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The Growing 'Epidemic' of Inter-Religious Marriages Rattle 'Guardians' Of Muslim Faith and Culture

Inter-Religious Marriages, a bane of the Indian Muslim society

By Zafar Anwar Shakarpuri

Translated from Urdu by Arman Neyazi

Inter-Religious marriages have turned into something of an epidemic in our society. So called intellectuals or illiterate people take it as a form of secularism when the reality is that it has nothing to do with secularism in India. This disease had started making its presence felt in the society but in a very limited way even before Independence. Names of celebrities of the erstwhile Bombay Film Industry and high level politicians along with journalists had started coming on the surface. Some claiming to have insight encouraged it in the name of national integration and took it as a good omen while some others discouraged it for the sake of maintaining the purity of religion.

One of the great sons of Delhi and a great hero of the struggle for Independence Late Barrister Asif Ali married Arunaji who herself was a great Mujahid-e-Azadi and leader of thousands of Congress Jihadis of the Independence Movement. It was she who had hoisted the tricolour for the first time in Delhi's Connaught Place.

Mr Mohammad Ali Jinnah a leader of Muslim League in united India and the founder of Pakistan married a non-Muslim and her daughter had married a Parsi industrialist of Mumhai before Independence. Famous industrialist of Mumbai Mr Nusli Wadia is the maternal grandson of Mr Jinnah. The Nikaah of the famous poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz with a British Christian lady Alys was conducted by none other than the great Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah. A well known journalist of Saharanpur Khaleeque Siddiqui who was the Editor of "Al-Jamiat", the mouthpiece of Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind and had also been associated with the newspaper "Zamindar" of Maulana Zafar Ali Khan fell in love with a Dalit lady of Haryana. He not only changed his religion but also his name as "Satyavadi", the Hindi translation of "Siddiqui". He was elected to the Rajya Sabha after 1957 and kept representing the Dalits for years together. He was a great well wisher of Urdu and kept raising his voice in its favour.

When Sikandar Bakht a well known politician of Delhi married to a Hindu girl the erstwhile Hindu Mahasabha gave it a communal colour and an anti-Muslim riot broke out in Delhi. He used to be a Secretary in the State office of Congress at that time. He jumped to BJP bandwagon during the Janata government and remained Opposition Leader in the Rajya Sabha for long before being appointed the Governor of Kerala in his last days.

Former Vice President of India Justice Hedayatullah also married a Hindu lady and his last rites were performed as per Hindu rituals after his death. George Fernandes, former NDA convenor and Central Minister married Laila Kabeer the daughter of Prof. Humayun Kabeer,  the PA of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Moharrir of Maulana’s well known book "India Wins Freedom" who was appointed Minister for Education also after his death. 

Nadira the daughter of Sajjad Zaheer, a pillar of Progressive Movement in India married film actor Raj Babbar. General Secretary of Anjuman Taraquee Hind Dr. Khaleeque Ajnum also married a Hindu girl.

Har Narayan Sharma the founder of Janalta Cooperative Bank and the adopted son of Meer Mushtaque Ahmad, the Mayor of Delhi, married a local girl Sabeera Ajnum and Salman Khurshid, Central Minister and the maternal grandson of former President of India Dr. Zakir Husain married a Christian lady who was associated with a well known newspaper of Kolkata. Famous English journalist Seema Mustafa has now become Seema Mustafa Singh. A journalist associated with the BBC Firoz Mukherjee who had her roots in Lucknow married Barrister Mukherjee. Editor of Daily Mashriqui Awaz Mohammad Zaki married Manu Gupta. A well known journalist and former Rajya Sabha MP Shahid Siddiqui married a Hindu colleague when he himself was a Professor in Delhi University. Another journalist Nasira Sharma also married a Hindu.

How could other big cities have been untouched with this epidemic of Delhi and Mumbai. Daughter of Salamat Ali Mehdi a very respectable name in the field of journalism and a much acclaimed litterateur of Lucknow married a Hindu classmate of hers. Lots of Muslim girls of Lucknow and Aligarh have married Hindu boys after waiting endlessly for suitable offers or the ideals they were in search of and this phenomenon is on the rise. Everyone associated with Millat and its thoughts will have to come together and think on this tragedy.

The mother of Former Miss India and a champion of Swimming Nafeesa Ali of Kolkata was a Christian Lady. Her father Ahmad Ali was a famous Photographer and she married a Rtd. Col. R S Sodhi. Further heavyweight leader of UP and the right hand man of Late Sanjay Gandhi, Akbar Ahmad Dumpy, BJP's shotgun Mukhtar Ahhas Naquvi and former Minister of Delhi Perwez Hashmi tied knots with Hindu girls.

In Bihar, RJD’s State President and former Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui married a respectable Kayasth family's daughter. People say they are related to Jai Prakash Narayan and BJP government’s only Muslim Minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain got married to a Hindu girl under the patronage of Uma Bharti.

On one side the son of the Last Nizam of Hyderabad married a Swiss girl. On the other hand the wife of former CM of Jammu and Kashmir Dr Farooque Abdullah is also a newly converted Muslim. His son Omar Abdullah has also married a Hindu classmate of his and his sister Sarah has married Sachin Pilot, son of late central minister Rajesh Pilot. A granddaughter of Yusuf Dehlavi, founder of "Shama" married a Hindu boy in a very dramatic fashion. A Lady Doctor of Darbhanga married a non-Muslim Doctor without anybody's knowledge.

There are certain inter religious marriages which get the nod of the Society. But more often than not many such marriages become a reason for conflict in the society. In one such incident Rizwan Ahmad married Priyanka Todi the heiress of Lux Cozy. The Todi family did not accept this marriage and ultimately Rizwan had to allegedly pay with his dear life.

The inter-religious marriages are no surprise for the Mumbai Film Industry. Madhu Bala ( Mumtaz Jahan Begum) got married to Kishore Kumar on her deathbed, Nargis to Sunil Dutt, Sharmila Tagore to Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Neelima Azeem to Pankaj Kapoor, storywriter Saleem Khan to famous dancer Helen, Rukhsana Sultana's daughter and famous English journalist Khushwant Singh's niece Amrita Singh to Saif Ali Khan, son of Sharmila Tagore and Nawab Pataudi, Shah Rukh Khan to Gauri, Arbaaz Khan to Malaika Arora, Zarin Khan, Sanjay Khan's daughter to Hritik Roshan and Fardeen Khan with Mumtaz's daughter. Aamir Khan married twice and both the times with Hindu girls; Azharuddin got married to Sangeeta Bijlani, Farah to Dara Singh's son Bindu, Sanjay Dutt with Manayta (Shahnaz Khan). Firoz Khan and Nasiruddin Shan also have non-Muslim wives. Mahesh Bhatt's mother was a Muslim. Imraan Hashmi also is said to be his nephew. Famous actress Mumtaz had also married a famous non Muslim industrialist of his age. This is not only continuing but getting momentum and the people speaking against it are taken as orthodox and hardliners. May the Muslims be saved of such marriages! (Ameen)

If there has to be inter-religion marriages why do the Muslim boys and girls get ready to change their religion? It is because of the dwindling religious education, lack of understanding of Islamic culture. Parents are providing the best possible education to their children but forget to give them good cultural and religious training. This attitude has proved to be a bane for the religion. After enveloping metros towns, now the epidemic of inter-religious marriages is spreading towards the countryside. Girls of those families and villages that were cited as example of good behaviour have eloped with their non Muslim boyfriends.

Source: Hamara Samaj, 23 August 2010-09-09