KUALA LUMPUR - Kelantan's state mufti has spoken out in support of a Malaysian emcee barred from hosting an event because her voice was "aurat", declaring that women are not barred from speaking up or using the microphone at events.
Women's voices are only concerned a form of "aurat" - which in Malay refers to "intimate body parts" that must be covered with clothes - when performing prayers, Mufti Mohamad Shukri Mohamad said, reported The Malay Mail Online.
Ms Ameera Aida was barred from hosting the children's event by the Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB). Mufti Shukri said she may have been prevented from hosting the event over an administrative issue, rather than on account of a fatwa.
Ms Ameera said she had worn a tudung and a loose T-shirt during the event. She received sympathetic responses after relating the event on Twitter.
"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," said Mufti Shukri.
"We look at the example of the Prophet Muhammad's wife, Saidatina Aisyah Abu Bakar, who had educated many people. If a woman's voice is considered an 'aurat', how was she able to conduct her lessons?" he told ProjekMMO, The Malay Mail's sister publication.
Suggesting an alternative reason for Ms Ameera being barred from emceeing, Mufti Shukri said: "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," he added.