Common in Muslim-dominant nations, the government of Malaysia’s official National Fatwa Council has ruled that all citizens, Muslim and non-Muslims alike, need to refrain from uttering “RIP” to those who adhere to a belief other than Islam, as reported by The Malaysian Insider news portal on April 17, 2014.
Despite four in ten Malaysians claiming adherence to a number of faiths other than Islam (Buddhism, Catholicism, Taoism, Hinduism, etc.) the government is “encouraging” the country’s people to never say that any recently deceased non-Muslim should Rest In Peace (RIP).
Equating the ancient Catholic prayerful intention that the departed should requiescat in pace to RIP’s connotation to Christianity. According to the governmental office of fatwas, kuffars (unbelievers) are strictly verboten from receiving the mercy of God. The fatwa was curiously issued within hours of the traffic accident death of noted opposition MP (Member of Parliament) Karpal Singh, who was both ethnically and religiously a Sikh.
Per the Islamic theological ruling, the Latin-based prayer of condolence is a moot point to all Muslims due to “from an Islamic point of view, a person who has died in blasphemy will not receive God’s forgiveness and blessings.”
All Malaysians are admonished to instead give the generic and inoffensive to Mohammed condolence of “I sympathise with what has happened to you” or “we express our sadness at the loss in your family.” However, the fatwa also strongly and in no uncertain terms instructed “a Muslim is definitely not encouraged to wish a non-Muslim person ‘Rest in Peace.'”
Upon pain of death …
This latest canonical ruling from the Islamic world isn’t exactly the first to raise Western eyebrows. As previously covered by Examiner.com, Islamic officials in Egypt recently issued a fatwa which forbad women from taking a dip in the ocean. Falling back on the rationale that the Arab word for “sea” is masculine, therefore, if and when sea water comes into contact with a married woman’s pelvic area, she literally committed adultery.
According to the fatwa, the offending female would and could be qualified as an ‘adulteress’ and should be punished in accordance with Islamic Shari’a Law. Per the violently straight laced legal code, adulteresses are normally sentenced to a slow and painful death, such as stoning or pressing until death.