Indonesian celebrity cleric Ustadz Syam apologizes after saying Muslims are promised ‘sex parties in heaven’ on TV

Indonesian celebrity cleric Ustadz Syam during his controversial sermon. Photo: Video screengrab
Indonesian celebrity cleric Ustadz Syam during his controversial sermon. Photo: Video screengrab

An Indonesian celebrity Islamic cleric has come under fire for suggesting that Muslims are promised sex parties in heaven during a recent televised sermon.

Syamsuddin Nur Makkah, better known by his celebrity moniker Ustadz Syam, appeared in an episode of an Islamic sermon program called ‘Islam Itu Indah’ (Islam is Beautiful) on local channel Trans TV on Saturday. A short clip from the episode went viral over the last couple of days because of the sexually charged nature of Ustadz Syam’s sermon.

In the video, the 24-year-old Ustadz Syam says, “One of the pleasures in heaven are sex parties. Apologies, but this is why we have to withhold (sexual urges) in this world,” before going on to say that men have to work hard to withhold their sexual urges because women like to wear tank tops in the summer and, obviously, inside airplane cabins despite the cold.

It seems this particular part of Ustadz Syam’s sermon did not go down with many Muslims in Indonesia, who took to social media to denounce what they considered to be a lewd sermon that was inappropriate for TV.

One more less-than-sane person being promoted as a cleric by @TransTV_Corp, who have turned religion into a commodity for entertainment and even funerals.

(Former Constitutional Court head judge Mahfud MD) I advise all TV stations to have competent teams who have great understanding of religion to be involved in TV sermons. They can choose better speakers and better topics.

In giving his two cents on the controversy, celebrated Islamic scholar Nadirsyah Hosen, better known as Gus Nadir, gave a more appropriate description for Islam’s idea of heaven.

Heaven is unimaginable by words, eyes, and feelings. It’s beyond our imagination.

Yesterday, Ustadz Syam’s released an apology video in which he admitted that he was wrong to mention sex parties when talking about heaven, and that the fault lies in his lack of knowledge about this particular topic in Islam.

In addition, netizens also reported Trans TV to the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) for sanctioning, as anything that can be considered suggestive sexual content on TV violates Indonesian broadcasting standards. In a Twitter response, KPI said that they’d review the case on Wednesday.

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