ISLAMIC LAW AS A SOURCE OF LAW
Malaysian legal system received influences from various religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Islam, however, has a lasting legacy in the legal system.
The prominent place of Islam in the Constitution, the continued evolvement of Syariah Court and its related legal apparatus, and expansion of Islam from its domesticated bind; all this shows that Islam is embedded in the Malaysian legal system.
Islam means peace or submission. It is the full submission to the will of Allah, the only one God.
The full submission means the dictate of the All Mighty exists in every sphere of life.
The guidance of Allah is found in Syariah. Syariah is the totality of guidance from Allah contained in the revealed sources namely the Quran and Sunnah. It is not confined to the do's and don'ts (fiqh) but includes system of belief (aqidah), morality and ethics.
What is religion?
To ask what is religion is necessarily a theistic issue. This is relevant because there exist a number of significant religions which are not theistic, and also because an increasing number of so-called scientific cults are not theistic.
Does religion merely refer to established and ancient religion? Or, does it include cults and sects with distinct philosophies and rituals of their own? In Malaysia, the practice up to now has been to prosecute persons or groups, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, who are involved in "deviationist" teachings and practices.
Does religion include non-theistic creeds such as agnosticism, freethinking, atheism and rationalism? Western theory supports a broad view of religion. It is unlikely that in a traditional society like Malaysia with an official religion and a commitment to belief in God in the Rukun Negara, atheistic practices will receive much sympathy in the courts. In constitutional theory the right to religion has three dimensions:
In Malaysia, the last two aspects are subject to regulation on grounds of public order, morality etc.
The following considerations must also be noted:
"the word religion has not been defined in the constitution and it is a term which is hardly susceptible of any rigid definition ... religion is certainly a matter of faith with individuals or communities and it is not necessarily theistic".
1 Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
2 No one shall be subject to coercion, which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
3 Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
4 The state Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and when applicable legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.
Nature of Islamic law generally
Non-existence of codified Islamic law does not mean non-existence Islamic law. This is because Islamic law is derived from the revealed sources namely Quran and Sunnah. The body of knowledge of fiqh, or the practical rules, is developed by jurists and contained in wirings if jurists.
The existence and development of the body of knowledge of fiqh does not depend on enactment by state authorities or pronouncements by judicial institutions because jurists develop it.
Islamic Law and Customary Law as the Local Laws
Some argue that with the coming of the British as the colonial power, English law had replaced Islamic law and customary law as the local law. This view has been disputed. There was never automatic reception of English law in states constituting Malaysia. (see Farid Sufian et al, Sumber Undang-Undang Malaysia: Artikel Terpilih, 2007 DBP)
British did impose English law indirectly through legislation and judgments of colonial judges in Malay States. The office of the residents and advisers brought in the penal Code and Contract Ordinance modeled after principles of English law. Colonial judges referred to principles of English common law and equity despite no enabling provisions to do so. However, these indirect impositions do not mean English law was the territorial law. This only means that British had used their political power to impose indirectly certain aspects of English law or hybrids of it in Malaysia. In the absence of such colonial power at present, there is no necessity to subscribe to the wishes of any colonial power.
Pervasiveness of Islamic law in Malay States was usually supported by colonial judges' observance. Writers often quoted judicial observations that the laws applicable in Malaya in the 19th to early 20th century were Islamic law and custom. Islamic law was regarded as the law of the land; the applicable law. This tendency to refer to colonial judges' observation is but a reflection of the enculturation of English common law methodology in legal thinking where precedent takes the centre stage.
Shaikh Abdul Latiff & Ors v Shaik Elias Bux ; Ramah v Laton (1927)
POSITION OF ISLAM UNDER FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUTIONS
Islam is accorded a special status in the Federation Constitution where Article 3 specifically declares that it is "the religion of the Federation." At the State level, the State Constitution accords a similar status. For instance, Article 47 of the Selangor State Constitution reads, "The religion of the State shall be the Muslim religion as heretofore professed and practised in the State…"
In addition, Yang Di-Pertuan Agong in his oaths of office (as spelt out in Fourth Schedule of the Constitution) undertakes to "at all time protect the Religion of Islam".
