Woman in male ihram attire? Minister calls for investigation

KUALA LUMPUR: Over the past few days, social media has been abuzz with an allegation that a female pilgrim from Malaysia performed the umrah wearing male ihram attire.

The male ihram attire is a white outfit comprising two pieces of cloth.

While there has been no confirmation on the allegation made by a Twitter user, the matter has caught the attention of authorities.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (religious affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad in a Facebook post yesterday said he was concerned with the issue.

He said the matter involved Islamic law and stern action must be taken against the individual.

He informed that he had contacted the Home Ministry to request for an investigation to be carried out once the individual returned to Malaysia.

"I also contacted the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) to ensure that if this allegation is true, stern action will also be taken against the agency that was in charge of the individual's umrah trip," he said.

Weighing in on the matter, Pahang Mufti Datuk Seri Dr Abdul Rahman Osman said action must be taken against the individual as a deterrent and to prevent a recurrence of a similar incident in the future.

"Firstly, the 'hukum' when a woman resembles a man or vice versa is prohibited. Which means it is a sin (in Islam). This person (who commits such as action) will not be granted Allah's blessings.

"The act of resembling a man when performing the umrah is an insult to Islam and action should be taken against the person who committed such an act according to the available enactment," he told Berita Harian.

Several photos and clips of an individual clad in the male ihram attire in Mecca was shared on Twitter.

One of the clips showed the individual dressed in the male ihram attire heading towards Rawdah, which is part of the Nabawi Mosque also known as the Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) Mosque.

In the said clip, a social media user claimed the pilgrim in question was a woman.

"A woman has to protect the entirety of her 'aurat' when performing the umrah. If not, her umrah is invalidated, in which, it is obligatory for her to make the 'dam' payment and perform the umrah again," said Abdul Rahman.

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