Inter-faith Relations in Malaysia: Issues of Justice and Ethics

Mohd. Sani Badron, Institute of Islamic Understanding, Malaysia (IKIM)


This article aims to offer some insights on how the issue of justice overrides inter-faith relations in Malaysia. Materials used for logical analysis include relevant verses of the Qurʾān and Ḥadīths and their authoritative interpretations including Ethics; official government records; and, baseline data of recent research. Of concern here is Justice in all its dimensions, such as the national language, democratic politics, fair economics, and acceptance of rich multi-cultural traditions. A brief analysis of the imperative character traits of courtesy and kindness—kesopanan dan kesusilaan in Rukun Negara or the Malaysian national principles—is carried out in the context of the Malaysian term muhibbah, identified as “affectionate friendship” The origin of such a friendship is the notion of “biological brotherhood” in the worldview of Islam. The article shall also examine social disunity and enmity from the moral and ethical lens, arguing thus that disunity is an effect of the moral vice of envy, which is caused by rancour, which in turn, resulted from anger.


Inter-faith relations, justice, courtesy, kindness, muhibbah, goodwill, brotherhood, unity, disunity.

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