Khatijah Am, known to her followers as Ummu Jah, had been living in self-imposed exile in Mecca for the past few years.
(NST) - PLOT: 41 ministries, including for souls, death, holy sex
THE banned Al-Arqam movement, led by the founder's wife, Khatijah Am, is said to have formed a "shadow cabinet" with 41 ministries, including the ministry of the netherworld (kementerian alam ghaib).
This was part of its plot to overthrow the government and form an Islamic state, according to information compiled by intelligence agencies.
Also listed in its shadow cabinet were the ministries of true souls and sects (roh suci dan tariqat), death and the hereafter (kematian dan akhirat) and family and holy sex (keluarga dan seks suci).
Intelligence sources said Khatijah, who is the widow of Ashaari Muhammad and has been living in Mecca after his death, had been holding monthly meetings with "top leaders" of the sect in Malaysia via video conferencing.
A source said 54 meetings, dubbed "roh parlimen" (soul parliament) by Khatijah, had been held so far.
In their "parliamentary meetings", which had begun in May 2010, Khatijah had assumed the position as their "prime minister".
"To ensure that Al-Arqam leaders and followers stayed with the movement and follow her orders, Khatijah claimed she received direct orders from her late husband," a source said.
"She had been involved in running the movement even when Ashaari was still alive. Ashaari suffered a mild stroke in 2005."
The source added that Khatijah, known to followers as Ummu Jah, had been living in self-imposed exile in Mecca for the past few years.
The group, the source said, had received funding from more than 30 welfare homes in Malaysia run by their proxies.
Some homes run by key personnel in Al-Arqam were registered with the Welfare Department and received government funding.
"These welfare homes received donations, not only from the government, but private companies and unsuspecting individuals as well," said the source.
"From our intelligence reports, only a small portion of the donations received were used for the homes while the remaining went to Khatijah's accounts," the source said, adding that Khatijah lived lavishly in a mansion rented for 340,000 riyal (RM276,000) a year.
The mansion, called RSA Palace, has a conference room, an elevator, gymnasium, sauna and a swimming pool. The source said the movement collected an average of RM800,000 in donations every month.
Meanwhile, Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha said they were collecting evidence on the group's activities.
"We found that the group, through its company, still continues with its deviant teachings. All the claims that Ashaari is Imam Mahdi and Ummu Jah can communicate with her late husband are blatant lies.
"We hope those with information on their activities will come forward to assist in our investigations."
Al-Arqam was decreed a deviant sect in 1994 by the National Fatwa Council after it was found to have practised Aurad Muhammadiah teachings which was described as misleading Muslims from the true Islamic beliefs.
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