e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 24 (3) Sep. 2016 / JSSH-0653-2012


The Legal Perspective of khalwat (Close Proximity) as a Shariah Criminal Offence in Malaysia

Siti Zubaidah Ismail

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 24, Issue 3, September 2016

Keywords: khalwat, morality, close proximity, moral offence, Islamic criminal law

Published on: 17 Aug 2016

The original meaning of the word khalwat refers to a pious act of being connected to God. It was later given a technical meaning referring to an offence. When the Shariah Criminal Offences Enactment introduced the offence of close proximity or khalwat, it was not a new invention because kheluat – as it was used to be spelt – can be traced back as far as 1909. khalwat is one of the 'moral offences' classified among the other offences against the precepts of Islam codified under the Enactment. The law relating to khalwat has attracted interest from many quarters, particularly due to claims that it encroaches on personal freedom and privacy. On the other side of the spectrum, the role and function of religious enforcement officers are also questioned, particularly surrounding the power they have when conducting investigations. This article seeks to examine how khalwat, originating from an act of piety, was then formulated into an offence involving a man and a woman being together in a private place to commit an indecent act. It also analyses the legal requirements that constitute khalwat and the challenges of its enforcement in Malaysia.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Recent Articles