SETIU: The Terengganu Islamic Affairs Department (JHEAT) clarified that the department is having difficulty determining the religion of the leader of the Ayah Pin deviationist sect, Ariffin Muhammad, 65.
According to JHEAT commisioner, Shaikh Harun Ismail, from investigations by the department, some of the practices of the cult was similar to those by Muslims.
However, he said Ariffin aka Ayah Pin had told an English Daily that he was the head of all religions of the world, which veered from the faith of Muslims.
“At first we wanted to charge him for evading paying the Fitrah (a compulsory tithe for Muslims), but our findings show he has paid them for the last three years,” he said when asked to comment on the leader of the Sky Kingdom sect’s religion.
Shaikh Harun was met at the opening of the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Lembah Bidong near here, which was done by Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu. Also present were Permaisuri Terengganu, Permaisuri Nur Zahirah, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
Last Wednesday (July 20), JHEAT enforcement officers and police detained 58 Ayah Pin followers in a special operation at their commune in Hulu Besut near here, two days after it was attacked by a masked mob of about 50 people. However, Ayah Pin and his four wives eluded the dragnet.