You may be moved on a spiritual level by a Quran recital, but you must never shower the reciter with tips, as this latest religious controversy in Indonesia illustrates.
Recently, a video has been making the rounds showing an incredibly touching Quran recital by a woman named Nadia Hawasyi in Pandeglang, Banten. As if to show his immense appreciation, a man walks up to the stage and gives sawer to Nadia, which roughly translates to showering her with tips.
Another man then follows suit, this time slipping cash into Nadia's hijab.
Sawer is mostly associated with dangdut performances and strip shows, which are admittedly much less modest than Quran recitals.
The incident sparked huge outrage in Muslim-majority Indonesia. The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the highest clerical body in the nation, said the act was deeply offensive.
"The act is haram (forbidden) and violates norms. Stop events and acts like this," MUI chairman Cholil Nafis said yesterday.
Speaking to reporters, Nadia said the video was taken two months ago. She said she was incensed but continued to recite her verses.
"I was upset, but I was not done with the recital. I couldn't have just thrown a fit and left the stage, so I just pulled out the cash from my hijab," she said.
Nadia added that the event's organizers apologized to her right after the recital, but the video went viral recently nonetheless.
Her husband is reportedly filing complaints against the tippers to the Banten Police. Authorities say they are aware of the controversy but have yet to launch a probe.