KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — A local Islamic preacher warned Muslim women to be mindful when watching the on-going World Cup football tournament, saying they may be committing “zina mata”, or literally “visual fornication”.
According to a report in Malay news portal Sinar Harian Online, Datuk Daud Che Ngah said women might be aroused by the sight of athletic men wearing shorts.
“If a woman watches a football match, they will indirectly see the ‘aurat’ of the players,” Daud told Sinar Harian.
‘Aurat’ in Malay refers to “intimate body parts” that Muslims must cover with clothing; exposing these is considered sinful.
For Muslim men, their “aurat” is the area between the navel and the knee.
Modern footballers usually wear shorts that end above the knees.
“Watching the ‘aurat’ until it causes sexual excitement can be categorised as ‘zina’ of the eye,” the preacher added.
In Islamic jurisprudence, “zina” is defined as illicit sexual intercourse between two individuals not married to each other; this includes both pre-marital sex and adultery.
However, some Muslims believe that the sin also includes “zina” of the eye by gazing upon the opposite sex, “zina” of the mind by having impure thoughts, and “zina” of the tongue by uttering foul words.
Daud also warned Muslims against missing out on their “subuh” (dawn) prayers, which typically falls in the morning when the World Cup matches are shown.
“I’m not saying you cannot watch the World Cup. It is a universal fact where everybody in the world loves football matches, but let us not be negligent humans,” said Daud.
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil, ostensibly the biggest football tournament on Earth, runs between June 12 and July 13 this year, involving teams from 32 countries.