Thursday, June 14, 2007

Amani Amani

It's tough being an artiste here. It's tougher when you're Muslim, female and young.
Take 21 year-old Sharifah Amani Syed Zainal Rashid, award-winning and an artiste who is very serious about her craft -- acting.
For her role in her latest film, "Muallaf", Nani decided to shave her head.
Nani has beautiful hair, like her mum - journalist/media consultant/veteran actress Fatimah Abu Bakar.
So brave and daring, I thought. Such seriousness in and commitment to her craft.
Not an easy decision to make, I am sure.
That's Nani for you. Full of idealism, vigour, zest, energy, vibrance.
She knows what she's doing.
Acting is her love, her passsion, her craft. There are not many like her in movieland here.
Either they are a dying breed or there are not enough young ones like her.
So, did she expect criticisms from two Muftis for her action?
I don't think so but I believe she is now not surprised.
But there are enough people out there who will give her moral support in face of yet another "controversy".
According to the NST, the Muftis felt that the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the Information Ministry should come up with guidelines on the dos and don’ts so that artistes, particularly female Muslims, did not go overboard in their dressing or actions.
So that they will toe the line.
But did you know that there are already guidelines in place for Muslim artistes?
Jakim director-general Mustapa Abdul Rahman said these guidelines are like the law.
And did you also know that one of the guidelines is that Muslim artistes cannot play the role of non-Muslims in films?
Mustapa is a realist because he says that the authorities cannot force artistes to to comply to the guidelines.
Wonder when these guidelines were in place?
Selangor Mufti Mohd Tamyis Abdul Majid was quoted to have said that in Islam, it is forbidden for women to go bald. (I am sure this does not apply to cancer-stricken women.)
Okay, in case you didn't know, he further said that is also sinful for men to act or behave like a woman and vice-versa.
He didn't say so as much, but the impression I got is that Mohd Tamyis thinks that going bald like Nani had done for the sake of popularity is degrading herself and the religion.
Perak Mufti Harussani Idris, on Nani's action, alluded to foreign influence on local artistes.
Muslims, he added, should not sacrifice the religion for the sake of wanting to be popular.
He said based on his observation, Malaysian artistes nowadays are "becoming too open and daring, either in their actions or attire."

In the Yasmin Ahmad's movie, Nani plays runaway youngster Rohani who is befriended by a schoolteacher named Brian (played by newcomer Brian Yap).
After she shaved her head on Tuesday (June 12), Nani said that she had no regrets and that her hair would grow back.

Aah, another controversy for Nani. And not unlike that episode last year over something she had said in her acceptance speech after receiving her award.
Controversies come with the territory, as it were, especially for a young Muslim female artiste like Nani. It is an occupational hazard and something Nani , I am sure, has learnt to take in her stride.
Well, Sharifah Amani Syed Zainal Abidin, go with the flow. There's nothing like a little bit of controversy for an artiste/performer.

(Photo taken in February 1991 in Nina's room. Nani is flanked by her elder sister, Sharifah Aleya (at right) and Khairena (Kak Olin's eldest daughter) at left.
They were earlier having fun at Adel's 1st birthday party but decided to have their own "girlie" thing in Nina's room.)


tony -stand-up philosopher said...

Hi Nuraina,
This is interesting. Please enlighten me as I have zero knowledge on Islam. If it is forbidden for women in Islam to go bald, Then what is the tudong for? Was it to cover the head or the hair? If it was to cover the head, then going bald is not the issue but the head. If it was to cover the hair, then being bald has eliminated the use of the tudong. Am I making sense?
But i guess the case of Nani, its her passion for acting. Its in the blood (mak borek, anak pun rintek). I wish her well in her career. Somehow I'm passionate about people who are passionated about what they do.

Hi&Lo said...

Films, books that are thought-provoking abt the meanings of life are far more effective than sermons.

They bring out the drama of the struggle of ordinary lives which sermons fall short in addressing the reality of life. It's easier to preach morality from the pulpit than to be involved with humanity.

Somtimes the clergy from the high horses could be morally more corrupt than the pedestrian. The very thing they condemn so loudly could be the very thing they harbour.

Ain't issuing religious edict at the drop of the hat is also a kind of seeking popularity?

The Ancient Mariner said...

'Sepet' was the first Malaysian movie I saw in its entirety after more than 30 yrs and I was very impressed. This girl is truly talented and kudos to the director too.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Kak Ena,

Ohhhh I love the her acting Kak Ena. She is born to be an actress. Pretty face too.

