Hyderabad: The Madhya Pradesh cabinet recently approved the Religious Freedom Bill 2020, which provides for a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of Rs 1 lakh for conversion through marriage or by any other fraudulent means.
The Love-Jihad is mischievously coined to create an illusion in the minds of people that Islam is encouraging its adherents to marry Hindu women as a form of Jihad! Is there any truth?
The preposterous term Love Jihad flabbergast not only Muslims but all sensible people of other faiths. Such absurd terms elicit feelings of amusement, pity and helplessness – all at the same time. It was common for educated Muslims to laugh earlier at such flummox ideas as idiotic and move on maintaining a dignified silence.
However, the absurd idea of Love-Jihad, being legislated, in various states across the country like MP, UP and Haryana and thus likely to become a tool for the persecution of not only the Muslim men marrying Hindu women.
Love and Jihad! These two things are inherently contradictory to say the least. The modern idea of love is euphemism for promiscuity, free mixing of opposite sexes, lust, adultery and even live-in relationships. Jihad on the other hand is a sacred battle against the evil inclinations of the human soul including the longing for promiscuity that is the crux of the so-called ‘love in this era.
Jihad in Islam
Jihad is an Arabic word which literally means striving or struggling with a spiritual goal to cleanse the soul. In Islamic context, it can refer to almost any effort to make personal and social life conform with Gods guidance. A struggle to prevail over evil desires and inclinations to cleanse the soul to attain higher spirituality.
Islam sees unchecked human desires as a big hindrance in the path of spiritual growth and development. In Sufi and pious circles, spiritual and moral Jihad has been termed as greater Jihad. The Jihad is waged, as Quran says, against the human soul which is ever inclined to evil. (12:53). It further says: Successful indeed is the one who purifies the soul; and doomed is the one who corrupts it!” (91:9-10)
The instinct to love opposite sex is meant to fulfill Gods higher purpose in ensuring continuity of human race through the birth of progeny. Islam only allows the powerful emotion of love between a man and woman to get fully manifested in the lawful wedlock between them that could lead to the birth of their descendants.
The marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women are the result of free mixing of opposite sexes. Islam discourages such free-mixing of opposite sexes in view of the likely moral degradation it can lead to. The Hadeeth of the Prophet says: No man is alone with a woman but the devil will be the third one.”
Quran cautions believers: And do not come near to adultery, it is a shameful deed and an evil, and opening the road to other evils. (17:32). Similarly, amongst other traits Quran expounds of those who get salvation is: “ And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts from illegal sexual acts). (70:29)
In Islam, the youngsters are encouraged for early marriage lest they may succumb to evil sexual desires and promiscuity. The Prophet of Islam said: O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual urge.
Severe punishment is stipulated in Islamic Law for those indulging in adultery: To the woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual relationship, flog each of them with one hundred stripes; let not compassion with old you in their case, in a matter of punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day and let a party of the believers witness their punishment. (24:2).
Islam regards promiscuous behavior of men and women as moral corruption. It says: Corrupt women are for corrupt men, and corrupt men for corrupt women, Good women are for good men, and good men for good women. (24:26)
There is guidance to Muslims in every sphere of life including marriage. A Hadeeth of the Prophet says: A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her religious commitment. Seek the one who is religiously committed, (so) you may prosper.
Thus the guidelines are clearly given to the Muslim men to seek religiously devout Muslim women for marriage preferring them over other Muslim women of wealth, high lineage and beauty. In the broader scheme of familial relations, Islam foresees a great future role for a married woman i.e. to educate her progeny with her sound knowledge of faith and inculcate in them high values of Islam. This purpose cannot be attained unless the woman is a devout Muslim herself with a sound knowledge of Islam.
When Muslim women of wealth, high lineage or beauty are not preferred in comparison to a devout Muslim woman, how, then, anyone can think that Islam would approve of a Muslim mans marriage with a Hindu woman! So, the less said about the idiotic idea of a Love Jihad the better.
Islam has nothing to do with the inter-faith marriages. It never ever encourages such marriages. However, it is the secular Indian Constitution which grants freedom to Indians men and women to chose their life partners as they wish. Thus Islam has nothing to do with inter-faith marriages that take place across India
Here it is pertinent to note the prudence of Islam in insisting the approval of the womans father or her guardian for marriage to be deemed as valid. Without such approval the marriage would not be valid. We have seen the dire consequences of love marriages that took place without the consent of the womans parents. Such marriages are fraught with grim repercussions resulting in honor killing of one or both the parties. It can also lead to insurmountable complications due to the different religious backgrounds.
Marriage in Islam
Hence Islamic idea of marriage is more or less an arranged affair even when man and woman had a premarital acquaintance and liking for each other – with the approval of both the families. An intense love between a man and woman, as per Islam, must develop after the marriage. Islam had a great many examples of how such a love between a man and his wife can become legendry. Taj Mahal is a living example of such an intense love of a man for his wife.
Marrying a woman of a different faith always requires an intense pre-marriage emotional involvement which is contrary to the teachings of Islam. And any intense pre-marital love between a man and woman is fraught with peril, heartbreak, disaster and tragedy. The legendry love-tales of Laila Majnu, Shirin Farhad, Heer Ranjha all amply demonstrate the destructive consequences of such a perilous love.
Islams insistence on obtaining girls parental approval can save men from such dangerous consequences. If there is an insurmountable hurdle in the way of such parental approval, then a true Muslim takes that hurdle as Gods will and move on in life by submitting to His injunction: Perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not. (Quran 2:216).
The aforesaid Quranic quotes and Hadees amply clarify Islams stand vis-à-vis a Muslim mans marriage to a Hindu woman. Frankly speaking, Islam does not encourage Muslim men to marry Hindu women.
Can any person with a sound mind still peddle the idea of Love Jihad and accuse Islam of encouraging Muslim men to marry Hindu women?!