Similarly, in virtue of their position as the Constitutional Head of Islamic religion of the Federation and the States respectively, ex hypothesi, being a person of Islamic faith must be a necessary pre-condition for the appointment to the office of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and the Ruler of the State. Likewise, the Menteri Besar (that is, the Chief Minister of the State with a Malay Ruler or Sultan) must also be a person who "professes the Muslim Religion" (as provided, for instance, under Article 51(3) of the State of Selangor Constitution).
Islam as religion of the Federation
The Constitutional Commission in its 1957 Report recommended the inclusion of Islam as the religion of the new nation in the constitution but without affecting the rights of non-Muslim to profess, practices and propagates their religions.
The provisions that appears in the Federal Constitution are:
Article 3(1): Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practiced in peace and armony in any part of the Federation.
Article 3(2): In every state other than States not having a Ruler the position of the Ruler as the Head of the Religion of Islam in his State in the manner and to the extent acknowledged and declared by the constitution of that state, and subject to that constitution, all rights, privileges, prerogatives and powers enjoyed by him as Head of that religion, are unaffected and unimpaired; but in any acts, observances or ceremonies with respect to which the Conference of Rulers has agreed that they should extend to the Federation as a whole each of the other ruler shall in his capacity of Head of the Religion of Islam authorise the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to represent him.
Article 3(3): The constitutions of the States of Malacca , Penang, Sabah and Sarawak shall each make provisions for conferring on the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong the position of the Head of the religion of Islam in that state.
Article 3(4): Nothing in this Article derogates from any other provision of this constitution.
Article 3(5): Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong shall be the Head of the religion of Islam in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan; and for this purpose Parliament may by law make provisions for regulating Islamic religious affairs and for constituting a council to advise the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong in matters relating to the religion of Islam."
The above provisions clearly mentioned that Islam is the religion of the Federation and privileged as compared to any other religion. That provision was added to the original draft of the Reid Constitutional Commission, upon the recommendation of Alliance Party.
That recommendation, rare because it was unanimous, was supported by the Pakistani member of the Commission, Mr Justice Abdul Hamid. He was of the view that such a provision was innocuous as no fewer than fifteen countries had such a provision entrenched in their constitutions and that it already existed in all the constitutions of the Malayan states." In fact, the origin of what is now Article 3 can be traced to Article LV11 of the first constitution drafted for Johor in the reign of Sultan Abu Bakar. The recommendation of the Alliance Party was accepted and Article 3 appeared with the necessary qualification that "... other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation".
Article 3 declares merely that Islam is the religion of the federation. It does not declare, as does the constitution of Pakistan, that the federation is an Islamic state. This is as recommended by the Alliance Party in its memorandum, which stated that: "...the religion of Malaysia shall be Islam. The observance of this principle shall not impose any disability of non Muslim natives professing and practicing their religions and shall not imply that the State is not a secular State".
THE STATUS OF ISLAM IN MALAYSIA - THE EFECTS OF ARTICLE 3
The status of Islamic law can be derived from the following:
- The White Paper on the Constitutional Proposals for the Federation of Malaya which reaffirms that:
"…there has been included in the proposed Federal Constitution that Islam is the religion of the Federation. This will in no way affect the present position of the Federation as a secular state".
- The clarification by Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman on a statement made by an Honorable member that the Federation has been officially recognised as an Islamic state in a debate in the Federal Legislative Council in 1958: "I would like to make it clear that this country is not an Islamic state as it is generally understood, we merely provide that Islam shall be the official religion of the state".