Of course, that comes with her price. March on Sharifah Amani!

Anonymous said...

The following are also forbidden in Islam:

1. Women wearing pants, as pants are for male

2. Women exposing parts of their body,except for the face, palms and soles to anyone except the husband.

3. Men wearing coat and neckties as this is the way of the west (the infidels)

4. Doing anything other than praying during prayer times, which is five times in a day. For women all make-ups will have to be removed each abolition (wudzu')time; for both male and female all tatoos will have to be removed.

5. Having fun, as this is the way of the devil (shaitan)- so tv, esp akademi fantasia are out

6. Eating too much, as this is also the way of the devil, so no nasi lemak stall to be opened after 10 a.m.

7. Scrambling furiously and loudly on motorbikes is strictly forbidden

May I call on all the muftis to enforce all of the above (and many more but I don't need to take too much of Nuraina's space)- not only on actors and actresses but on all muslims in the country, including members of their family, our politicians, sultans, the king and queen.

Anonymous said...

so why no religious authority make any comment when "Ari" of waris jari hantu play a woman role. rightfully that one also is against islamic teaching ... imitating the opposite sex. ohh what double standard.

Rockybru said...

i hope amani takes this positively. one way she could do that is to regard the bald controversy as a gift from above in terms of publicity for herself and the movie.

Anonymous said...

Comments like this from our muftis only result in loss of respect for them and their views. It is sad really and shows that perhaps we need a change.

And rather than just spouting that "this is forbidden in Islam" he should back it up with an ayat or a hadith as the basis for his argument.

Hi&Lo said...


Re: comment at 1.56pm.

The clergy referred to was not of any particular religion. Human nature transcends creed, culture and class.

I don't think the clergy is more holier than ordinary folk.

Having an excellent theological knowledge may not necessarily translate into integrity of faith. Even satan knows the scriptures inside out.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

i await my Sisters In Islam's, no doubt scathing rebuttal on what the double-digit IQ muftis have said.
Is it time we have some female muftis ( 'muftesses') or are there laws against them too?
and i would like for our respected sultans of their muftis to keeo a check on them and chastised them when they make comments and create edicts that brings Islam into disrepute.Agter all, the sultnas are head s of islam in their states.

I am a Muslim and have been suffering bout upon bout of serious emnarrassment and depression arising from ill-judged court decisions and other activities like demolishing christian church. what madnesss posssessed them?

So what do i do about my emabarrassment. i find all that is happening irreprehensible and indefensible.Can i sue the govt to give me back my muslim water- face so that i will be rid of my depression??

IBU said...

When sinead o'connors went bald, there was a lot of hu ha & caused an uproar initially. When Britney shaved, similarly countless criticisms. Who else?

Styling disaster & celebrity fashion faux pas amongst comments frequently cited by fans & entertainment journalists alike.

As popular celebrities, their actions are often magnified - for all sorts of reasons & spins.

What if it were a fashion consultant who commented on Amani?

Was it the reasons cited or the person(s) commenting that seem to make it not quite acceptable a comment in Amani's case?

Hmmm.... thinking, thinking, thinking ....

J.T. said...

The passion that Sharifah Amani has shown for her work only proves that she is a cut above the rest in her field.

She dares to be different which makes some people uncomfortable. And the more they talk about her, the more popular she gets. Isn't that going against what they set out to do in the beginning?

zorro said...

Religion is suppose to bond. It has become so invasive of late and has torn families apart. People annointed by people to "oversee" religion are now playing God. They have ursurped God. But the government stands on the sidelines but do nothing. Our Sultans are the ipso facto guardians of Islam in their respective States. Shouldn't they be DOING something? It doesn't speak well of whoever when they abdicate their responsibilities.I am sad that in this country religion has been politicized. Religion is shackling creativity and initiative. I will hold a candle for Revathi and Malaysia on Tuesday 19 at Dataran Merdeka.

Anonymous said...


Pada saya apa yang SA lakukan adalah atas kehendak jalan cerita. Namun begitu, kebimbangan mufti tersebut ada asasnya kerana dibimbangi botak itu akan dilihat sebagai menarik dan mungkin menyebabkan sebilangan remaja perempuan kita terikut-ikut dan mula berani untuk membotakkan kepala masing-masing.

Kalau Amani boleh, kenapa kami tidak?

