A man in Kota Baru is facing the bore of counseling by religious authorities after he was caught wearing a short – which the Islamic department in Kelantan state (JAIK) considers as an ‘indecent attire’ – in a public area.
The man, identified as Wan Khairul Hayyee Wali, 30, however, said he had just finished a futsal game and was still in sports attire when he was spotted by the religious authorities, but the JAIK said he was caught while buying a burger at a stall on Monday night.
Wan Khairul told The Star he had no idea that he could not even wear shorts to play futsal.
He said he has been wearing shorts to play futsal for many years, ever since he was in school.
“Therefore it came as a shock to me when a religious department enforcement officer gave me a notice saying I have flouted the Syariah Criminal Enactment for exposing my knees,” he said.
“Seriously, they can’t expect me to wear a sarong to play futsal,” added Wan Khairul, a general worker at a wholesale store.
The JAIK enforcement officer had told him that he was in breach of the Syariah Criminal Enactment for exposing his knees, thus revealing his ‘aurat’.
The aurat or areas of modesty which must be covered for Muslim men, begin from the navel down to the knees and Muslim men are not supposed to expose that part of their body in public.
Men are also allowed to practice sports in confined zones – stadiums – where they can wear shorts though they might consider wearing shorts that covers the knee, said an Ustaz to TISG.
Three other men were caught for the same offenses in relatively conservative Kelantan state where the Islamist party PAS is in power.
Individuals issued with summonses from the department were only required to attend counselling sessions, failing which they would be hauled up before the Syariah Court where they could receive RM1,000 fines upon sentencing.
Some 85 people had attended the counselling sessions from January to May, while 72 others were expected to attend the next session next month the Bernama news agency said.