- The recommendation of the representatives of the Federation of Malaya (Datok Wong Pow Nee and Encik Mohammad Ghazali Shafie [as he then was]) in the Cobbold Commission, having noted that the anxieties expressed by non-Muslims in North Borneo and Sarawak concerning Islam being the national religion of the proposed Federation of Malaysia:
"… .We are agreed that Islam should be the national religion for the Federation, we are satisfied that the proposal in no way jeopardizes freedom of religion in the Federation, which in effect would be secular".
4 The purpose of art 3(1) is not to make this country as an Islamic state, but only for rituals like reciting doa on independence day and etc.
The same evaluation has been made by Professor Sheridan and Harry E.Groves as to the above article, and this view was later on criticised by the late Tan Sri Hashim Yeop Sani, and he further stressed that: "I am against this view because it has no basis at all in the constitution and this evaluation was based solely on crusader. This is due to the provision in art 3 which obviously stated that Islam is the law of the Federation and any attempt made against it or anything which is contrary to it which brought about to be against the Law of Allah i.e. AI-Quran and AI-Sunnah would be inapplicable."
The adoption of Islam as the religion of the Federation does not however convert Malaysia into an Islamic or theocratic state. In Che Omar Che Soh v PP it was held that though Islam is the religion of the Federation, it is not the basic law of the land and Art 3 imposes no limits on the legislative power of Parliament.
THE STATUS OF ISLAMIC LAW WITHIN MALAYSIAN LEGAL SYSTEM
Notwithstanding the exalted position accorded to Islam under the Federal as well as the State Constitutions, Islamic law (which the Constitutions themselves fail to define) remains marginal and limited within the framework of the country's legal system. As Wan Arfah has commented, "The subordinate status accorded Islamic law by the British was continued after the independence of the Federation of Malaysia." (p. 162) However, this does not ignore the persistent social undercurrent (and its counter-current) towards making Islam and Islamic law the foundation of the Malaysian legal system.
The following points help to support the above view with regard the present status of Islamic law in Malaysia.
- Islamic law is not included in the definition of law in Article 160 (2), of the Federal Constitution which provides as follows:
"Law includes written law, the common law in so far as it is in operation in the Federation or any part thereof, and any custom or usage having the force of law in the Federation or any part thereof".
Nevertheless, based upon the language rules of statutory interpretation, the definition of law under Article 160 is considered to be inclusive, not exclusive. Hence, even though Islamic law is not mentioned in the Article, this does not prevent Islamic law from being recognized, either by the court or the legislature, as a source of law.
Generally Islamic law means the
- Although Article 3 (1) provides that Islam is the religion of the Federation, it does not seek to establish an Islamic state for the Federation. This was the position adopted by the highest judicial authority in the country in the case of Che Omar Bin Che Soh v PP  2 MLJ 55. In the case, the issue raised was whether the mandatory death sentence for drug trafficking under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act1971 was unconstitutional as it was in contravention of Islamic law. The Supreme Court decided that secular law, since the British administration, had replaced Islamic law as the law of the land, thereby reducing the latter to being the personal law of Muslims concerning family matters and inheritance. Accordingly, Islam as found in Article 3 of the Constitution could not be taken as a yardstick against which all laws are to be measured.
Che Omar Bin Che Soh v PP  2 MLJ 55
Tun Sa lleh Abas LP(as he then was) while delivering the judgment of the court mentioned:
"The traditional ground of appeal in Criminal Appeal No 28 and 29 of 1986 seeks to show that a mandatory death sentence for the Drug Trafficking offence and the offence under the Fire Arms (Increased Penalties Act is against the injunctions of Islam and therefore void. It is argued that since Islam is the law of the Federation Art 4(1), the imposition of the death penalty on these offences, not being the hudud or qisas according to Islamic Law, is contrary to Islamic injunction is therefore unconstitutional. ... the expression of Islamic religion in art 3(1) Federal Constitution .... if the religion of Islam in the context means only such acts or relate to rituals and ceremonies the arguments has no basis whatsoever. If the religion of Islam or Islam itself is an all-embracing concept, as is normally understood, which consists not only the ritualistic aspect but also a comprehensive system of life, including its jurisprudence and moral standard, then the submission has a great implication in that every law has to be tested according to this yardstick. There can be no doubt that Islam is not just a mere collection of dogmas and rituals but it is a complete way of life covering all fields of human activities, may they be private or public, legal, political, economic, social, culture, moral or judicial ...the law in this country is still what today, secular, where morality not accepted by the law is not enjoying the status of law".
