A video of a man giving Azan in shorts has sparked outrage in Kuwait. The muezzin can be seen wearing a T-shirt with shorts in the video while giving Azaan.
Kuwaiti religious authorities have suspended the muezzin from the job. The Ministry of Awqaf responsible for the mosques in Kuwait has also referred the muezzin to an interrogation, the online newspaper Al Majilis said.
وزارة الأوقاف تقرر إيقاف مؤذن مسجد عبدالله بن جعفر بمنطقة الرحاب قطعة 1 حيث رفع الأذان وهو يرتدي «شورت» وتحيله للتحقيق. pic.twitter.com/FeVFJ737Rg
— المجلس (@Almajlliss) August 28, 2021
The video has triggered a strong reaction from the public who have denounced the muezzin for breaching the sanctity of mosques. They argued that wearing shorts in the mosque is inappropriate for the status of the muezzin.
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Dress code according to Islam
Religious authority in Kuwait said that the imam in question attended the mosque in the Al Rehab area of Kuwait city for 30 years and is considered the upstanding man of the community. They said that the man in the video had been cleaning the mosque’s library in his spare time before he realized that he must perform the Maghreb call to prayer.
The official stated that as the man did not have enough time to change before giving the call to prayer hence he performed it in the shirt and shorts. He later changed his clothes to lead the congregational prayer. It was pointed out that Islamic law does not prescribe what should be worn while performing the call to prayer or before performing ablution for prayer. However, men are expected to dress appropriately before performing prayers.
There were reports that muezzin had been arrested for the incident but authorities said that this was not true. Kuwaiti news agencies reported that the Union of Kuwaiti Preachers, Imams, and Azaan callers said that the Imam had not been warned or found guilty of any offense in the last 30 years. Awqaf Ministry closed the matter after questioning him and cleared him of any wrongdoing.