The lady was raised by her Malay grandmother who married a Chinese mualaf of a Hailam descendant. Bred as a Buddhist, she went on to marry a Chinese who never converted to Islam. She later gave birth to 13(some papers stated 8) offsprings who were given Chinese names and lived on and practiced Buddhism. Nyonya Tahir had also declarared that she wanted to be buried according to Buddhist rites indicating that she never intended to practice Islam. Her declaration was certified by a Chinese Commissioner of Oaths.
Her body had to be put on hold for burial while the Civil and Syariah courts speculated on whether she should be buried as a Muslim or otherwise. After thorough investigations, they finally arrived to a decision that she would be buried as a Buddhist.
According to Kifayatul-Akhyar, “A person who had left the Muslim faith should be asked to repent three times and if he did not, he should be killed, his body cannot be bathed according to Muslim rites, prayers cannot be performed for him and he cannot be buried in a Muslim cemetery.”
In the M.Moorthy case which caused a national uproar, an Indian mualaf was given his right as a Muslim and buried as one albeit none of us are really sure whether he was a practicing Muslim. Now this. Nyonya Tahir, born a Muslim yet in the end was finally laid to rest as a Buddhist. I rest my case.
Cases involving religion has caused much brouhaha especially among non-Muslims who claim that their religious rites have been ridden over the Syariah laws. The recent memorandum sent over to the PM by a certain number of ministers requesting for a review of the laws relating Islam is considered unintelligent. I personally think so. I’m not gonna write much on that but one thing I can say for sure is that this will definitely prolong to be a ‘wonderfully’ long crisis and make headlines nationwide.
This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice. –Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.