- Further, Article 3 (4) provides that nothing in Article 3 derogates from (that is, nullifies or reduces the importance of) any other provision of the Constitution. Essentially, this means that Article 3 does not intend Islam to have priority over the Constitution. Hence, the supremacy of the Constitution declared by Article 4 (1) is in no way challenged or undermined.
- In addition, while Islam is the declared religion of the Federation, Article 11 (1) guarantees to every person the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate it.
- The subsidiary and marginal status of Islamic law within the legal system can be further seen in the fact that it is treated, under the Federal Constitution, as a matter falling within the 'State List' of the Ninth Schedule, thereby rendering it a matter to be dealt with by the State Legislative Assembly rather than Parliament. Even here, the power of State Legislature to administer Islamic law is limited to "persons professing the religion of Islam" on such matters as succession, betrothal, marriage, divorce, maintenance, adoption, legitimacy guardianship, etcetera. Similarly, while the State Legislature may make laws for the "creation and punishment of offences by persons professing the religion of Islam against precepts of that religion", it is not permitted to make the same "in regard to matters included in the Federal List". Hence, while Islam is primarily a State matter, Parliament may still legislate on Islamic aspects in the Federal (List I) and Concurrent Lists (List III). For example, Parliament has enacted the Islamic Banking Act 1983 and Takaful (Islamic Insurance) Act 1984 (i.e. legislation to give effect to Islamic principles in banking and insurance).
Further, the Syariah courts which State Legislature can establish have their jurisdiction limited to "person professing the religion of Islam and in respect only of any of the matters [as specified]…" Specifically, item I of List II provides they do not have "jurisdiction in respect of offences except in so far as conferred by federal law".
Parliament has enacted the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 to confer a limited criminal jurisdiction upon the syariah courts.
In Mamat Bin Daud v Government of Malaysia  1 MLJ 119, the problem facing the Supreme Court was whether a section in an amendment to the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Act 1983 (ActA549) was properly enacted by Parliament within its powers spelt out in the Federal List (relating to public order) (Schedule Nine of the Constitution of Malaysia), or could only be enacted by State legislature under the State List or art 11(4) relating to religion. This is because Art 74 of Constitution of Malaysia states clearly the division of legislative powers between the Federal and state legislatures. The majority (Abdool Cader and Hashim Yeop Sani SCJ dissenting) held the section fell under the latter category and not the former and that the Federal Parliament was powerless to enact the section.
e. Although Islam is the religion of the Federation, there is no Head of the Islamic religion for the whole of the Federation (unlike say, Iran that has the Ayatollah, the supreme spiritual leader).
f. Article 121, before amendment in 1988, vested judicial power of the Federation in the two High Courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction and status; and such inferior courts as were provided for by federal law. The syariah courts were excluded.
In 1988 Article 121 was amended by the inclusion of Article 121(1A). The provision ousted the jurisdiction of the High Courts over matters which fell within the jurisdiction of the syariah courts.
ADMINISTRATION OF ISLAMIC LAW
In the States, separate legislation of various aspects of Islamic law has been passed. The main legislation is the General Administration of Islamic Law, as variously entitled in each States but the contents of which are similar.
