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Islam and Pluralism ( 28 Jul 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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‘Love Jihad’ – Myth or Reality?

A poisonous Propaganda started by Communal Forces

By Maulana Nadeemul Wajidee

Translated from Urdu by Raihan  Nezami,


An endless debate and a lot of hue and cry have been raised by the media on the issue of inter-community marriages. The moment such a contentious incident takes place, communal Hindu organizations like Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal begin poisoning the social atmosphere by provoking the innocent citizens of the country. This threatens to destroy the very fabric of national unity.

Recently a communal controversy arose in Saharanpur district, when a Muslim youth married a Hindu girl living in his vicinity. The girl converted to Islam. It is possible that the girl herself willingly converted to Islam for the sake of her love, but her parents and relatives created a great racket. The concerned people were arrested by the police. Thanks be to God, the girl was proved in the court to be of 19 years of age. She expressed her desire to live with her Muslim husband. This statement of the girl in the court went in favour of the boy and the court’s verdict proved to be a soothing balm for the Muslim youth. Yet the plaintiff demonstrated in an anti-social and illegal way. He went on to loot and burn properties, shouting provocative anti-Muslim slogans even in the court of law. At present, the matter is under wraps due to the strict order of the court, but a new debate on the topic, “Love in Jihad” has been initiated by the communal forces.

Plural, inter-community marriages are of two kinds.

In the first kind - the parties may have different religions; in the second, one party should already be a Muslim and the second might have got married after converting to Islam. The first case is an open inter-community marriage, but the second can’t be fully considered an inter-community marriage in the sense that both belonged to different religions before their marriage, although they were Muslims at the time of Nikah. In this way, both these kinds of marriages are of different nature and there are different norms for both of them.

The society is being adversely affected by the negative impact of the unrestricted passionate relations of the youths of opposite sexes from different communities by studying in the co-educational system. The liberal culture has impacted them greatly. They don’t hesitate even in developing physical relationship at certain hide-outs which are freely available in the present open and liberal culture. Some of them even elope with their lovers when they face opposition from the society or the law. If both of them are adults, they get protection by the law even if they belong to different religions. On the other hand, if they are not adults; the boy can be arrested and put behind bars whereas the girl will be sent to Nariniketan (a female children’s home).

This situation has developed in both Muslim and Hindu culture. It’s important to develop social values in order to check this trend well in time; otherwise our cultural values will also lose their shine the way it has happened with the western culture. In the West extreme brazenness is common, physical relations with mutual consent are not prohibited, the number of divorce cases has reached unimaginable proportions, and the number of illegitimate children is growing by leaps and bounds. Even after all kinds of liberties are given, sexual crimes are on the increase – sexual diseases like AIDS have become the distinguishing feature of the western culture. Earlier, the rise of this western trend was slow in eastern countries; but at present, it’s knocking at our doors. In regard to this grave problem, the religious leaders and scholars, social workers, political leaders and educational experts must ponder over this grave situation irrespective of their community and religion.

India is a multi-religious  country with a mixed population With the similarity of culture, dress, language and food habits, different communities have come so close that the identity of a Muslim or a Hindu has shrunk at certain places – such as educational institutions, offices, markets, places of recreation and other public places. The identity has now become just a matter of having a certain name.  In the same sense, a very small section of Muslims has safeguarded its identity – some Muslim men are recognized with their beard and caps and the Muslim women with their veil “Burqa”. {But that is also under attack. French president Sarkozi and the western people in general seem not to like that and are not willing to accept these distinguishing features of Islam.} Rest of the Muslims have lost their religious identity in the milling crowd anyway.

This situation has developed a trend of mixed culture – to the extent that the present generation of youth is not being attracted towards the opposite sex of own community; rather they are getting interested in the young people of other communities. These are mostly the irreligious. Certain youth groups of feel that religion should not interfere in their personal life so much that they are not even allowed to get married at their will.

