PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang today said any decisions made in managing a disaster should place religion above other matters including to preserve economic interests.
Hadi in a blog post said Islamic scholars have listed six pillars of life in order of priority, with religion at the top and wealth in the last place.
The remaining four pillars, which he said should serve as guidance in order of priority are life, intellect, lineage and dignity.
“This is so because of the Islamic concept that mankind is created to serve, carry out its teachings, go forth with what has been entrusted on earth and the afterlife,” said the Marang MP.
“Therefore, the economic aspect is a supporting thrust for other life’s roles, or in other words, mankind ‘eats to live’ and carry out duties set out by Allah SWT.
“And so life is not only to fulfill earthly desires without consideration for the wisdom of its creations,” he said, adding that the ways of Islam also differs from modern ideologies that places wealth and amassing wealth as a primary life goal.
Hadi said such consideration applies in any disaster management including the current Covid-19 pandemic where the Perikatan Nasional government were faced with decisions which must be made according to the set priorities.
“But if everything can be managed together, then it must be done systematically.
“This include combining the priorities to preserve economic activities in order to fulfill the need of protecting livelihoods,” he said, citing permission granted in Islam for consumption of non-permissible food to sustain life.
He said the PN government has taken steps to control the Covid-19 pandemic without shutting down the economy in order to protect people’s livelihoods while providing help to the most needy.
“Only those whose work is to find blame and weaknesses will pick on the restrictions’ list without consideration for the people’s need for economic activities to go on,” he added.
In making his point, Hadi cited a verse from the Quran that narrated the story of how a king of an ant kingdom in the time of Prophet Sulaiman had protected his followers from being crushed by the human army.
He said the story taught the importance of patience and a wise leader’s decision to place safety above desire for food or wealth.
Most governments around the world had since the beginning of the pandemic imposed strict lockdowns on congregations at all places of worship.
State religious authorities in charge of mosques’ in Malaysia had issued various degrees of restrictions since last year to limit the number of congregants permitted entry and to introduce Covid-19 prevention protocols.
Critics argued that religious gatherings and prayers were needed as spiritual remedy for Covid-19, while at the same time questioning permission granted for larger gatherings including at various workplaces.