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Gymnastics not for Muslim women, says mufti

Malaysiakini  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria said gymnastics is not for Muslim women since female exponents have to expose their aurat (parts of the body which should be concealed).

"Gymnastics is not for Muslim women. It is clear that exposing one's aurat and the shape of one's body is haram (forbidden in Islam).

"If Muslim women want to participate in gymnastics, they have to find outfits which cover the aurat and this, in turn, might not be suitable for the sport," he told Astro Awani .

Harussani ( photo ) said that it was not only for the sport of gymnastics that a Muslim person has to cover his or her aurat .

"Muslim men have to wear shorts that covers their knees when playing football," he said.

The aurat of a Muslim man is from his navel to his knees while the aurat of a Muslim woman is her entire body excluding her face and hands.

Netizens had criticised national gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi for wearing the traditional gymnastics gear that they claimed did not conceal her aurat as required by Islam.

When her photograph was posted on Twitter and Facebook, scores of users criticised the 21-year-old Muslim athlete for not "covering up".

However, others came to her defence, asking if Farah should wear a robe and a headscarf when competing in the games.

Farah had won the gold medal for the floor exercise on the final day of the artistic gymnastics event at the Singapore SEA Games.

Do not question Islamic laws

Meanwhile, Harussani said Muslims should not question Islamic laws which have been clearly stated in the Quran that one should not expose his or her aurat .

The mufti said one should also not be too influenced by the type of outfits introduced by the West.

Commenting on netizens who had defended Farah on her outfit, Harussani said they were "not so smart" in doing so.

"They are not so smart for arguing on issues which have already been clearly stated in Islamic laws.

"Don't play with Islamic laws, our religion never said we can expose our aurat ," he said.

Farah has since hit back at her critics over her attire, tweeting "empty cans make the most noise."

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had also defended Farah, saying critics should focus on the gymnast's achievements instead.

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