Some old, traditional values are still alive in our society; so that a great ruckus is created whenever an inter-community marriage takes place. A section of Hindus are particularly worried when an inter-community marriage consists of a Muslim boy and a Hindu girl. They consider it a matter of great shame for the entire community. In the reverse situation, they don’t have any objection; rather they feel pleased. Some youths do not hesitate even in changing their religion for the sake of their love.  There are some who want to maintain a balance in both love and religion; in other words, they don’t wish to lose anything, so they convince the opposite gender to change the religion.  In some cases, a Muslim boy is doomed to eternal misfortune for the sake of his blind love and temporary mental satisfaction – or a Muslim girl spoils her identity and religion accepting the Hindu religion “Nauz Billah” to get married with a Hindu boy and thus qualifies for the permanent torment of the hell-fire. The last two options are very happily accepted by the communal forces of our country. Generally, in such a situation, the Muslims are unable even to protest; rather they are pushed to the corner with their back to the wall to be a silent spectator of their misfortune. On the contrary, a section of Hindus create all sorts of disturbance if a Hindu girl changes her religion for the sake of love.

It can be understood by the way the Hindu organizations tried to create communal tension and spoil the atmosphere of peace and harmony – that they are absolutely not prepared to accept such cases in a positive sense anyway in the name of freedom to live; they can target the lives and property of the Muslims in retaliation. Right now, in the case of Deoband, the situation remained under control due to the impartial attitude of the administration and the judiciary, to a great extent, because of the adulthood of the girl and the stability in her attitude; otherwise the communal tension of Saharanpur could have affected the peace and harmony of the whole country.

An impartial analysis of the facts would reveal that cases like the recent one in Deoband are quite rare. Inter-community marriages that create disorder are quite common. A notable point is that the Hindu organizations create a great furore as it happened in Deoband if the girl is a Hindu but remain mum in the opposite cases.  The matter of Muslim youths going out of the pale of Islam is extremely unfortunate. It should be understood that worldly comforts, wealth and luxuries are of no importance in comparison to Iman (Faith) and Islam; today’s young generation is unable to understand because the influence of western culture and education has erased the importance of Deen-e-Islam from their minds. Muslims make no arrangements for their religious and cultural education and training at home. The result is that while Muslim children maybe highly qualified in western education, even occupy high posts, but they are getting away from their religion. This tragic situation demands sincere thought as any more delay or negligence may result in a disaster.

Conversion to Islam is not a big problem. Every citizen has been given this right by the law and the constitution of the country. Islam is a perfect and divine religion. Anyone is welcome and can dip into the vast ocean of its blessings. In this way, it should not be objectionable to anyone. But there is a dearth of communal harmony and mutual understanding in our country which has created many social and political problems.  Of these conversion to Islam is a grave concern. Communal Hindus are unable to tolerate the conversion to Islam. Even so numerous people are converting to Islam in India and abroad having been impressed by the divine teachings of Islam. They sometimes, take help of the law and order machinery and the judiciary, and yet the newly converted have to struggle to get a proper place and respect in the society.

All said and done, I think religion should not be used as a tool in the process of marriage. Muslim youths should avoid such emotional decisions. If a girl changes her religion simply for the sake of marriage, she is hardly to be considered a true Muslim. We had recently had a bitter experience in the case of Chandramohan “Chand” and Anuradha Fiza who had converted to Islam simply to tie the matrimonial knot.

The Muslim youths should not put their innocent community members at stake for their silly marriages because the political and social condition of our country doesn’t allow such things. So if they have any love for their religion –I slam, they should try to build their moral character and personality according to the tenets and the teachings of Islam.

By labelling “Love as Jihad” the phenomenon of Muslim boys marrying Hindu girls after their conversion to Islam, the communal organizations want to prove that the Muslims have started a new kind of “Jihad”, and are creating disturbance in the country by alluring innocent Hindu girls and marrying them by converting them to Islam. Those who are raising such issues, are either unaware of the meaning of “Jihad” or are deliberately doing this as they are creating mountains out of molehills. Incidents of Hindu girls marrying after converting to Islam are in any case pretty rare.

This is a crucial challenge.  Islamic scholars and intellectuals will have to find the best way to meet this challenge and counter the poisonous effects of communalism.

Should we reply to this propaganda by speech?

- That we are not committing such un-Islamic crimes as there is no scope for the use of any kind of force in matters of conversion to Islam.

- Or should we reply by action?

Action speaks louder than words; we can do it by creating such a religious and pious atmosphere in our homes that no young Muslim can dare to violate the family standard by taking such a silly decision simply for the attainment of physical pleasure or to satisfy the lust of  his love and emotion.


Translated from Urdu by Raihan  Nezami,

 URL of this page:‘love-jihad’-–-myth-reality/d/1576