Monday June 18, 2012
PAS sticks to stand on no haj pilgrimage during polls
By RAHIMY RAHIM
KOTA BARU: PAS is sticking to its stand that party members should forgo their pilgrimage this year in anticipation of a general election during the haj season.
PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said it was not compulsory for Muslims to take the pilgrimage this year. The haj season is due between the middle of August and the last week of October.
He said that although the edict on the haj came six years after the hijrah (migration from Mecca to Medina), Prophet Muhammad only performed the haj in the 10th year.
“While it is the fifth tenet of Islam and compulsory for Muslims who can afford it, the haj can be performed in any year,” said Nik Aziz, who is also Kelantan Mentri Besar.
“It would be unfair to those preparing to go to Mecca if the election is held during the haj season,” he said, appealing to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak not to have the polls during a time when many Muslim voters and election workers would be away.
Nik Aziz was speaking to reporters after opening the World Islamic Industry expo here yesterday.
The suggestion for PAS followers to defer their pilgrimage was first made on June 5 by PAS information chief Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man in the selangorku.com news portal as PAS needs the party machinery for the election.
Umno politicians said PAS was resorting to tactics aimed at scaring Muslim voters in the run-up to the 13th general election by suggesting that Najib would call for the polls during the haj season.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had reportedly said the prime minister would choose that date because PAS supporters would be in the Holy Land and would, therefore, miss the chance to cast their votes and campaign for the party.
Islamic scholars and Umno leaders have accused PAS of putting politics over religious matters, reasoning that many people from Umno would also be in Mecca and Medina.