The management of a tahfiz centre where 21 students and 2 teachers died in a fire in 2017 has been criticised for claiming that the school produced 23 martyrs in the 2017 incident.
The management of Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah at Dato Keramat, Kuala Lumpur has recently posted a notice online to seek donations from the public.
According to FMT, the tahfiz centre’s headmaster Mohd Zahid Mahmood said the donations would be used for the children’s sahur and breaking of fast.
He explained that the sentence in the poster which said, “Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah has produced 23 martyrs in the fire on 14 September 2017” was not wrong and had been misinterpreted.
“Not all tahfiz schools can produce martyrs. God chooses the ones that produce martyrs, and God has produced martyrs in this tahfiz. This tahfiz was chosen. God doesn’t allow martyrdom to happen at all tahfiz schools.” he said.
He also claimed that the issue was played up to tarnish his image.
Following the criticisms, the post on Facebook has been taken down.
A relative of the deceased wasn’t happy about the sentence used on the poster.
“That sentence made it seem like the management was proud of the fire. I’m not sure about the family members of the other victims, but I am disappointed with that statement. How dare they ask for donations by claiming that they ‘produced’ martyrs.” he said.
The relative who lost his child in the tragedy said it was “totally unnecessary” for the tahfiz to claim that they produced martyrs in order to get donations.
“That fire was a tragedy that continues to break my heart and is still subject of a court hearing.” he added.
The fire that took 23 lives in 2017
On 14 September 2017, a fire broke out in a tahfiz centre between 4.15 am and 6.45 am. According to New Straits Times, the fire trapped students and two teachers inside.
This is because the main door nearest to the victims had been shut, while another door had been walled up and turned into a supervisor’s room.
A 19-year-old boy was found guilty of murdering the students and teachers in the fire. He was later detained in prison at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 2020.
The victims’ next of kin filed a civil suit against the tahfiz management but both sides failed to reach a deal over millions of ringgit in public donations sent to the tahfiz centre.