Yesterday was the last day of Hitz.fm's "Avril Wannabe" contest. I was driving home when a caller called Jakeman and asked him whether it was the cue to call. He said no. She said, that she really wanted to take part in the contest, she claimed to be really able to sing. Jakeman (the sporting lad that he is), asked her to sing anyway, and so she did. She was incredible - her voice, after passing through TWO electronic filters (i.e. the phone on her end, then the radio waves before reaching me in the car), was simple amazing; it gave me goosebumps - she sounded better than Avril Lavigne.
The Jakeman couldn't believe his ears, asked her to stop, and said to her, "If things don't work out with this contest (i.e. she misses the next cue to call), call me, and i'll set something up for you. Your voice made my hair stand on ends [sic]!"
Her response, "(giggle) I don't think i can be a singer; i'm wearing the tudung."
I sat there, in my car, dumbfounded. She had an amazing voice. Does wearing the tudung make it impossible for her to share that with the world? I did some research.
Before i started these were my assumptions:
# Years of studying at the International Islamic University Malaysia taught me that a woman's voice is her aurah - being as such, it should be guarded. Its the same reason why a Muslim woman wears the tudung - to cover the aurah that her neck, bosom and hair. I remember seeing posters on the walls in IIUM reminding the female students to lower their voices.
# The Malaysian public would not take well to a musician, no matter how blessed with a voice of an angel, who dressed conservatively, who wore a tudung. Yes, there were female nasyid groups in the market where all members of the group would sing Islamic-themed songs and all of them were dressed according to Islamic jurispudence. But the popularity of such groups will never be able to compare with the likes of Siti Nurhaliza, Ning Baizura.
bq. Could this be what the young lady on Hitz meant when she said she couldn't sing while wearing the tudung? Not because of religious reasons, but because she felt that the Malaysian public wouldn't support her?
Part 2: My Research Findings will come later this evening. In the meantime, pls read this excellent perspective: Hijab and Muslim Women where the author writes about how the tudung has liberated her.