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PETALING JAYA, April 27 ― In multicultural Malaysia, it is often common to see non-Muslims who avoid consuming food in front of their Muslim peers as a gesture of courtesy during Ramadan.
Actress Izara Aishah is one of those who doesn’t mind if others eat a meal in her presence while she is observing the fast.
“To my non-Muslim friends and my Muslim sisters who cannot fast, please just eat in front of me, it’s not rude,” the 29-year-old tweeted on Sunday.
To my non Muslim friends and my Muslim sisters yang cannot fast, please just eat infront of me it’s not rude. Islam is not difficult, It’s the culture and I don’t practise that kind of culture.
— Madame Izara (@IzaraAishah) April 25, 2021
The notion that one must refrain from eating in front of a Muslim who is fasting is a cultural matter, she explained.
“Islam is not difficult, it’s the culture and I don’t practise that kind of culture,” Izara said.
Her views prompted a debate on her Twitter’s comments section where some claimed the actress was mocking the country’s main religion.
Twitter user @mry_dfxe told Izara to learn more about Islam before sharing such opinions while others said it is about manners and showing respect to those who are fasting.
Cuba baca Hadis2 tntg Ramadhan madam, you could learn more before giving oppinion like this 😅👌🏻
— MRY (@mry_dfxe) April 25, 2021
“If the person’s intention of eating in front of us is to tempt us, then that’s a sin – if they’re really hungry, it’s better if they ate at a place without people,” @manep09 wrote.
Despite some negative comments, many defended Izara’s views and agreed with her statement.
“Puasa (fasting) is about your deeds and self-control,” @hzzzbzzz commented.
“Talking about manners, I think those of us who are fasting should be the ones who look away,” @alephwang said.
Manners? We are all equal just because you’re fasting doesn’t mean people need to look at you as a superior to not eat in front of you. Takkan bila tgok org makan time puasa tergugat gak, umur brp dh kan nk trgugat.. Talking abt manners i think kita yg puasa ni alihkn pndngn.
— 𝐀𝐥𝐞𝐩𝐩 (@alephwang) April 25, 2021
Been doing that for years, no problem for me either.
— Kamil Othman (@Othman_Kamil) April 25, 2021
yeah its a two in one favour, if you dont eat infront, you are kindful with respect, if you eat, its not a problem, we dont mind
— hilman ashraf (@hilmanashraf) April 26, 2021
The tweet by Izara, who is the daughter-in-law of singer Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza received 21,500 likes and 17,800 retweets.
According to Kosmo, the issue of non-Muslims and non-fasting Muslim women consuming meals in secret have been a hotly debated topic among Malaysian social media users.
Some believe that eating openly in front of fasting Muslims is rude.