Present legislation provides for 3 independent authorities:
a. Majlis Agama, whose primary function is to advise the Ruler (or YDPA) on all Islamic matters.
b. Mufti, who is appointed by the Ruler. He has the power to make and publish in the Gazette a fatwa on unsettled or controversial questions. For example, on the practice of yoga by Muslims. Upon the publication in the Gazette, the fatwa is binding on all Muslims.
c. Syariah courts, which consists of Syariah Appeal Court, Syariah High Court and Syariah Subordinate Court.
JURISDICTION OF SYARIAH COURT
State Enactments provided that Syariah Court has the following jurisdiction:-
There are six general categories of criminal jurisdiction:
From the above list of subject matters, we can see that Syariah Court has limited jurisdiction compared to Civil Courts. There are many federal laws which extend the scope and its application. For example in the field of succession, testate and intestate, account has to be taken of the Probate and Administration Act and the Small Estate (Distribution) Act with the results that Qadhis are in effect only given the function of certifying the shares to be allotted to the beneficiaries under Islamic Law.
Until 1984, the Muslim Courts (criminal jurisdiction) Act 1965 had provided that such jurisdiction should not be exercised in respect of any offence punishable with imprisonment for terms not more than six months or any fine not exceeding $1000 or both. The Act was amended in 1984 and jurisdiction of Syariah Court has been extended to 3 years imprisonment or $5000 or whipping up to six strokes or the combination of all these. However the jurisdiction is considered still lower compared to civil court.
The unsatisfactory position of the Syariah Courts and its judges and officers led the government to form a Committee under Tan Sri Syed Nasir Ismail to look into the position and suggest measures to be taken to raise their status and position.
The committee recommended that:
The government implemented all these recommendations and in 1988 the most significant change was the amendment to Article 121 (A) of the Federal Constitution. It reads that:
"The courts referred to in clause (1) that is, High Court, shall have no jurisdiction in respect of any of any matter within the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court."
In addition, a proviso in Art. 5(4) was inserted:
"And provided further that in the of an arrest for an offence which is trialed by a Syariah Court, reference in this clause to magistrate shall be construed as including reference to a syariah judge of Syariah Court."
Therefore, a committee headed by the late Tan Sri Syed Nasir Ismail was formed to make suggestions for the promotion of Syariah Court. The main amendment achievement of this committee is the amendment of Article 121 of the Federal Constitution.
THE POSITION BEFORE THE AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 121
Before the amendment there was a conflict of jurisdiction between the Civil Court and Syariah Courts, where in matters pertaining to jurisdiction of Syariah Court the High Court (Civil court) interfered in judgments made by the Qadhi.
Conflict of jurisdiction occurred in two situation:
2 Where the High Courts interfered with the decisions and the findings of the Syariah Courts by reversing the decisions and by claiming their superiority over Syariah Courts. This situation can be seen in the case of Mariam v Mohamad Arif
THE EFFECTS OF THE AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 121(1A)
The effect of the amendment can be seen in two stages; the position before the year of 1992 and after 1992. Before 1992, even though art 121 was enacted, the High Court still claimed jurisdiction over personal matters involving Muslims by virtue of Section 4 Court of Judicature Act 1964, whereby:
"In the event of inconsistency or conflict between this Act and any other written law other than the Constitution in force at the commencement of this Act, the provision of this act shall prevail".
The above provision still confers exclusive jurisdiction to Civil Court to interfere in matters of Syariah Court. In the decision of the case of Shahamin Faizal Kung Bin Abdullah v Aimah Bte Hj.Yunus, the court observed that the amendment made in 1988 did not state that it had retrospective effect. Thus, Section 4 Court of Judicature Act 1964 still applies to the jurisdiction conferred the High Court by virtue of the Act as High Court still has jurisdiction over matters involving Muslims in family law.
