Isma’s Hari Raya dos and don’ts: Do wear veils, don’t wear T-shirts, don’t wear make-up

Screen capture from Ikatan Muslim Malaysia's Facebook page.
Screen capture from Ikatan Muslim Malaysia's Facebook page.

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — In its Hari Raya advisory, conservative Muslim group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) has released a list of dos and don’ts for Hari Raya, including its recommendation to wear a full-face veil and to steer away from wearing T-shirts.

The infographic by Isma’s religious bureau was uploaded on Isma’s Facebook page today and appears to target women more than men.

Among its recommendations under the Dos column is a picture of the veil, or niqab, and the words: “Take care of your ‘aurat’ among family members and dress decently”.

The Don’ts include a picture of a T-shirt and the words: “Wearing tight and sheer clothing that expose the ‘aurat’”.

The group’s women’s wing also uploaded on its Facebook page an infographic telling Muslim women that although wearing a loose tudung is Islamic, wearing eyeshadow, blusher, mascara, coloured contact lens and lipstick, is not.

The infographic also shows the various ways on how covering one’s hair is purportedly “tabarruj”, or an immoral display of beauty, such as a wearing a tight headscarf, showing a “camel’s hump” on the head underneath one’s headscarf, and wearing headscarves that do not cover the chest, neck, or shoulders.

Even wearing a full-face veil is considered wrong, according to Wanita Isma, if the Muslim woman is wearing excessive mascara.

Muslim women, more often than men, have been targeted in Malaysia for purportedly exposing their “aurat”, with a gold-winning Muslim gymnast recently receiving brickbats for wearing a leotard, a typical gymnastics outfit.   

The increasing conservatism of Islam in Malaysia is also reflected in the boom of the tudung industry in Malaysia, with one popular brand estimating that about 80 to 90 per cent of Muslim women aged between 25 and 50 years cover their head.

Screencap from Wanita ISMA's Facebook page.
Screencap from Wanita ISMA's Facebook page.

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