Penang Mufti Says Sorry For His Criticism Against Siti Nurhaliza's Concert Date
Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor has apologised to Malaysia's esteemed songstress Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza
The Penang Mufti had earlier chastised the Malaysian pop queen for organising her solo concert, Konsert Sebuah Epitome: Saya Siti Nurhaliza, which is scheduled for 9 March, due to it being a few days before Ramadan.
He had called for the concert to be postponed to a later date, claiming that organising entertainment events close to Ramadan showed negligence on the artiste's part and was akin to disrespecting the holy month.
However, Datuk Seri Khalid Mohd Jiwa, who is Siti's husband and the concert's organiser, said that postponing the concert would disrupt its objective of channelling humanitarian aid to Palestine.
"A postponement will jeopardise our efforts to help the Palestinians and will also impact many parties, especially the National Stadium Corporation. We cannot afford to delay funds, foodstuffs, and basic necessities meant for the Palestinians," the organiser said in response to the Penang Mufti.
Following which, Wan Salim said that he wasn't questioning the intentions of the concert organisers and was only concerned with the concert date, which would be a couple of days before Ramadan
"I am only expressing my personal opinion and considering the impact of the concert on the spiritual aspect of Muslims, not merely seeking immediate benefits," the New Straits Times quoted him as saying.
The 80-year-old added that the personal views of a mufti do not bind any individual, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, as muftis themselves are not immune from errors, and their views are not like verses from the Quran or hadith that cannot be contested by other Muslims.
At the same time, Wan Salim also explained that he is very open-minded about entertainment and artistic activities as long as it does not lead to sin or distract from obligations to Allah and fellow humans.
"This has been my consistent stance, although, I am aware that some scholars view singing and music as forbidden and sinful. In conclusion, realising my shortcomings as a servant of Allah, I sincerely apologise to Siti Nurhaliza for the open criticism, which has unexpectedly sparked controversy," he said.
He reminded everyone that it's not wrong for a mufti to apologise
"Many commentators suggested that I don't need to apologise to Siti Nurhaliza because my reprimand about her concert, which is scheduled for a date very close to Ramadan, is justified.
"For them, if what I reprimanded is correct, there is no need to apologise. For me, it's not wrong for the mufti to apologise to an artiste or anyone because we are ordinary humans, not infallible," he reiterated.