Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said today he will seek clarification from the state government on amendments passed to the state’s Administration of the Religion of Islam Enactment 2006.
Responding to parties who contacted him on the issue, Asri said in a Facebook posing that he was currently overseas and as such, did not have details of the amendments.
“Later maybe I will refer to the state government to get the information.
“However, if you are asking about the official fatwa from the Perlis Mufti Department that was approved by the Perlis State Islamic Council on the issue of child custody, then that matter had been announced a long time ago,” said Asri, who also shared a copy of the landmark fatwa issued in July last year.
Among others, the Perlis Fatwa Committee decided that custody rights of children of non-Muslim parents shall not be evaluated based on religion when one of them converted to Islam.
Instead, custody should be awarded to the parent who was able to ensure the child's moral and emotional development, while the Muslim parent was responsible for introducing Islam to the children.
The fatwa also stated that a child who was still being breastfed should not be separated from the mother.
Amendments passed to Section 117(b) in the Malay language version of the Perlis enactment replaced the term “father and mother” with “father or mother” - allowing for the unilateral conversion of a child below the age of 18.
Perlis menteri besar Azlan Man had reportedly said the amendments were passed to standardise it with the English version which used the term “parent” in the singular form.- Mkini