Thursday, July 16, 2009


A funny thing happened the other day and it opened my eyes wide and made me realize how naïve some non muslims can be when it comes to basic rulings in Islam. As our hair (my daughters and I) needed trimming badly after months of not visiting the hair-salon, I called my favorite hair-stylist to arrange an appointment. After agreeing on date and time, I managed to request for the back room to avoid meeting possible male customers.

However her reciprocated comments made me laugh. “Oh tapi ada dua male colleagues yang akan masuk bilik itu untuk ambil barang. Tapi you jangan risau. Mereka tak apa punya. Mereka tak kacau you.” Masyallah! What was she thinking? That I was worried that males who sat eyes on my hair will start to harass me or something? That I am so self-conscious perasan to even think that other men would ogle at my plain hair? I retorted with a giggle, telling her that I can’t show my hair to any ajnabi men regardless of his implicit intentions or not, if he does see it. Thus she sat another time, a date when the 2 male colleagues are not working. Good I thought, she understood.

So on the appointed time and date, we sauntered into the salon, straight to the back room. After a cheerful greeting, August (not her actual name but hers is also after a month of the year, the fourth in fact, ) said this in her chirpy voice, “ So siapa yang tak mahu lelaki lihat rambut dia?” addressing my daughters and I , nonchalantly. I almost blurted out in jest, “Only me. The rest are young and available so it’s ok for them”.

On a similar note, my daughters live in a hostel that allows male students to enter the female premise. Thus each time, a male student ‘intrude’, the muslim girls would run back to their rooms to cover themselves. Once an elderly technician ( a local Russian guy who knows nothing of Islamic rulings I guess) came in and was mystified to find the girls running helter skelter as he ambled through the floor. Baffled, he was given an even more bewildering answer by a male student who managed to pull his legs. “You are not allowed to see them without their cover or you will be forced to marry them!” The next time he came in and accidentally bumped into the girls, he immediately closed his eyes with his hands and shouted out that he didn’t see anyone! Talk about forced marriages!!

Bukit Tinggi 2008

Great Wall 2009

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