PUTRAJAYA – The three intertwined principles of Wala’ (Loyalty), Wasatiyyah (Moderation) and Tabayyun (Understanding) if practised properly, will embody a perfect cycle between the leaders and those being led for the survival of a nation that craves progress and ultimate success according to Islamic interpretation, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said Wala’ carried the values of love, obedience, and allegiance to a legitimate leadership and the institutions which they represent.
“While the practice of Wala’ and loyalty to the leadership of the government, in the perspective of Malaysia, for more than six decades, has been balanced with the practice of moderation,” he said at the 2017 International Wasatiyyah Seminar “Fiqh Wala’ and Obedience: Their Role in Prospering the Nation” here, tonight.
“In Malaysia, we are fairly balanced, moderate, fair and equitable and do not practice extreme dictatorship which can lead to excesses and blind obsession, in turn leading to an extremist ideology or creed,” he explained.
He said that in some parts of the world, Muslims had fallen trap to misunderstanding the concept of Jihad, such as terrorist groups like Daesh, so much so they were willing to act outside the limitations of syura councils (highest decision making bodies or Islamic organisations) or democracy, to overthrow of the legitimate government chosen by the people.
“That’s why we do not want people in this country – without being guided by the principles of Wala’ and Wasatiyyah as outlined by Islam – to be lost or diverted to become too open and liberal, so much so they are willing to adopt a Machiavellian culture,” he said.
He said that as the leader and head of the government, he was open to others’ views and accepted constructive criticism.
“However, any form of criticism should not be coupled with defamation, insults or slander that serves to disgrace and harm the reputation of a leader,” he said.
He said it was in line with the concept of ‘Tabayyun’ which means to investigate and understand a piece of information carefully, before believing it and deciding to pass it on.
“When each one of us understands properly the three intertwined principles of Wala’-Wasatiyyah-Tabayyun’, no matter what the challenges are which lie ahead, we as the ‘ummah’ (nation) will be able to remain par excellence, or ‘Khayra Ummah’, revered by friends and foes alike,” he said.
The prime minister said Wala’ was an obligatory concept to be practised by members in an organisation, or in a broader perspective, the Malaysians at large towards the government, because all the efforts and initiatives undertaken by the country’s administration was in the best interests of the people.
“This means, it is improbable for a government like Malaysia to be despotic or burden the people and the country,” he said.
Najib said the present government always called for ‘maaruf’ (kindness), while trying to prevent ‘munkar’ (evil).
“Hence, the ulamas (Islamic shcolars) are of the opinion, in Malaysia’s situation today, Wala’ is required…to be given to the Barisan Nasional government helmed by UMNO. What’s more, the present government has always been chosen through the legal democratic system.
He said that the government was doing so much for the people, especially in terms of addressing the rising cost of living.
Among them, he said, were the various forms of assistance given by the government such as the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M), Housing Project for the Hardcore Poor, Affordable Housing scheme, 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing (PPA1M), 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA), 1Malaysia Clinics, 1Malaysia People’s Shops, and modern public transport system for workers, especially in the B40 (those in the lower income bracket) and M40 (lower middle class) target groups.
The three-day seminar organised by Institut Wasatiyyah Malaysia (IWM), which began Tuesday, is being attended by over 700 local and international delegates with seven sessions involving the presentation of 16 papers, among them by Deputy Sheikh of Egypt’s Al-Azhar Institute Prof Dr Abbas Syuman and Prof Dr Abdul al-Naseer Abu Al-Basal from Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan.