اللهم أرنا الحق حقا وارزقنا اتباعه، وأرنا الباطل باطلا وارزقنا اجتنابه  وبعد.

BACKGROUND

1. The Fatwa Committee received a question from the Asatizah Recognition Scheme (ARS) Office concerning the media report that was released with regard to teachings that were suspected to be deviant.1 Following the media report, the ARS office subsequently received questions from the community on key characteristics of deviant teachings, specifically on teachings with the following elements:

a.      The reception of revelation (“wahyu”) and divine inspiration (“ilham”) through the process of spiritual possession (“menurun”), as claimed by a teacher or a leader,

b.      The modification of religious rulings, such as the practice of spiritual marriage (“nikah batin”),

c.      The belief in hidden meanings behind alphabets (“hakikat huruf”), which deviates from the meanings of verses and alphabets in the Quran; and

d.      The conduct of spiritual healing (“ruqyah”), that is against the principles of the Sharī‘ah.

EXPLANATION

2. The religious authorities have the responsibility to ensure that all Muslim religious teachings in Singapore are correct and do not contradict the teachings of Islam. In Singapore, the Asatizah Recognition Scheme (ARS) was established to ensure that all religious teachings and guidance are only conducted by qualified and registered individuals. This is to protect the community from elements that are deviant, problematic, or despicable in nature.

3. Even with the existence of the ARS, the Fatwa Committee, from time to time, receives complaints regarding deviant or misleading teachings, such as those mentioned above. For every complaint, the Fatwa Committee will conduct the necessary evaluation and assessment accordingly.

PROCESS TO DETERMINE THE STATUS OF A TEACHING

4. In each case, the Fatwa Committee follows a strict process to determine the status of a particular teaching, based on the powers conferred to the Fatwa Committee by the Administration of the Muslim Law Act (AMLA).2 This process involves the following steps:

(i) Identifying the relevant teaching(s) or group:

  • That there is a teacher or leader who teaches a group of people; this group of people is then deemed to be his/her students or followers.
  • To differentiate between teachings held by a group, from those personally held beliefs that are not taught or spread to others.

(ii) Obtain clear evidence that is beyond doubt:

  • That convincing and disputable evidence, in both its source(s) and meaning, has been obtained. An accusation that is not accompanied with irrefutable evidence cannot be taken into consideration as a basis to determine the status of a teaching, or to deem a particular group as deviant. This is what is referred to as “bayyinah in a hadith of Rasulullah :
  • البينة على المدعي واليمين على من أنكر
  • Which means: “The one accusing has to bring forth evidence, and the one refuting has to take an oath.3
  • Scholars have clarified that “bayyinah” (“evidence”) in the aforementioned hadith refers to the explanation and evidence required to prove the veracity of accusations.4 If the Fatwa Committee is unable to verify the authenticity of the evidence due to its limited powers, it cannot then conclude that a particular teaching is deviant or otherwise.
  • All past fatwas on deviant teachings have followed this process. In past cases, irrefutable evidence collected by the Fatwa Committee included (i) books and writings with conspicuous links to a particular teaching;5 (ii) websites that spread said teaching; (iii) the leaders and followers of this teaching did not deny the evidence and admitted that they followed and spread the said teachings.

(iii) Identifying deviant characteristics in the accused teachings:

  • That there are teachings and interpretations which clearly contradict Islamic principles and well-established and widely known positions, as well as those that contravene the methodologies and principles that have already been accepted by credible scholars.
MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF DEVIANT TEACHINGS

5. As a general guidance for the community, there are several main characteristics that can be found in deviant teachings. The details are as follows:

First: The reception of revelation/divine inspiration (“wahyu”/“ilham”) through the process of spiritual possession (“menurun”)

6. Claims by a teacher, leader or follower that he/she can receive revelation directly from Allah , or from an unseen source that is unknown to others, is a sign of deviancy.6 This is regardless of whether the individual claims to receive revelations by hearing a voice, through a process of spiritual possession, or jin possession, amongst others.7

