On March 19th, amendments implementing the hudud law (Sharia penal code) were passed unanimously in the Kelantan state in Malaysia. However, for the hudud law to become enforceable. two bills have to be submitted to the federal parliament, and these will be tabled at the next session of Parliament in May.
The hudud law was first passed in Kalantan in 1993, but due to required changes to the federal constitution, it has never actually been implemented. However, this current bill could well see the start of this law being implemented across the Kelantan state.
The hudud law is a set of laws and punishments specified by Allah in the Quran, and is seen as a subset of the Sharia Law. Under this law, theft, robbery, illicit sex, alcohol consumption and apostasy are offences punishable by flogging and amputation. Though these laws primarily govern Muslims, in Indonesia and Brunei, where such laws are partly and fully implemented, Christians have also been affected.
In addition, if the law is pushed through, it will create a serious dilemma for Malaysian Muslim Background Believers (MBBs). All of them are secret believers who have retained their Muslim legal identities, and under this law, they can be punished for apostasy and illegal marriage; there are MBB couples in Malaysia who lack a formal marriage license because obtaining the license requires making a statement of allegiance to Islam.
- Pray for the Malaysian parliament as it debated these bills. Pray for wisdom, discernment and a full understanding of the implications of introducing the hudud law.
- Pray the that the bill will not be pushed through, and that those who oppose it will have the courage to speak out against it, and their voices be heard.
- Pray for Malaysian MBBs, for protection and courage as they live out their faith in increasingly hostile communities.
Psalm 37 vs 30: “The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak justice.”