Indonesian preacher claims meth is halal, gets busted for drug dealing

Indonesian preacher claims meth is halal, gets busted for drug dealing
Religious figure Ahmad Marzuki considered methamphetamine to be permissible under Islamic law because it is not explicitly mentioned in the Qur'an.
2 min read
30 January, 2020
A religious figure at an Islamic boarding school in Indonesia was dealing meth [Getty]
An Indonesian religious leader who claims methamphetamine is "halal", or legally permissible, has been arrested for selling the drug to students. 

Ahmad Marzuki, who worked at an Islamic boarding school on the Indonesian island of Madura, Northeast Java, reportedly told his students that the drug, referred to commonly as meth, increases one's motivation to study and recite the Qur'an, Vice News reported.

Marzuki had issued an Islamic ruling, or fatwa, that meth is "halal", permissible under Islamic law, because it is not explicitly forbidden.

"I know methamphetamine is illegal under national law, but I found no evidence against it in the Quran," Marzuki said at a press conference upon his arrest.

The religious teacher faces up to twenty years in jail. He had been dealing the illegal drug for two months before police caught on to his operations.

Marzuki fled Madura and taught at several other Islamic schools. On his return to the city for a funeral, he was apprehended by police at his home.

Two people were using meth at the house and drug paraphernalia and a small quantity of meth were found at the scene, according to local police chief Rama Samtama Putra.

"The suspect is of the opinion that using meth is not haram (forbidden under Islamic law) and helps individuals to recite the Quran. We all know meth is illegal according to national law. It is also an intoxicating substance with countless negative effectsm," Samtama said.

Although meth is not explicity mentioned in the Qur'an, it is generally considered by scholars to be impermissible due to its intoxicating and harmful effects.

Head of the Nahdlatul Ulama - Indonesia's largest independent Islamic organisation) - K.H. Said Aqiel Siradj told Vice that the Qur'an must be interpreted with "common sense and deductive analogy".

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