Cleric: Sharia higher than
national law

A noted Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) cleric insists that Muslims must comply with sharia (Islamic law) as well as the national law.

"Truth is arbitrary, therefore no law can take effect permanently," Saifuddin Amsir, member of NU lawmaking body told a hearing at the Muslim organization’s congress in Makassar on Friday.

Saifuddin said sharia will become more relevant as it was based on religious science, which adopted long-lasting principles.

"Sharia is made based on the consensus of Muslim communities. Therefore, the potential for it to be rejected is low," he said.

He added that sharia would always face some rejection.

"It's the challenge for clerics. They must be able to withstand criticism and rejection. That's the risk of being an Islamic teacher.

"Sharia is made from a consensus. Any rejection must trigger self-introspection," Saifuddin said.

Earlier participants of the NU congress concluded that sharia never set a minimum legal age to marry.

It opposes the children protection and marriage law, which stipulate the minimum age to marry is 16 for women and 19 for men.

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