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Johor Religious Authority Says Its Investigation Found Illi Najwa Has Never Left Islam

The 27-year-old Malaysian woman's marriage with Manpreet Singh Pawar, the captain of India men's national field hockey team, was under investigation since December last year.

Cover image via Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar (Facebook)

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Illi Najwa Anuar Hussein Saddique, who married the captain of the India hockey team, Manpreet Singh Pawar, last year, is still a Muslim, according to the Johor Islamic Religious Department (JAINJ)

In a statement posted on the official Facebook page of Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, it was stated that JAINJ carried out a thorough investigation into the marital and religious status of Illi Najwa and her partner.

The investigation found that Illi Najwa is "still a Muslim", the statement said.

The results of the investigation were presented to the Johor Sultan by Johor Mufti Yahya Ahmad and JAINJ director Md Rofiki Shamsudin at Istana Bukit Pelangi on Thursday, 18 March.

JAINJ stated that it called Illi Najwa along with her mother and several other witnesses for its investigation and their statements were taken

"The result of the investigation found that Illi Najwa never left Islam. In fact, today, she also came with us to meet the Sultan," Yahya was quoted as saying by the Royal Press Office (RPO).

According to RPO, in December last year, the Johor Sultan ordered JAINJ and the Johor Mufti Department to investigate the current religious status of the woman who reportedly married Manpreet Singh.

Malay Mail reported that Sultan Ibrahim had advised the public to avoid jumping to conclusions as Illi Najwa, who is the niece of Halimah Mohamed Sadique, who is the Minister of National Unity in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration had not declared that she wishes to leave Islam.

Yahya, meanwhile, added that the couple's marriage registration in Johor Bahru is currently being processed and the issue is resolved

"There is no problem registering their marriage and this issue has also been resolved."

The 27-year-old got married to the captain of India men's national field hockey teamο»Ώ at a gurdwara in Jalandhar city, located in the Indian state of Punjab, as per Anand Karaj, the Sikh marriage ceremony

Manpreet donned a ceremonial Punjabi wedding suit complete with a turban, while Illi Najwa was wearing a Punjabi bridal costume when they exchanged matrimonial vows on 16 December.

Illi Najwa managed to secure special permission from the Malaysian authorities and India's Minister of Home Affairs to fly to New Delhi, en route to Manpreet's hometown, according to New Straits Times.

She left for India via the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on 2 December following the relax border and travel restrictions between India and Malaysia last year.

"She managed to secure a flight ticket to New Delhi after obtaining the necessary government clearance," an International Hockey Federation official was quoted as saying by New Straits Times.

Following which, their marriage was under investigation:

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