Exclusive jurisdiction was defined in Sukma Dermawan Sasmitaat Madja v Ketua Pengarah Penjara Malaysia and Anor , where it was held that Article 121(1 A) did not remove the jurisdiction of the Session Court over a Muslim for any offence where the jurisdiction had not been specifically conferred upon the syariah court. Therefore, this Article does not confer jurisdiction over syariah court automatically. The State must first act upon powers given to it by Article 74 and Article 77, and accordingly enact the laws conferring the jurisdiction, by incorporating the appropriate provisions to that effect.
After 1992, the High Court began to recognise the status of Islamic law and this can be seen in the following cases:
Nurkhursiah bte Baharudin v Sharil bin Lamin  2 AMR 1243, where the High Court held that it has no jurisdiction in matters pertaining to Muslim parties in custodianship.
The case of Genga Devi a/p Chelliah v Santanam a/l Damodaram  2 AMR 1485
In Subashini a/p Rajasingam V Saravanan a/l Thangathoray  R. Subashini took legal action after her husband converted himself and their elder son, now four, to Islam in 2006. She says she now fears the husband wants to take their two-year-old, who still lives with her, and convert him to Islam as well. The Federal Court rejected her request for an injunction on technical grounds, leaving her free to try again, but one judge noted the court's jurisdiction was limited, given the husband was now a Muslim and therefore governed by Islamic or sharia law. "The civil and sharia courts cannot interfere with each other's jurisdiction," said Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman, one of two judges who dismissed the case. One judge dissented.
Even though the Article gave exclusive jurisdiction to Syariah Court, the problem of interfering into the jurisdiction is still unavoidable due to various kinds of interpretations of law. It has been suggested that the Syariah Court should be placed under the Federal administration in order to enhance their status. It is suggested that Syariah Court should be under one jurisdiction; besides, the status of Syarie lawyer and the Qadhis should be enhanced and upgraded in terms of their position as the custodians of Islamic Law in Malaysia. This should be done with the assistance of Federal Government. There should be one body monitoring the activities of these people who are going to make decisions based on Islamic Law.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION IN MALAYSIA
Article 11 (1) of the Federal Constitution provides that "every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause 4, to propagate it".
Article 11 (4) provides "State law and in respect of Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam".
Right to profess, practice and propagate religion
- The above provision applies to both citizens and non-citizens.
- Article 3 (1) affirms that "Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation".
- Freedom of religion in Article 11 (1) envisages that everyone has the following three distinct rights:
- to profess;
- to practice; and
- subject to Clause (4) to propagate his religion.
To profess means declare one's faith or belief in a religion. To practice means to actively display one's belief through behaviour or rituals.
Does the freedom of religion extend to those practices and rituals that are essential and mandatory or does it cover also practices that are non-essential and optional?
In Halimatussadiah v Public Service Commission
Similarly in Meor
In Zakaria Abdul Rahman's case  6 CLJ 273, the action taken against Defendant was under the Police Officers (Conduct and Discipline) (Charter "D") General Order 1980 ("GOD") due to the act of polygamous marriage whereby he did not seek any prior consent before the marriage contracted. The learned judge held that:
"I don't think it is fundamentally wrong for the disciplinary authority to provide any member of the police force to obtain prior permission from his superior officer before entering into a polygamous marriage. Such conditions could not in my view be construed as infringing the constitutional guarantee to practice and profess his religion as contained in art 11(1) Federal Constitution ".
Does the right to profess one's religion also includes the right to renounce one's religion.
Although Article 11 (1) grants the right to profess one's religion, the question arises whether it also includes the right to renounce one's religion. In the case of non-Muslims, the answer is in the affirmative. However, in the case of Muslims, following Lina Joy V. Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan & Ors, in short,
Does the term 'every person' in Art 11 to practice and profess includes a minor so that she can choose her own religion against her father's wishes?
In Re Chee Peng Kuek
In Re Susie Teoh  2 MLJ 228
4. Article 11 (5) "does not authorize any act contrary to any general law relating to public order, public health or morality".
