General December 07, 2006 22:20 PM
Books Proof Ashaari Still Believes In Al-Arqam Teachings, Says Ex-Follower

SHAH ALAM, Dec 7 (Bernama) -- A former follower of the Al-Arqam movement which was outlawed in 1994 said the publication of two books on the sect's former leader Ashaari Muhammad was proof that the latter was trying to revive it through the Rufaqa organisation.

Fakrulrozi Abdullah said that Ashaari's denial that he was not reviving Al-Arqam could not be taken seriously as the release of two books including the one entitled "Abuya Ashaari Muhammad Pemimpin Paling Ajaib di Zamannya" (My Father Ashaari Muhammad Most Miraculous Leader of His Time) proved otherwise.

The book was written by his wife Khadijah Aam and touched on the "Aurad Muhammadiah", the teachings of the banned Al-Arqam.

"It contains 36 items that can sway the faith of Muslims including claims that he had been empowered by Allah with supernatural powers, was able to contact Prophet Muhammad and Imam Mahdi (Jesus Christ) and had been appointed by God as the leader of his time.

"Ashaari need not lie anymore. The proof as contained in the book clearly shows his involvement in reviving Al-Arqam. He does not have to be evasive about it," Fakrulrozi told a press conference called by former members of Al-Arqam to highlight the dangers of the deviant group's activities here Thursday.

He said that Khadijah being the writer of the book should also come forward and explain if she thought she had done no wrong.

The release of another book titled "Nasihat Buatmu Bekas Kawan-Kawanku Dalam Al-Arqam" (Advice to My Former Friends in Al-Arqam) was another proof that Ashaari was involved in reviving the sect, he said.

Zabidi Mohamed, the former lawyer for Al-Arqam told reporters present that Ashaari's claim that his former followers were jealous of Rufaqa's success as unfounded.

He said that media reports on Dec 4 about the 76 companies registered under Rufaqa showed that the company only made profits of about RM10,000 annually.

"A simple calculation shows that each company only makes a profit of about RM120 annually or just 30 sen daily.

"How can anybody be jealous over just 30 sen. Even my son can make RM4 daily from just collecting empty tin cans. Ashaari and Khadijah must be stopped from cheating Malaysians," he said.

Zabidi also urged the Ministry of Higher Education to monitor university students as many were said to have been involved with Rufaqa through the Mawaddah group.

He said that firm action should be taken against three lecturers responsible for spreading the deviant teachings in several institutions of higher learning.

The former deputy leader of Al-Arqam, Halim Abas, said the businesses were not a problem but Ashaari's efforts to revive the banned movement was wrong.

He described Ashaari as a liar for claiming that he was in contact with Prophet Muhammad without any "hadith" (records and sayings of the Prophet) or proof to back them.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Selangor Islamic affairs, Youth and People Friendly Committee, Datuk Abdul Rahman Palil, said the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) had obtained warrants to search three premises linked to Rufaqa.

He added that JAIS was also in the process of obtaining warrants of arrest for several "sheikh" (leaders) and Ashaari's right-hand men.

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