RSS has coined a new word – ‘Love Jihad’ and the Uttar Pradesh unit of BJP has decided to include the issues of ‘love jihad’ and conversion of Hindus on the agenda for its two-day state executive committee meeting at Mathura.
The decision came days after RSS wing Dharma Jagran Manch launched a campaign against ‘love jihad’, which refers to Hindu girls being allegedly converted to Islam for marriage, in the state. According to State party President Laxmikant Bajpai: “Issues of ‘love jihad’ and conversion of Hindus would be raised during discussions over law and order situation in the state and the party will also draft its future action plan to fight against these issues.”
The Dharma Jagran Manch of RSS on Raksha Bandhan festival had started a seven-day campaign, appealing to Hindus for support in curbing ‘love jihad’ and requesting Hindu girls not to “fall prey” to such youths who lure them to get converted.
Irrespective of the topicality of issue, I would like to discuss the prequel of this issue – Why someone is ready to forsake his / her religion in which he was born and brought up? It is invariably the most difficult decision of life if it is based upon serious brainstorming, brooding and introspect; it is a decision that leaves its serious everlasting consequences and affects upon the present and future generations.
It is also a very personal matter that has nothing to do with society. A person converting has had made a deep study of his / her original religion and the religion he has decided to convert. It is a call of his / her heart, head and soul and it involves no compulsion. It is a ‘free choice’ that convinced the person to change the fundamental belief.
Forced Conversion is crime, a sin and an offense upon human rights – a affront against humanity. I believe no religion permits it, and Islam especially, strictly, prohibits it. The Holy Quran says – “La Ikraha Fid Deen.” There is no compulsion in Religion. Any such conversion whether it took place in past, present or in future would be deemed null and void – Illegal.
Forced conversion is adoption under duress of a different religion. The convert may secretly retain the previous beliefs and continue, covertly, with the practices of the original religion, while outwardly maintaining the forms of the new religion. In a democratic society, it is reprehensible. In Islamic society, the authority or ruler who forces it has no sanction of God.
However, let us understand the candid law – Islam does not allow a Muslim girl to marry the follower of any other religion except Islam. However, a Muslim can marry a girl of monotheistic religion – Christian and Jew. For the girl of any other faith to marry a Muslim boy, first she has to convert to Islam in true spirit of words and deeds. That is a basic tenets or principle and any diversion to it makes the marriage unacceptable.
So, if a girl, other than Christian and Jew, finds herself in a situation where she is making a free choice of marrying a Muslim boy than she had to convert into Islam before marriage and not after marriage. According the Islamic faith, it is ordained by God. It is the duty of the Muslim boy to inform in entirety all about, and this compulsory tenet of religion before he enters in relationship with a Hindu girl. Ignorance on part of either of them is no excuse.
But people often convert to a different religion for various other reasons – conversion for convenience that involves the name change, recitation of few words that affects no change in belief at heart and mind, just performing the ritual prayer to satisfy a bribed priest. It is as pejorative an act as forced conversion.
Conversion or re-affiliation for convenience is an insincere act also, sometimes for relatively trivial reasons such as a parent converting to enable a child to be admitted to a good school associated with a religion, or a person adopting a religion more in keeping with the social class he or she aspires to. When people marry one spouse may convert to the religion of the other. I would ask, without naming, where were these organizations when so many of our glittering idols were engaged in this kind of second marriage just to circumvent the restrictions of their original religion?
Those people who are atheists, agnostics or pagans, they are free to follow the route of CIVIL MARRIAGE. They aren’t part of this discussion.
I appreciate the view of RSS and Amit Shah that no one should be compelled to change the religion and “vote bank politics” and “appeasement policy” should have no place in Indian polity.
Last but not the least, there are so many misconceptions about the word ‘Jihad.’ Let me wind up this discussion with a famous Urdu couplet:
“Jihad isko naheen kehte ke hove qatl insan ka, kare to qatl apne nafs-e-kafir ka who ghazi hai.” Jehad is not an act of slaughtering someone. Jehad is an act when kill your own perfidious ego.”
By: Naim Naqvi
Related articles across the web