Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat

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This is a Malay name; the name Nik Mat is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, Nik Abdul Aziz.
Yang Berhormat Tuan Guru Dato' Bentara Setia Haji
Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat
Nik Aziz Kelantan.jpg
Menteri Besar of Kelantan
In office
22 October 1990 – 6 May 2013
Monarch Sultan Ismail Petra
Sultan Muhammad V
Deputy Ahmad Yaakob
Preceded by Mohamed Yaacob
Succeeded by Ahmad Yaakob
Member of the Kelantan State Assembly
for Chempaka
Assumed office
Majority 6,500
Spiritual Leader of PAS
Assumed office
Preceded by Yusof Rawa
Personal details
Born (1931-01-10) 10 January 1931 (age 83)
Malacca Island, Kelantan, British Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political party Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party
Spouse(s) Tuan Sabariah Tuan Ishak
Children 10
Alma mater Al-Azhar University
Religion Islam

Dato' Bentara Setia Haji Nik Abdul Aziz bin Nik Mat (born 10 January 1931 in Pulau Melaka, Kelantan) is a Malaysian politician, a Muslim ulama and a former Menteri Besar of the state of Kelantan. He is the Mursyidul Am or spiritual leader of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS).

Early life[edit]

Nik Abdul Aziz was born in 1931 to a single father (Tok Kura) who was an aspiring blacksmith in his hometown of Pulau Melaka, being the second eldest of five siblings.[1] His Islamic studies began in pondok schools in Kelantan and Terengganu.[2] He went on to study at Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, India for five years. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Studies and Master of Arts in Islamic jurisprudence from Al-Azhar University, Egypt. During his university studies, he was one of the witnesses and a civilian to have lived in the heat of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.[3]

Having returned from Egypt, Nik Aziz began as a teacher at various religious schools in Kelantan, hence his popular nickname "Tok Guru."[2] He is able to converse in Arabic, English, Tamil and Urdu in addition to his native Malay language.[2]

Political career[edit]

Nik Aziz joined PAS in 1967. He contested and won the Kelantan Hilir parliamentary seat by-election in that same year, and held the seat (later renamed Pengkalan Chepa) until 1986.[2] In 1982, he was part of a movement by young members to bring change to the party leadership. PAS had lost the Kelantan state elections in 1978 and, as PAS state commissioner, Nik Aziz began to question president Asri Muda's leadership. Finally, in the PAS Muktamar (General Assembly) that year, Asri was forced to resign.[3]

After stepping aside from federal politics, Nik Aziz won a seat in the Kelantan State Assembly in the 1986 general elections. In 1990, PAS managed to wrest control of Kelantan back from Barisan Nasional. In his capacity as party leader in the state, Nik Aziz became Menteri Besar of Kelantan.[2] He succeeded Yusof Rawa as spiritual leader of PAS in 1991.

His administration in Kelantan frequently clashed on the role of Islam in Malaysia with the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir. In contrast with the racially-exclusive ruling party UMNO, he openly rejects communal politics.[4]

Nik Aziz has been known to command support from non-Muslims in Malaysia and has played a leading role during PAS' increase in popularity among non-Muslims.[5][6][7]


Hardline views[edit]

Nik Aziz has drawn some criticisms for his hardline Islamic views. His advocacy of Islamic shariah law to all Malay Muslims drew criticism, as did his suggestion that women would be at a lower risk of being raped if they abandoned using their lipstick and perfume, and for a 15-year ban on the game of snooker.[8][9] He was also recorded once stating that fashionable and sexy-dressing women deserved to be raped during a ceramah.[10]

The "Allah" issue[edit]

In 2012, there was an issue of Catholics in Malaysia using the Arabic term for "God"; "Allah" in their Christian Bible. Initially, Nik Aziz stated that the word "Allah" can be used by non- Muslims as the origin of the word itself is evidently pre-Islamic. The issue caused a stir in the Muslim community. The PAS party was almost divided into two blocs; One that supported the use of the word, and one that didn't. After stipulating the consequences and to restore unity in PAS, Nik Aziz took back his words and disapprove that the word Allah can be used by non-Muslims.[11]

Son detained under ISA[edit]

His son Nik Adli was held under the Malaysian Internal Security Act in 2001 for alleged terrorist activities including planning jihad, possession of weapons, and membership in the Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM), an Islamist extremist group.[12][13][14][15] After 5 years in detention without trial, he was released.[16]


  1. ^ Zulkifli Sulong (3 July 2010). "Meet Nik Aziz's brother, the teacher with a dream". Harakah. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Menteri Besar Kelantan, Parti Islam Semalaysia (PAS), retrieved 13 June 2010 
  3. ^ a b Abdul Razak Ahmad (8 May 2007). "76 and frail, yet he's still the one they want". New Straits Times (New Straits Times Press). 
  4. ^ Shazwan Mustafa Kamal (9 June 2010). "Nik Aziz says 'no way' to PAS-Umno unity talks". The Malaysian Insider. 
  5. ^ Wong, Chin Huat (27 August 2009). "Can PAS manage victory?". The Nut Graph. 
  6. ^ Shazwan Mustafa Kamal (10 June 2010). "PAS succession plan not an issue, says Nik Aziz". The Malaysian Insider. 
  7. ^ Zubaidah Abu Bakar (8 June 2010). "Pas fishing for non-Malay votes". New Straits Times. 
  8. ^ "Cleric: Women's Sexy Clothing Distracting Muslim Men From Sleep, Prayers". Fox News. 31 October 2007. 
  9. ^ Lewis, Leo (2 November 2007). "Female fashions cause sleepless nights". The Australian. 
  10. ^ Sira Habibu. "Video clip of Nik Aziz goes viral", The Star Online, 25 October 2012. Retrieved on 26 February 2013.
  11. ^ The Star. "Nik Aziz makes about-turn on ‘Allah’ use", Kota Bahru, 15 Januari 2013. Retrieved on 26 February 2013.
  12. ^ Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM)
  13. ^ Wong, Chun Wai; Charles, Lourdes (2 January 2003). "Nik Aziz's son named in report". The Star (Malaysia). 
  14. ^ Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia
  15. ^ Background Information on Other Terrorist Groups US Department of State
  16. ^ MacIntyre, Ian; Zulklifli, C.A. (19 October 2006). "Nik Aziz's son freed with 10 others". The Star (Malaysia). 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mohamed Yaacob
Menteri Besar of Kelantan
22 October 1990 – 6 May 2013
Succeeded by
Ahmad Yaakob