Mungkin ada yang akan ketawa, tak mungkin anak gadis saya akan membotakkan kepala! Namun begitu, perkara yang kita tidak sangka itulah yang sedang menular di negara ini.

Dulu kita tengok anak gadis "orang puteh" sahaja yang bertindik di pusat dan lidah, merokok, seks bebas dan sebagainya.


Jorji said...

Sebagai pelakon amani memang terbaik.Jika dibandingkan dengan Erra Fazira ....hebat lagi amani!

sebagai perempuan dia memang cantik.Ughh..dulu terjumpa di jalan-jalan di OU bersama bf dia..rasa nak rampas je.heh.Jika dibandingkan dengan erra fazira...lawa lagi erra!

sebagai islam, saya no komen.

Anonymous said...

i don't think there is much buzzing by the muslim scholar but more of a cheap publicity by the film maker .....

you know the sort of people that wanted their movie to "laku" by creating controversy......

it is a shame that by the end of the day....Islam is drag into this cheap publicity....

the loser will be Islam as they will paint a bad image on Islam as bad and so on....and the director of the film will have the last laugh all the way to the bank......

similarly with gubra, shame on you the director and those exploiting Islam in the name of fame....

Anonymous said...

I am not a Muslim but my mind is going bonkers trying to digest the "bald-gate" affair. Don't they have better issues and problems to tackle?

Amani is a young actress dedicated to her craft and by going bald she has shown us just how far she will go to bring realism to her character. We have not seen such dedication in our movie industry (i'm not putting down anyone here).

I've had the pleasure of meeting this young lady in 1996 and even then I was impressed by her.

Amani, if you are reading this -- there are many standing behind you and will stand up for u. I suspect your tenacity and dedication has made many jealous, and this is probably something u will have to continue enduring throughout your career. But don't allow it to interfere with your excellent work.

I am so proud of you. Remember my then boyfriend now husband saying, "wow this girl is going to be someone very famous someday."

Anonymous said...

i always thought amani is one extremely talented actress, solely based on sepet alone. but i didnt know she was this daring. so,'s off to her..


Azmi said...

Hi Ena,
you know what..I shaved my head bald as chemo razed my crowning glory with a few worrying strands left. It crossed my mind to go au naturel in public but the sun hits hard on my bare scalp, I feel it when I walk around my little garden. My doctor suggests a scarf or wig. I have a wig, but I don't feel myself when I used it, I can't reconcile what I see and what I am feeling. As for a scarf, I know one day I will willingly don the hijab when the time is right for me. I feel that the hijab is an image for some ( sorry but I have come across such cases for reasons best known to themselves) but for me, when I don it, it has to be for the right reasons, not for image and certainly not to hide a bald head. Insya Allah, my hair will grow after all the treatment is over, and if that coincides with me using a scarf or hijab then, syukur Alhamdullilah. But for now I would cover up with a scarf or bandanna ( and still wear sleeveless or expose my arms).

And I have been toying with the idea of going out as is ( bald hairdo that is) and now they say it is against Islam? Which surah or which hadis? It is quite a liberating feeling you know, no pretensions, you are really yourself, no pretensions, no masks.
So why the so called prohibition I wonder?

CypheR said...

"And did you also know that one of the guidelines is that Muslim artistes cannot play the role of non-Muslims in films?"

wow. i didnt know that. So what do they have to say about other muslim actors who have played non muslim roles in the past? (eg: acting as Japanese soldiers,pre muslim Sultans, eurasian muslims playing caucasians?)

Someone better learn to seperate REALITY from ENTERTAINMENT. There are more serious issues for mufti's and politicians to discuss rather then fiction/entertainment issues.

Shanghai Fish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

This is from Shanghaistephen but i have to say that i had to delete a line or two. sorry, stephen:

That part about "Muslim actors should not act as any other then muslims"What crap is this ? am I hearing something new ? Our muftis and mullahs should go to Bollywood and crucify Shah Rukh Khan and Kamal Hassan and a whole lotta of actresses, cos they make millions ACTING in blockbusters and ALL the muslims in India and the WHOLE WORLD applaud these actors, even if they acted as Christians and be seen inside churches... Now that is acting...For God's sake !!
Cheers to Sharifah Amani !

4:30 PM

Anonymous said...

KamalHasan is not a Muslim, although his name sounds like it.

Anonymous said...

sekularisme. that's all i can say ;)