Now trending: Inter-caste marriages!

Author: Iram Siddique

"Masha Allah! That's a rewardable act beta!" he said to his neighbour's son when he got the news of him marrying a non-Muslim girl after reverting her to Islam. Little do people know that he objected his own son's wish of marrying a Muslim girl because she was not from his khandan (family). Well, this is an example of both, a form of hypocrisy still prevailing in large sections of our Muslim society and of an emerging trend being followed by young Muslims largely of marrying non-Muslims, and their families either taking pride in it or boycotting them both in the wrong sense.

Islam allows marrying chaste women of the books (Jews & Christians). But in a time where chastity is a rarity in the Muslim world itself, to look for it outside is really foolish. And I am pretty sure that majority of those who commit such an act would have not even bothered to check the religious ruling on it and they have only helped in increasing the number of single Muslim women over the years. The non-Muslim’s cultural influence, liberal, modern Muslims peer group, the non-Muslim social circle, lack of Islamic knowledge, are some of the most common factors enhancing this new trend in the Muslim world. There are two types of reverts, one who embrace Islam out of free will, Allah guides them and the other who enter Islam just because they fall for a Muslim person who puts to them the only choice of becoming a Muslim in order to get married to them irrespective of whether they do it from their heart or just for the heck of it. Unfortunately, according to me, the latter is a more common reason bringing new Muslims to Islam in our Hindu majority nation, India.

Talking from my experience and observation about the latter ones, they either turn out to be the best of Muslims or a great Fitna!

Case 1:
I know someone who is also a dear friend to me and like an elder sister to me who embraced Islam because her husband is a Muslim. She is one of those very few who reverted from her heart, praying five times and performing other religious obligations consistently has made her an example in our neighbourhood to follow, Masha Allah! But as Allah tests each one of us, her test started with her own husband, who was the medium in getting her into Islam and who sadly became also the medium of her tests. He gradually started with depriving her even of her basic rights which she had over him, to the extent of threatening her with a divorce just for the sake of his parents who were not happy at all with his decision of marrying not only a Hindu but also someone who has not brought anything in marriage (dowry). They regularly humiliated, oppressed her, and were not as welcoming as the gentleman mentioned above, just because she was a Hindu who affected their family's dignity, their honor, who trapped their innocent son, who eventually let their heads down in their family. Their fear would have been still justified had she not followed our religion well, had she been a disobedient wife or an immodest woman, had they been good Muslims themselves who feared hypocrisy from her that may affect the environment at home and the upbringing of their future generation. The husband, who seemed to be a practicing Muslim to her, eventually revealed his true face which she didn't identified earlier.

How can a "good" Muslim guy/girl fall for a non-Muslim girl/guy? It is absolutely indigestible, insensible and will only make sense to those who don't know Islam properly.

Talking about this woman's in-laws, they deprived her of even the basic rights. They treated her almost like an untouchable, to an extent that she was left to suffer alone for months at a government hospital when she was expecting her first baby and had serious complications, with no one ever checking on her except for her husband who used to come just like the nurses did, out of formality. They have no compassion, no care towards the patient, just an obligation! Her Imaan was tested to the extreme level yet she never regretted the decision of becoming a Muslim. When I used to visit her during that time, my only motive was to help her in difficulty and keep her dying hope alive. I gave her audios of the Tafseer of Surah Maryam, read out to her inspirational Islamic stories, about patience and forbearance in Islam. I used to tell her that this is a test from the Lord to only bring her closer to Him. Anyhow I didn't wanted her Imaan to drop to the level where she regrets her decision of becoming a Muslim because she expressed it many times - out of the trauma and depression - how much she was regretting of abandoning her family and community for someone who she loved more than them. Believe me, they started questioning her decision of embracing Islam, this is the height of oppression. For me this is one of the gravest mistakes or sins that a born Muslim can commit. But these tests only made her stronger. She emerged out of it with a stronger Imaan, stronger belief in her Qadr, Alhamdulillah! Not everyone has that level of Imaan to realize the betterment behind the tests and trials of life. Not everyone has that ability to look beyond life, putting their trust in Allah SWT alone. "Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills." [Faatir, 35:8]

Case 2:
According to me this kind of new Muslims are many. I'm talking about those who enter Islam and remain in it only for the one who brought them into, and not for the One who gave them this golden chance – i.e. Allah! A cousin of my sister’s friend got married to a Jain-Gujarati girl who initially performed few basic obligations to show off to everyone around especially her husband that she is now a Muslim. Now her husband and in-laws luckily (for her) belonged to the liberal, modern Muslim category. So there were no religious restrictions as such and this only encouraged her to disobey Allah more. So she is not only to be blamed entirely for this as her in laws themselves failed to practice the religion on a better scale. Nothing changed much for this girl except her name on her Nikah-naama (marriage certificate), government documents, and social media. She does not only enjoy the freedom to keep her old name and nicknames related to it but also an absolute liberty to post pictures of her partying and clubbing in immodest dressing! And her oh-so-loving-husband doesn't mind because he is still rejoicing the ‘fact’ that she changed her religion for him!

I learnt from both the cases that the prohibited act of marrying a non-Muslim can be changed into a rewardable act if the Muslims strive to invite such people to Islam only in the manners prescribed by the Shari'ah. We should strive to project the true picture of Islam through our own actions and behavior. We should give them their due rights and treat them with hospitality. Our attitude can lead the new-comer into a blessing or a fitnah.

About the Author:
Iram Siddique, an undergraduate in commerce, has a passion to write on subjects related to Islam, particularly, ignored religious issues, misconceptions and wrong practices in the Muslim society. A homemaker residing in Abu Dhabi, born and brought up in Mumbai, India; she holds a keen interest in gaining Islamic Knowledge to practice.

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