7. Such claims conflict with principles of the Sharī‘ah (Islamic teachings), as no one can claim to have received revelation from Allah except the Prophets and the Messengers. There are no Prophets and Messengers succeeding Prophet Muhammad , which means that revelation has ceased after Prophet Muhammad . Therefore, all claims of receiving revelations after Prophet Muhammad are false. As for divine inspirations (“ilham”), those are intuitions of the heart granted by Allah to His pious servants, without any intermediaries.However, a divine inspiration cannot bring about any new religious ruling or legislation, nor can it contradict any established Islamic rulings as Allah has affirmed the completion of the religion in surah al-Ma’idah verse 3:

 

Which means: “On this day I have perfected your faith for you and completed My favour upon you and chosen Islam as your religion.

Second: Modifying religious rulings

8. There are several interpretations or practices in deviant teachings which are without any basis in religion. These include (a) the addition of religious rituals without any sound basis, or (b) changing the laws of the religion, such as practising spiritual marriages (“nikah batin”) or believing that a prayer is deemed complete when only the intention to pray has been made, without actually carrying out any acts required for the prayer.

a)    Changes to religious practices

9. Discarding and/or replacing established obligatory religious practices such as praying, fasting, hajj, and other such practices without valid reasons (such as the valid concessions for those who are unwell), is a sign of deviancy.10 Although the Prophets and Messengers possessed such honour and respect in the sight of Allah, they still performed all the religious obligations that were commanded upon them. All methods of worship must also be in line with the guidance provided in the Quran, as well as the teachings of Prophet Muhammad in accordance with what he mentioned:

صلوا كما رأيتموني أصلي

Which means: “Pray as how you witnessed me praying.” (Hadith narrated by al-Bukhari).

10. The closer someone is to Allah , the more devoted one would be to the commandments of Allah , and not otherwise. Abu Yazid al-Bustami11 said: “ If you witness a man who has been granted miracles (“karamah”) such that he is able to fly to the sky, do not be tricked by him, until you see how he abides by the commandments and prohibitions (of religion), and (how) he preserves the limitations and observes the religious laws.12 Sheikh Ahmad Zarruq13 said: “Any sheikh who does not practise the sunnah (of Prophet Muhammad ) should not be followed, because his status is not assured, even if he visibly possesses a million miracles.14

11. One of the sources of interpretations that can lead to distortions of the religion is confusion on the concept of mystical truth (“hakikat”) in the field of tasawwuf – those with deviant tendencies have misinterpreted the writings of the scholars of tasawwuf,15 and hence distorted the teachings of Islam.

12. The concept of hakikat is recognized in the field of tasawwuf. as the perfection of worship that is achieved through the full observation of the Sharī‘ah, that is, when a believer practises the obligations laid out by the Quran, the Sunnah, as well as through the guidance of religious scholars. When an individual practises the Sharī‘ah with a true appreciation of its rulings, conditions, requirements, obligations, and sunnah, and refrains from matters which could nullify these practices, as well as carries these obligations out with sincerity, without any arrogance or pride; it is in this manner that one will feel closer to Allah and be guarded from blameworthy traits (“madhmūmah”), whilst adorning oneself with praiseworthy traits (“mahmūdah”). Scholars of tasawwuf define this process as takhallī, taḥallī, tajallī; also known as hakikat, tarikat, ma‘rifat.16

13. For example, there are those who claim that the ritual prayers according to hakikat are different from those performed by the mainstream Muslim community. Similarly, there are esoteric (“batin”) interpretations of some acts of worship, which permit certain acts that are already clearly prohibited in the religion, such as adultery, gambling, and drinking. These are distortions of tasawwuf, which could lead to deviancy.17

b)   Changing the laws of the religion

14. Following are some examples of changes to religious laws which some deviant teachings adopt:

i. Spiritual Marriage (“Nikah Batin”)

15. A spiritual marriage is a marriage that occurs without any wali, witnesses, a formal solemnisation, and dowry. In most cases, there are no limitations on the number of women “married” to a man through such deviant spiritual marriages. Such acts occur either between followers of a particular teaching, or between the teacher and his students. The perpetrators usually claim that they have received divine revelations from Allah to carry out such acts.18

16.     The Sharī‘ah had clearly laid out the rules regarding marriage and stipulate conditions for the validity of a marriage. Hence, a marriage is valid only when it fulfils such conditions. This is in contrast to a spiritual marriage, which could either be a spiritual connection between a teacher and his female followers, or involves a physical relationship between them; as both types contradict clear religious teachings, and can result in all parties committing grave sins.

ii. Addition of unsanctioned rituals

17. Some deviant teachings conduct additional cleansing rituals which are not mandated by the religion. According to Islamic law, there are specific cleansing requirements such as ablution before performing prayers, obligatory ritual bath due to major impurities, and the highly encouraged (sunnah) practice of ritual bathing on particular days, such as on Fridays and on Eid. All these acts are based on the teachings of Prophet Muhammad . Additions to the accepted ritual cleansing requirements in Islam, such as a ritual bath that is deemed obligatory by the leader of a teaching as a requirement to be a part of the group, are direct contradictions of religious teachings and is an indication that the group could be practising deviant teachings. Imam al-Ghazali, in his rejection of the teachings of the al-Bāṭiniyah sect,19  stated that this group required its followers to renew their oath of allegiance (“bay‘ah”) to their leader by performing obligatory ritual cleansings.20

Third: Belief in the hidden meanings of alphabets in the Quran

18. A belief in the hidden meanings of verses or alphabets in the Quran is an example of an erroneous interpretation (“fāsid”) and is thus not accepted in Islam.21 It is a trait that can be found in numerous deviant teachings that have already existed in the distant past. For example, the al-Bāṭiniyah sect assumes that everything that has an outward appearance in the religion possesses an inner meaning, and those who observe only the outward appearance are deemed as ignorant, and forever restricted to the external laws of Sharī‘ah.

19. This belief is false and must be rejected. Imam al-Ghazali clarified that such interpretations imply that Prophet Muhammad as Ṣāḥib al-Sharῑah  (Sharī‘ah legislator) had concealed parts of the religion from his people. This is a blatant lie against the Prophet Muhammad and a false claim. Prophet Muhammad had conveyed everything to the people,22 in accordance with the command of Allah :

Which means: “You must convey it (al-Quran) to the people and not conceal it.” (Surah Al Imran: 187).

20. Interpreting the Quran requires a strong mastery of the Arabic language, as well as observing the correct methodology.23

Fourth: Dubious practices of spiritual healing (“ruqyah”)

21. Performing spiritual healing by reciting the Quran and the correct dhikr by following the Ṭibb Nabawī (Prophetic healing) is something that is supported by the religion. Such practices are known as ruqyah shariyyah.24 The Prophet Muhammad said:

لا بأس بالرقى ما لم يكن فيه شرك

Which means: “There is nothing wrong with (doing) ruqyah, as long as there is no (element of) shirik (“polytheism”) in it.25

22.     Imam Shafi’i was asked about ruqyah and he answered: “There is nothing wrong with a person who is spiritually healed by way of the recitation of the Words of Allah (Quran) and dhikr to Allah whose meanings are understood.26 These acts of spiritual healing according to the principles of Islam are well-known and have been established by credible scholars and experts.

23.     This differs from traditional healing practices, or spiritual healing that contain dubious elements. As a general guidance, one must ensure that the following conditions exist:

a. The spiritual healer must possess strong religious knowledge, and act upon this knowledge accordingly, in order to ensure that one’s acts of spiritual healing are in line with the teachings of the religion and are protected from soothsaying and delusion that are disallowed by the religion. What is critical is that the teachings of aqidah, must be protected, to ensure that one’s practices are not deviated by superstition and polytheism.

b. Practices of spiritual healing cannot contradict Islamic principles and must avoid everything which are prohibited in the religion.27 This includes the following principles:

  • It is obligatory to observe the boundaries of interaction with the opposite gender (who are not their mahram). When carrying out a treatment, a healer cannot (i) physically touch those who are not their mahram without any urgent need as recognised in Islam;28 and (ii) a healer cannot be secluded with the opposite gender (who are not their mahram).29 Such acts are not in accordance with Islamic teachings, and hence cannot be permitted on the basis of spiritual healing,
  • Materials which are prohibited, as well as those considered impure or dirty, such as blood, should not be used as part of the treatment; and
  • Mantras or spells should not be recited.

c. Spiritual healers are required to have the ability to recite the Quran and supplications in Arabic. Performing the spiritual healing treatment of ruqyah shariyyah requires the recitation of Quranic verses and selected dhikr. The healer has to ensure that their Quranic recitation is accurate and clear, as meanings of verses can change if wrongly recited.

24. Non-observance of the religious guidance mentioned above is a sign that the healing methods used are doubtful and may conflict with ruqyah shar’iyyah. A successful healing through such methods is not a proof of its conformity to the Islamic law. Ibn Abi al-‘Izz al-Hanafi mentioned, although someone may appear to possess a unique ability, should the person not conform to the obligations and prohibitions of religious laws, it does not amount to anything of worth.30

ADVICE TO THE COMMUNITY

25. The community must remain vigilant against individuals or groups who spread deviant teachings. Therefore, it is important for us to consistently strive to (i) acquiring Islamic knowledge only through qualified and registered Asatizah, (ii) learning from a wide variety of Asatizah instead of listening to only one source of reference; and (iii) avoid a mindset in which only one’s teachers possess the monopoly on truth.

26. The community must also be on guard against the preaching of individuals and groups which are deviant. This is to ensure that they would not be easily deceived by any dubious content being preached. The community should only refer religious matters and queries to qualified teachers to ensure the veracity of knowledge being conveyed.

27. The community must also be wary of any religious activity that is conducted by a group or leader in secrecy and/or in an exclusivist way, or from dubious and unverified sources. In Islam, knowledge does not need to be preached in a secretive manner, as everything had already been clarified and made known by the Prophet Muhammad . Umar ibn Abdul Aziz stated, as reported by Imam Ahmad, that:

إذا رأيت القوم يتناجون في دينهم دون العامة فاعلم أنهم على تأسيس ضلالة

Which means: “If you witness a group of people who whisper (in secrecy) with regard to their religion, without bringing other people (into their conversations), know that they are treading on misguidance.31

28. In general, please exercise caution and avoid joining a religious class or activity that is conducted by uncertified individuals or groups. Also, be wary if the sessions:

(i) take place late at night,

(ii) are not open for a large audience to attend,

(iii) are conducted by teachers or leaders who disallow their followers from spreading what has been taught, via any medium,

(iv) are conducted by teachers and leaders who resort to unverified religious sources, and rely on notes of their own writings,32 or present their teachings verbally only.

29. It is the responsibility of every individual to evaluate the source of knowledge that is being obtained. We should not be deceived by the claims of certain individuals who, under the guise of knowledge, aim to achieve other objectives, whether to cheat and acquire followers, or to obtain social recognition, or to gain influence, and so on.

30. In Singapore, under the Administration of Muslim Law (Muslim Religious Schools) Rules 2016, all religious teachers providing Islamic instruction, and Muslim religious schools, must be registered with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis). Therefore, providing Islamic instructions without formal accreditation from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore is an offence, and should be reported with strong and indisputable evidence.

31. The explanation above is to guide and help the community to be on guard against deviant teachings. It is also important to note that allegations that a particular individual or group is deviant, is a very serious matter. One must therefore exercise great care in reporting complaints, and not hastily condemn a particular teaching as deviant. There could be instances where religious teachers have erred and made genuine errors in interpretation, without malice or intention to deliberately misguide others. Seek clarification from experts and knowledgeable sources, as how Allah has commanded us:

Which means: “Therefore, ask those who are more learned if you do not know.” (Surah an-Nahl: 43)

32. The Fatwa Committee seeks Allah’s mercy in guiding the Singapore Muslim community; and that He bestows upon the community blessed knowledge and strengthens their faith and God-consciousness. We ask God to protect the community from misfortune and misguidance in this world and the hereafter.

والله أعلم

والله ولي التوفيق، وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم.

 

DR NAZIRUDIN MOHD NASIR
CHAIRMAN, FATWA COMMITTEE
MUFTI OF SINGAPORE

 

 

Annex A

 

i. Teachings of Ahmad Laksmana33

Haji Ahmad Laksamana bin Haji Omar expanded the teachings of Ilmu Hakikat, which rejected the concept of ubūdiyyah or worshipping of Allah . It was a part of the teachings of the al-Batiniyyah sect that was deemed as not part of Islam. The book Hakikat Insan written by Ahmad Laksmana in 1985 was decreed as deviant by the Fatwa Committee of Singapore in 1987. Among the main teachings of Ahmad Laksmana are as follows:

a) Claiming that individuals originate from Allah through the medium of imitative philosophy or Martabat Tujuh34, and therefore rejecting the concept of worshipping Allah or the religious obligations of the five daily prayers.

b) There are erroneous interpretations in the book Hakikat Insan related to the hidden meaning of the letters in the Qur'an that are only known to certain people. Examples of erroneous intrepretations as stated in the book Hakikat Insan include the meaning of the word “Alhamdu” (الحمد), which according to the writer encompasses all pillars of the religion, and that “alif” means the syahadah, “lam” means prayer, “ha” means fasting, “mim” means zakat and “dal” means hajj. In addition to the above, the word (بسم الله) symbolises the sexual organs of men and women.35

c) Allowing spiritual marriage by linking Quranic verses with humans’ sexual organs.

ii. The Teachings of Taslim36

Established by Haji Muhammad Matahari in Pulau Pinang in the 1940s. This teaching was based on the thoughts, understanding and interpretations of Haji Muhammad Matahari according to what suited his will and desire. This teaching was erroneous from the aspect of aqidah and contradict clear religious obligations. The main teachings are as follows:

a) The successor of Prophet Muhammad is Haji Muhammad Matahari. He possesses the equal power of Allah and the Quran that is actually inside him.

b) Taslim means a total submission that completes the Islam of a person by a total surrender of themselves, their children, their wives and also their possessions to Prophet Muhammad or his successors who are in Kampung Seronok, Bayan Lepas, in a ceremony.

c)  There is no need to perform the ritual prayers as Allah exists in every individual, and the incident of Mikraj as well as the orders to perform the ritual prayers are false teachings and are fabricated.

 

iii. Teachings of Madrasah Faiz al-Baqarah37

The teachings of Madrasah Faiz al-Baqarah are based on the teachings of “Roh Mutmainnah” as spread by Hassan bin Jonit. This teaching contains elements of falsehood towards Allah and His Prophet. The teachings have no basis in Islamic principles and are based on personal desires and whims. The teachings were decreed as deviant by the Fatwa Committee of Singapore in 2011. Among the main claims of this teachings are as follows:

a) This group claims that they have a teacher from the spiritual world who is named “Muhammad Noor”, who possesses a similarity with Allah and is a form of light from Prophet Muhammad .

b) The voice heard by the teacher is deemed as divine inspiration (“ilham”) from Loh Mahfuz that must be followed, even if it conflicts with Islamic principles.

c) Acts of worship such as the methods of praying can be changed and replaced with acts based on “ilham” which are accepted. For example, the act of prayer can be replaced with zikr and the like.

d) The Quran can be interpreted through divine inspiration (“ilham”), without following the principles of interpretation and the methodologies that have been agreed upon by scholars, and without a proper understanding of the Arabic language.



[1] Zaihan Mohamed Yusof, “Self-styled prophet said to have five spiritual wives,” The Straits Times, published on 9 November 2020, https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/self-styled-prophet-said-to-have-five-spiritual-wives.

[2] In the Administration of Muslim Law Act (s31), the Fatwa Committee is referred to as the Legal Committee. Sect 31 (7): “(7) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Legal Committee may regulate its own procedure”.

[3] Hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhī, Sunan al-Tirmidhī, hadith no. 1340.

[4] Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, al-Ṭuruq al-Ḥukmiyyah. (Beirūt: Maktabah al-Mu‘ayd, 1989), 11.

[5] For example, the teaching of “Madrasah Faiz al-Baqarah” has its own book titled “Kitab: Berita Agama”.

[6] Please refer to annex A for a brief explanation on some deviant teachings that have been decreed as deviant, as well as for examples of deviancy.

[7] There are practices similar to possession, such as “spiritisme”, “medium”, “chanelling”, and “taḥdīr al-arwāḥ” which is a belief that the souls of those who have passed away can reappear. See: Noktah Hitam: Ajaran Sesat di Singapura. (Singapore: MUIS and Perdaus, 2001), 480.

[8] ‘Abd al-Qādir ‘Isā, Haqā’iq ‘an al-Taṣawwuf. (Aleppo: Dār al-‘Irfān, 2001), 353. See also: Zakariyyā al-Anṣārī, al-Ḥudūd al-Anīqah wa al-Ta’rīfāt al-Daqīqah. (Beirūt: Dār al-Fikr al-Mu‘āṣir, 1991), 68.

[9] Al-Qurṭubī, Abū al-‘Abbās, al-Mufhim Limā 'Ashkala min Talkhīṣ Kitāb Muslim. (Beirūt: Dār Ibn Kathīr, 1996), 6: 218-219.

[10] Refer to annex A for a brief explanation on some deviant teachings that have been decreed as deviant, as well as for examples of deviancy.

[11] Abū Yazīd al-Bustāmī was born in the Bastam district of Iran in 188H and passed away in Iran in 261H. He was a Sufi whose words were widely recorded by scholars such as Abū Mūsā al-Daybulī, Abū Isḥāq al-Harawī and others. As for his writing, there is no record in history showing that Abū Yazīd al-Busṭāmī left behind any writings. See: Abū al-‘Ālāʹ ‘Afīfī, Fī al-Taṣawwuf al-Islāmī wa Tārīkhuh. (Qāhirah: Maṭba‘ah Lajnah al-Taʹlīf wa al-Tarjamah wa al-Nasyr, 1948), 75.

[12] Original text in Arabic:

"...لو نظرتهم إِلَى رجل أعطي من الكرامات حَتَّى يرتقى فِي الهواء فلا تغتروا بِهِ حتي تنظروا كيف تجدونه عند الأمر والنهى وحفظ الحدود وأداء الشريعة.".

Please refer: Al-Qushayrī, Risālah al-Qushayriyyah. (Qāhirah: Dār al-Ma‘ārif, n.d.), 1:58.

[13] Sheikh Amad Zarrūq is a scholar of Fiqh and a Sufi. He has written many works on tasawwuf. See: Ibn Maryam, Zikr al-ʹAuliyāʹ wa al-‘Ulamā’ bi Talmasān. (Qāhirah: al-Maṭba‘ah al-Tha‘ālibiyyah, 1908), 45.

[14] Original text in Arabic:

"...كل شيخ لم يظهر بالسنة فلا يصح اتباعه لعدم تحقق حاله، وإن صح في نفسه ،وظهر عليه ألف ألف كرامة من أمره...".

Please refer: Aḥmad Zarrūq, Qawā’id al-Taṣawwuf. (Beirūt: Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2005), 135.

[15] ‘Abd al-Qādir ‘Isā, Haqā’iq ‘an al-Taawwuf, 392.

[16] Al-Kashānī, Mujam Isṭilāhāt al-Ṣūfiyyah. (Qāhirah: Dār Al-Manār, 1992), 173 & 288.

[17] For example, refer to the discussion on the teachings of Taslim. Abdulfattah Haron Ibrahim, Kebatilan Agama Taslim. (Singapura: Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura, 1989), 12.

[18] The act of spiritual marriage has been linked to several deviant teachings in Malaysia, that are connected with the teachings of Haji Ahmad Laksmana bin Haji Omar from his book Hakikat Insan. This book was declared deviant by the Fatwa Committee of Singapore in 1987.

[19] Al-Bāṭiniyah: Historians are of the view that this movement emerged during the period of Khalifah al-Ma’mun around year 276H. This group was established by Aḥmad bin Al-Ḥussayn, ‘Abdullāh bin Maymūn bin Qaddāḥ, Al-Zindānī, and Ḥamdān bin Qarmaṭ. This group acquired its name due to their claims that the hidden meaning of the Quran is only known to them. See: al-Shahrastānī, al-Milāl wa al-Niḥal. (Beirūt: Dār al-Ma‘rifah, 1993), 228-235.

[20] Al-Ghazālī, Faḍā’iḥ al-Bāṭiniyyah. (Kuwait: Mu’assasah Dār al-Kutub al-Thaqāfiyyah, 1964), 56.

[21] There are several groups in this region who preach the same teachings. Some examples of a free but erroneous interpretation can be found in the book Hakikat Insan, regarding the meaning of the word “Alhamd” (الحمد), which according to the writer encompasses all pillars of the religion. Also, “alif” means the syahadah, “lam” means prayer, “ha” means fasting, “mim” means zakat and “dal” means hajj. In addition to the above, the word (بسم الله) symbolises the sexual organs of men and women. See: Abdulfattah Haron Ibrahim, Kebatilan Agama Taslim, 11; Ahmad Laksamana, Hakikat Insan, 227.

[22] Al-Ghazālī, Faḍā’iḥ al-Bāṭiniyyah, 62, 66-67.

[23] Noktah Hitam: Ajaran Sesat di Singapura, 80; See also, Quraish Shihab, Kaidah Tafsir. (Tangerang: Lentera Hati, 2013), 226.

[24] There are several Quranic verses that mention the healing of illnesses through the recitation of the Quran. One of them is in Surah al-Isra’ verse 82, which means: “And We send down of the Qur’ān that which is a healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.” Through studying the sunnah of our Prophet and the actions of his Companions, we can learn how they often used the Quran and certain dhikr as methods of treatment.

[25] Muslim bin al-Ḥajjāj, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, hadith no. 2200.

[26] Original text in Arabic:

"...لا بأس أن يرقي الإنسان بكتاب اللّه عز وجل وما يعرف من ذكر اللّه..."

Please refer: Al-Nawawī, al-Majmū‘. (Jeddah: Maktabah al-Irshād, n.d.) 9:65.

[27] Wahid Abdussallam Bali, Ruqyah Jin, Shir dan Terapinya. (Jakarta: Ummul Quran, 2017), 110.

[28] Sayyidatina A’ishah r.a. said: “By Allah, the hand of Rasulullah had never been touched by women (who are not mahram) not even during the pledge of alliance, they gave their pledge through words.” [Hadith narrated by Imam al-Bukhari].

[29] Rasulullah said: “It is not allowed for a man to be alone with a woman except that there be with her someone who is of her kin.” [Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim].

[30] Original text in Arabic:

"...ولو حصل له من الخوارق ماذا عسى أن يحصل. فإنه لا يكون مع تركه الفعل المأمور وعزل المحظور...".

Please refer: Ibn Abī al-‘Izz al-Ḥanafī, Syarḥ al-‘Aqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah, (Beirūt: Mu’assah al-Risālah, 1990), 768.

[31] Aḥmad Ibn Ḥanbal, al-Zuhd. (Beirūt: Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1999), 235.

[32] Noktah Hitam: Ajaran Sesat di Singapura, 62 & 67.

[33] Noktah Hitam:  Ajaran Sesat di Singapura, 179-195.

[34] The thought philosophy in Martabat Tujuh is the unity of everything (wiḥdatul wujūd or mysticism) without any beginning nor end. The concept of Martabat Tujuh opines that the universe and mankind originate from Allah and were not created from nothing into existence. See Noktah Hitam: Ajaran Sesat di Singapura, 188-190.

[35] Ahmad Laksamana, Hakikat Insan, 227.

[36] Noktah Hitam:  Ajaran Sesat di Singapura, 90-99.

[37] Fatwa decision on 20/05/10.