This clause was discussed in Halimatussaadiah v Public Service Commission and Anor 1992. In that case the issue before the court was whether the Public Service Commission was right in dismissing a civil servant who wore a purdah (a veil which covered the entire face, save for a slit for the eyes) in contravention of a Government circular laying down the nature of 'women's attire' for government officers. The trial judge had to balance conflicting interests: on the one hand, the plaintiff's right to profess and practice her religion and on the other hand, the Government's right to ensure the identity of those handling governmental papers. The learned judge held that "there is nothing wrong in the government's laying down conditions for clothing to be worn by government officers while at work for the sake of the discipline of the service, provided the conditions do not militate against public policy, morality or health". Further, it appears that this case implies that a non-mandatory practice of wearing a purdah may not be within the freedom as provided in Article 11 (1) because this freedom extends only to the essential and mandatory practices.
5. Article 11 (2) provides that "no person shall be compelled to pay any tax the proceeds of which are specially allocated in whole or in part for the purposes of a religion other than his own". This clause affirms that there is no compulsion on anyone to support a religion other than one's own. The effect of this clause is that the imposition of tax to support one's own religion is constitutional. An example is a Muslim can be made to pay zakat (tithe) and fitrah.
7. Article 11 (3) provides that "every religious group has the right:
a. to manage its own religious affairs;
b. to establish and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes; and
c. to acquire and own property and hold and administer it in accordance with law".
This clause extends the freedom of religion to groups. This right is subject to local authority laws pertaining to planning permission and building by-laws.
8. Article 12 (1) provides that "there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the grounds only of religion, race, descent or place of birth:
a. in the administration of any educational institution maintained by a public authority, and in particular, the admission of pupils or students or the payment of fees; or
b. in providing out of the funds of a public authority financial aid for the maintenance or education of pupils or students in any educational institution (whether or not maintained by a public authority and whether within or outside the Federation)". This clause prevents discrimination on religious grounds in the administration of public education and scholarships.
9. Article 12 (2) provides that "every religious group has the right to establish and maintain institutions for the education of children in its own religion, and there shall be no discrimination on the grounds only of religion in any law relating to such institutions or in the administration of any such law; but it shall be lawful for the Federation or a State to establish or maintain or assist in establishing or maintaining Islamic institutions or provide or assist in providing instruction in the religion of Islam and incur such expenditure as may be necessary for the purpose". This clause extends the freedom of religion to groups.
10. Article 12 (3) provides "no person shall be required to receive instruction in or to take part in any ceremony or act of worship of a religion other than his own". This clause does not prohibit anyone from voluntarily participating in other person's religious activities.
11. Article 12 (4) provides that 'for the purposes of clause (3) the religion of a person under the age of eighteen years shall be decided by his parent or guardian".
In Teoh Eng Huat v Kadhi, Pasir Mas and Anor 1990 the Lord President said "no infant shall have an automatic right to receive instruction relating to any other religion than his own without the permission of the parent or guardian".
12. The propagation of other religions to Muslims is prohibited under Article 11 (4).
In the case of Minister of Home Affairs v Jamaluddin Bin Othman 1989 a Malay, who had converted to Christianity, was detained without trial under the Internal Security Act 1960 for attempting to propagate the Christian religion amongst Muslims. He was detained to prevent him "from acting in any manner" prejudicial to national security for allegedly converting to Christianity six other Malays. The court ordered his release on an application of habeas corpus because the grounds of his detention read in the proper context were insufficient to fall within the scope of the Internal Security Act 1960.
Similar rulings on propagation can be seen in other cases like Abdul Rahman v Kadhi Besar Kedah  2 MLj 370 where the High Court of Kedah ordered a prohibition order for Syariah Court because it was held that Syariah Court has no jurisdiction in the case concerning the circulation of notices from Ahmadi group because the respondent was not a Muslim and therefore Syariah Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the claim.
13. Article 150(6A) provides that freedom of religion cannot be restricted even in times of emergency by an emergency law passed under Article 150.
14. The future?