Religious affairs minister Idris Ahmad said Muslims in Malaysia should follow the mufti’s stand.

KUALA LUMPUR: Religious affairs minister Idris Ahmad said Muslims in the country must abide by a local mufti’s stand on the use of “rest in peace” when offering their condolences to non-Muslims who have died.

“We will stick to our mufti’s take,” he said on the sidelines of an event here today when asked to comment on a prominent Turkish scholar’s view on the matter.

According to the mufti’s office, “rest in peace” or “RIP” is a form of prayer and Muslims are forbidden from uttering it.

However, Mustafa Akyol, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity – a US-based think tank – disagreed, citing two Quranic verses to back his argument.

Akyol also said the statement by the mufti’s office reiterated the common view among Muslims today about the afterlife – that non-Muslims would go to hell and that Muslims were not allowed to pray for their souls.

But he said such views existed because mainstream Islamic traditions, created in an age of religious conflict and supremacism, could not accept the “tolerant, universalist message of the Quran”. FMT