By Abdul Sattar
Pre 9/11, The word jihad was a misnomer, and hardly people knew what that word was across the world. Perhaps, not many Muslims could have given the correct answer to it either. Post 9/11, the word Jihad has become the most controversial term, to be often associated for any mishap that happened to any human and being used as synonymous with Muslims, thanks to the propaganda media.
Off late, here in India since the BJP has come to power, the word love Jihaad has been popularized by extreme right-wing groups like the RSS, Bhagrangdal and Hindu Yuva Vahini to label the act of two individuals from Muslim and Hindu communities, who fall in love and go on to get married as Love Jihaad. A few months back, an advert by Tanishq has been attacked and hijacked by these hard-line Hindutva extremist as “Love Jihad.
The recent passing of an ordinance on prohibition of unlawful conversion of religion ordinance by the Yogi Adityanath led UP government is an affirming sign that indeed the BJP and it child groups are seriously stalking on people and are deeply concerned about the idea of Hindu women getting married to men from other religions, and in particular Muslim men. Which could ultimately lead to their bizarre nightmare of the 14% Muslim population scaling to heights, which could potentially challenge their voting majority.
And this is not the first time, they have come up with this kind of law to target the Muslims. It is one among the series of laws which have been master planned against the Muslims of this country from mob lynching’s to the most recent love Jihad. There have been a lot of cases which have been surfacing up, over the last few weeks since this law came into effect. A few days back a Muslim couple who were taken into custody after a hoax started spreading, that a Muslim man is about to marry a Hindu girl, which later revealed that, both were Muslims by birth. And most recently of a pregnant woman, who suffered a programmed miscarriage after being taken into a shelter home and dozed with medicines.
let’s have a look if a word called love jihad, exists in Islam or not? Or it is just a propaganda and a bag of farrago which is being made up to appear as existential to indoctrinate intimidation, hatred and attack the civil liberties of the people. There is no word called love jihad or any such word in Islam, in fact the word Jihad itself appears twice in the Quran, which means to “strive” (in the path of God through piety). Another popular Urdu phrase where the word is more often used, is when elder’s advice somebody to do Jaddo Jihad. (To work hard and to give their best).
Islam doesn’t promote conversion, just for the sake of marriage. But it welcomes people who want to enter it with open arms through reason & logic and ponder over the rationality behind the creation. God challenges human race at various places in the Quran and puts forward signs Infront of them to remind that, the ultimate reality to make everything possible, is from God alone. The concept to proselytize someone is based on someone’s individual choice and acceptance of a faith over their faith of birth. The Quran very explicitly states that “La ikraha fideen. Quran 2:256 (There is no coercion or compulsion in religion)”. Surely a Muslim man can only marry a believing Muslim woman, But the Muslim man cannot force a Non-Muslim woman to accept Islam.
In a country where majority of the marriages materialize with the consensus and approval of the parents; considering the cultural norms of this land, irrespective of the religion you come from. Some of the most quint essential factors one would find to marry someone, is to look in their own caste, family status. And traits such as beauty, education, background, language, food et al, are the imperatives to finally go ahead and get a nod for the marriage. So where does a preposterous idea of love jihad, finds a place in these clustered preferences of people.
Marriage is not just an act of formalizing a ritual for the sake of an ideology or fulfil a task that has been assigned to you. But instead it deals with a lot of pragmatic challenges to wade through the journey of life. It’s about two individuals trying to make a collective decision of spending life with each other. In this fast-paced world, no one has got the time and the energy to marry someone to carry out a love Jihad and go through a repugnant life of marrying a wrong person? There is so much to life than just trying to trick someone to get married and convent them to some other faith. And how long will the marriage prosper if the person comes to know of the other, marrying for the sake of a love Jihad?
Today, some of the BJP run state governments have passed down these ordinances and are terrorizing and targeting Muslim men and women, It’s not far that the centre will soon pass these ordinances and create some bill soon, and pass it in parliament to impose this on other states too. This is a direct attack on the freedom of choice and the civil liberties, The Muslims should awake to this call and not neglect it as they have been doing since this government started targeting them in an unconditional way from negligence towards mob lynching’s, introduction of NRC/CAA and Love Jihad .
Today it’s the Muslims, tomorrow it can be Christians, Sikhs, lower Hindus classes, and other minorities who would come under the whip of this diabolic ordinance. The protests made by the farmers, send a very strong and clear voice that, there is power in organized and well planned out protests and it is not the time that the Muslims sit around and wait for someone else to do our job. It’s time to participate and stand up for our rights to live like free humans and not be caged by some ideological bigotry.
The columnist holds an MSc in Engineering from UK, and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org