Purported head of deviant religious group allegedly conducted religious school not registered by Muis, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Purported head of deviant religious group allegedly conducted religious school not registered by Muis

The purported leader of a deviant religious group allegedly conducted a Muslim religious school that was not registered with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).

Former massage therapist Mohd Razif Radi, 65, who is not a certified religious teacher under the Asatizah Recognition Scheme, is accused of committing the offence at an eatery called Lina’s Cafe in Jalan Pisang near Arab Street from around 2017 to around 2020.

A search with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority reveals that he is a director and shareholder at the cafe.

The Singaporean was handed two charges under the Administration of Muslim Law Act on Tuesday.

Between around 2004 and around 2020, Razif is also said to have taught a doctrine in a manner that was contrary to Muslim law.

Gambling is permissible according to his alleged doctrine. Muis, however, states on its website that gambling is prohibited in Islam.

Razif’s alleged doctrine is also said to have stated that a male and a female can be validly married by way of a “spiritual marriage” - also known as “nikah batin”.

In its website, Muis said that a spiritual marriage is one that occurs without several elements such as witnesses, a formal solemnisation, and dowry.

It added: “In most cases, there are no limitations on the number of women ‘married’ to a man through such deviant spiritual marriages. Such acts occur either between followers of a particular teaching, or between the teacher and his students.”

Razif is also accused of stating in the purported doctrine that he held the position of a “caliph”.

He had allegedly claimed to be able to summon the spirit of one “Mbah”, who was purportedly the last prophet - Muhammad- or from the said prophet’s lineage.

He first made headlines in The Straits Times in November 2020 over allegations that he was a self-styled prophet with multiple “spiritual wives”.

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said in Parliament in April 2021 that Muis had received a complaint about the alleged leader of the group in October 2015, but there was not enough evidence at the time to take him to task.

The case was then presented to the Fatwa Committee - a panel of top Islamic scholars -which ruled that some of the beliefs of the man and the group he was leading had no basis in religious sources and traditions.

He was then ordered to stop propagating to members of the public ideas and practices that were not taken from credible religious sources.

He was also ordered to stop providing “healing services”.

The police said in a statement on Monday that their officers started investigations against Razif following a report lodged by Muis on Aug 24, 2021.

The pre-trial conference for his case will be held on Sept 1.

For each charge under the Administration of Muslim Law Act, an offender can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $2,000.