Al-Arqam promises members super power

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Members of the revived Al-Arqam movement were led to believe that they could possess powers that would bring down aeroplanes by simply pointing at them.

They were also told that they could only fight the Jews effectively if they were members of this sect.

These "teachings" at a shoplot in Shah Alam were recorded by undercover officers from the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) who infiltrated this group several months ago.

The undercover officers had mingled with the members and attended sermons at their regular meetings which were usually attended by about 100 members.

The officers reported that the members were made up of families who came from Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang and as far as Sabah.

They were said to be educated, drove posh cars and also spoke fluent English.

The sect’s ultimate goal was to reunite the Al-Arqam movement which was banned in 1994. They wanted to recruit more members and spread their interpretation of Islam.

Jais got wind of this sect and sent several undercover officers to their meetings. The officers spent three consecutive days with the group last week.

They realised that the teachings were similar to Al-Arqam’s.

The undercover officers also learnt that new recruits were taken to Nilai to receive "blessings" from Ashaari Muhammad, the former leader of the sect.

The whereabouts of Ashaari, also known as Abuya to his followers, are still unclear.

Jais officials, however, believe he had an emergency meeting with his followers on Sunday night, the day after the movement’s centre in Shah Alam was raided.

Jais public relations officer Fakrul Azam Yahya said for the past three years, the sect used a different name to recruit members. The sect is now called Zikir Agung.

"Most of the leaders and followers are ex-members of Al-Arqam from 10 years ago. Even their chants and prayers are similar to what was used then," Fakrul said.

Excerpts from their prayers and chants were released by Jais in a statement yesterday, with several of them focusing on praises for Abuya and his well-being.

One of the prayers was: Ahli yang berjuang dalam perjuangan ini akan mendapat power daripada Allah seperti mana yang diberikan kepada Rasulullah. Kemuncak kematangan Karomah atau power inilah apabila tunjuk kapal terbang dengan jari dan niat jatuh, maka jatuhlah.

(Those who fight in this battle will receive the same power bestowed upon the Prophet by Allah. The pinnacle of this miracle is when you point a finger towards an aeroplane intending it to fall, and it will fall.)

Other prayer excerpts meant for initiation include: Jika kita menjadi pengikut Fata At-Tamimi, mengamalkan tarikat ini, karomah Imam Mahdi akan mengalir pada setiap orang, barulah boleh menentang Yahudi dan Nasrani. Jika tidak, semua akan menjadi pengikut Dajjal.

(If we become followers of Fata At-Tamimi, practicing this sect, the miracles of Imam Mahdi will flow within everyone, only then we can battle the Jews and Nasrani. Otherwise everyone will become followers of Dajjal or the beast.)

Meanwhile, the four "sheikhs" behind the revival of the banned movement are expected to be charged under Syariah this week.

The four businessmen in their 40s were released after Saturday’s raid, but were re-called for questioning yesterday.

Yesterday, Rufaqa Corporation Sdn Bhd, a multinational company in which Ashaari owns a 78 per cent stake and is executive chairman, denied any involvement in the revival of Al-Arqam.