On May 3, a video of a woman in Singapore berating some Indonesian workers at a hawker centre was circulated widely on social media.
Scolded for eating openly
From the three-and-a-half-minute video, it appears that the woman was chiding the workers for eating what is presumably non-halal Chinese food in broad daylight during the fasting month.Here's a gist of the conversation, which happened in a mixture of Malay and Bahasa Indonesia:
Singapore woman (SW): They're eating Chinese food... She said she works for a Chinese family so she can eat it. I say we're all Muslims... You see this one, you sit quietly before I call MUIS (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore). You are embarrassing Muslims. You wear the tudung, what is going on here? You'll answer [to God].
Indonesian worker (IW): Peace be upon you, I don't follow the rules here, I follow the rules as stated in the Quran. My way of fasting is different from the way it is done here.
SW: No, one of the five pillars of Islam is to fast.
IW: It's different-
SW: No, where are you learning all these? Now I'm telling you, in God's name, I won't answer [for you] on Judgement Day.
IW: I will answer for myself -
SW: Ok later we'll see what will happen on your grave.
As of the time of writing, the reposted Facebook post has gained more than five million views and has been shared over 26,000 times.
On Twitter, it has been viewed more than one million times, with over 4,300 retweets.
The video has apparently been circulated beyond Singapore and viewed by many in the region.
The women eating did not mention what were their vocations in Singapore.
At least one viewer lauded the Singapore woman's actions:
"The best and the bravest.... Not everyone can do what she did... As a man, I don't dare to say it like her."
Meanwhile, another group of commenters had mixed feelings:
"The ones eating [during Ramadan] are bad, but the one approaching them is worse."
"It's not wrong to let them know [what is wrong], but she should do it more courteously."
And another group of viewers felt that what the Singapore woman did was entirely wrong.
"Are these the values of a Muslim? I am getting second-hand embarassment."
Why some cannot fast
Muslims who are menstruating or ill are not required to fast.
However, according to MUIS, they are obligated to make up for the days that they have missed.
It is understood that some Indonesian women employed as domestic helpers in Singapore may be asked to forego fasting as well, due to the strenuous manual nature of their labour.
Top image screenshot from video.