By Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani
Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami
The religious uniformity is of great significance in the solemnisation of the marriages in Islam to maintain similarity of Faith and Thought for the stability and sustenance of matrimonial relation. Islam does not allow a woman to be married with a non-Muslim; even if he is a disbeliever - a Jews or a Christian. The Quran Kareem says, “Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe” (Surah Al-Baqrah: 221)
There is another important question. Can anyone marry with a non-Muslim woman or not? Regarding this question, the non-Muslims have been divided in two categories. The Jews and the Christian women can be married, on condition – that they are true Jews or Christians. It means they must have faith over the existence of the Almighty Allah Kareem, over the punishment and reward, and on the day of judgement, as also over the system of revelation of “Wahi”. They may not have faith over the prophethood of the prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). They may believe that Hazrat Isa (May Allah be pleased with Him) was the son of God. The same was the case with Jews and Christians at the time of the prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). So they were called “Kitabi” (possessor of Islamic book). The marriage with a Kitabi woman in the Muslim countries is acceptable, anyhow. The situation is totally adverse in non-Muslim countries. There is a distinct difference in the laws for the marriage with Jew and Christian men and women because a man may be more effective over his wife and children. This difference between Muslim and non-Muslim countries is because a man will be able to follow the Islamic tenets of Muslim community within the norms of religious culture which will help the woman to be attracted toward Islam. The situation in a non-Muslim society will be totally adverse.
Second category is of other disbelievers and non-Muslims comprising of Hindus, Sikhs Bodhs and Jains etc. Nikah with their women is forbidden. According to Quran Kareem, “Do not marry unbelieving woman until they believe”. (Surah, Al-Baqrah, 221)
Finally, it means that a Muslim girl cannot be married with any non-Muslim, but a Muslim boy can be married with a Jews or Christian girl - on condition that the girl is a true Jew or a Christian. In such a case, there is no fear of the child being impressed with their religious culture.
The compulsion of the matching religious thoughts is not meanness or bias; it is an attempt to protect and stabilise the purpose of Nikah and is quite realistic also. One of the spouses believes in Oneness of the Almighty Allah Kareem, also that all creatures are created by Him only, and one cannot supplicate before anyone except the Almighty Allah Kareem. On the other hand, someone worships idols in the same house. One of the parents teaches Islamic tenets and principles to the children and the other parent forces to worship idols and visit temples. In such a confusing situation, how can an atmosphere of mutual trust or confidence be built? The life of the children will be miserable, living in severe mental tension affecting their studies. It is seen in the inter-communal marriages, either one party converts to other’s religion or the matrimonial relation is snapped due to domestic tension and intense difference, depriving the children of the father’s affection and the mother’s love.
Inter-community marriages are not acceptable in Indian society, snapping all relations with the family members, depriving children of the grand parents’ love and affection. It creates a frustrating vacuum in their life, affecting so badly that they feel extremely lonely. The absence of the family members from their lives makes the survival extremely impossible. There are certain other kinds of problems in such marriages. The proposals of the marriage for the children from the inter-community marriages are hardly offered; even the marriage of their brothers and sisters becomes difficult causing a lot of problems in the future.
Earlier, the inter-communal marriages were rarely heard of. Later on, it gradually increased. Mostly Muslim boys used to marry non-Muslim girl by loving them or being loved. Generally, the non-Muslim girls converted to Islam before their marriage; or later on, after the renewal of Nikah, they used to adjust in the Muslim community. Some newly converted girls proved to be exceptionally good-natured by adjusting in their parents-in-law’s home better then others. They considered them their real father and mother because they had been separated from their parents and family members.
Presently in the changed situation, the Muslim girls are being attracted to inter-community marriage which was once unimaginable. It is a very shameful situation for the Muslims which demands sincere thought to find out its logical reasons and some solutions.
In my opinion, there are three points of great significance - first, negligence toward the children’s education; second, implementation of co-education; third, involvement of heavy expenses in solemnising a marriage. Now-a-days, parents are not paying attention to their children. They are even unable to teach them moral or religious learning, and check the children’s schedule as how much time they are spending at the educational institutions and the entertainment places. As a result, some guys are misled and deviated from the path of their mission, only to spoil their career. Likewise, the misuse of mobile and internet is also a serious stigma. The parents should try to avoid handing over mobile to boys and especially to girl. In case, it is urgently needed, they should be watchful about the contacts their children are making and forbid them from using internet in seclusion, keeping an eye on the programmes they are watching. These remedial steps are essential to minimize the misuse of mobile and internet.
Co-education is also a great menace to society, as it provides a suitable environment and an opportunity for the immoral relationship to flourish unbound. The parents should try to admit their children in the educational institution where separate arrangements for the teaching of boys and girls are made. The whole Muslim community should vow to save their wards from the curse of co-education forcing the educational institution to arrange separate classrooms, labs and other facilities for the boys and girls.
Unfortunately, such arrangements are not made even by the Muslim management in their own institutions. Ironically enough, co-education is highlighted as a salient feature in their advertisements and publicity, considering it as a matter of pride and preference.
At least, the Muslim management should arrange for the safe and moral way of acquiring knowledge without any hassle and disturbance. Till the separate buildings and other infrastructure are constructed, they can make alternate arrangement by dividing the classrooms and other places with plywood etc. to segregate the boys and girls’ sections to provide the girls a safe environment away for the penetrating eyes and immoral remarks by the boys. Co-education is not harmful morally only, but it also hampers the process of smooth learning, especially of the girls, as they remain under constant pressure of insecurity. The Muslim well-wishers need to arrange for the separate place of learning for the girls by their own efforts, and by requesting the administration of the non-Muslim institutions too. It will not be a harmful decision, in the light of the growing ratio of the girl students in the educational institutions at every level.
Another matter of great concern is of marriage expenses and extravagance. Everyone is spending money in marriage functions mindlessly, except a few, who fear from Allah Kareem., even the religion clerics are no exception. As a result, the basic concept of solemnising of marriage has changed as it has become a sign of status and an exposure of worldly treasure. The one who spends more is ironically respected more, whereas his act should be condemned and should be given a piece of mind for his better understanding. The Islamic scholars and the religious heads too, behave in the same manner. They avoid participating in the functions of their poor followers, neighbours, or a common man, but they happily join the grand marriage feasts organised by a wealthier person, criminal or a wrestler. This wrong concept has totally changed the scenario and the people have mistaken the waste of money and extravagance as the essential part of marriage (La haula wala quwattah illa billah). Due to the practice of this curse in the society, generally in some of the cases, the girls are not being married till they reach to the age of 30 or 35, making the parents restless and frustrated. The girl will not be held responsible for any misconduct if they fail to maintain their honour and purity, the whole society will be responsible near the Almighty Allah Kareem, as they are equally considered guilty in their sins.
That’s why, all the religious heads, Islamic scholars, clerics, spiritual reformers, political leaders, social organisations, and other conscious well-wishers of the Muslim community should agonize over this burning issue, create awareness among the masses, and must initiate some revolutionary steps before it is too late, to curb down this challenging nuisance, otherwise this disease will keep growing, and in due course of time crossing all limits, it will extend its reach to an unimaginable extent, then no remedy will be left and it will become fatal. Before it happens, we should try to find out an instant remedy.
Source: Hindustan Express 17 July, 2009
Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami