KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Women are not barred from speaking up or using the microphone at events as their voice is only considered as a form of “aurat” when performing prayers, Kelantan Mufti Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad has said.
“Aurat” in Malay refers to “intimate body parts” that Muslims must cover with clothing; exposing these is considered sinful.
Responding to the a recent incident in Kelantan where event host Ameera Aida was stopped from hosting a children’s event by the Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB), Shukri said the setback could have been an administrative issue and not a question of fatwa.
“A woman’s voice is only an ‘aurat’ while performing her prayers, but beyond that, women are free to project their voice as long as it does not lead to defamation.
“We look at the example of the Prophet Muhammad’s wife, Saidatina Aisyah Abu Bakar, whom had educated many people. If a woman’s voice is considered ‘an aurat’, how was she able to conduct her lessons?” he told ProjekMMO, Malay Mail’s sister publication.
On Friday, Ameera was stopped by the local council from hosting an event in Kota Baru over the reasoning that the women’s voice is “aurat”.
Stating her work was halted, the host had justified that she had worn the tudung and a loose T-shirt during the event.
“MPKB would have taken the said action due to technical reasons, misunderstanding, or possibly because the host did not meet certain requirements.
“Women usually have the perception that wearing the tudung is enough to cover the ‘aurat’, but there may be issues with the T-shirt that was worn. I am not too sure, that one has to be clarified by MPKB,” Shukri added.
MPKB council chairman Datuk Zamri Ismail has declined comment.
Efforts by ProjekMMO to reach state exco member Datuk Abdul Fattah Mahmood remain futile.