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Scholars caution against distorted interpretation of korban

Korban meats packed and ready to be donated to the poor.

Korban meats packed and ready to be donated to the poor.

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – September 12, 2017: Two Islamic scholars have cautioned Muslims not to be influenced by individuals who propagate a distorted interpretation of religious rituals.

The advice follows a claim by controversial lawyer Siti Kassim who argues at Facebook that the korban ritual of slaughtering livestock during Aidiladha is a vicarious atonement of sin, which is immoral and not mentioned in the Quran.

Her posting on September 1 to coincide with Aidiladha, had gained notoriety over the past few days after it was shared by many Facebookers and bloggers.

Popular Islamic scholar-preacher Datuk Kazim Elias pointed out that Siti had misunderstood the true concept of korban.

A Muslim’s sins, said Kazim, are absolved through the repeated act of taubat (repent) and not by performing rituals like the korban.

“Korban is not a ritual offering to Allah. It is an act of helping the poor by way of giving them meat during Aidiladha,” he explained.

It is the act of donating the meat that pleases Allah.

Concurring with Kazim, Associate Professor Mohd. Nor Mamat, who is an expert in Islamic revelation studies, also refuted Siti’s claim that the korban ritual is not mentioned in the Quran.

Mohd. Nor, who currently lectures at Universiti Teknologi Mara, said Siti probably did not read the Quran in its entirety before forming her views. 

“Had people read the entire Quran, they would not have simply claimed that the act of korban was never implied and mentioned. In this case, the need for Muslims to perform the act is included in the Al-Kauthar chapter of the Quran,” said Mohd. Nor.

He also refuted Siti’s argument that performing korban in a society which has sufficient access to food will eventually destroy the environment.

Mohd. Nor advises those who disagree with Siti to rebut her calmly, because according to him, hurling slurs at her would be counter productive.

Siti’s posting also triggered strong reactions from PAS leaders, with many lodging police reports in Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Kelantan and Terengganu today.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

Despite becoming The MOLE's journalist in 2014, he still has a hard time traversing the city. If he is not lost, this northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make some sense out of the Malaysian political sphere.