Love-Jihad: Does Islam approves Muslim men marrying polythiest women?
“A believing (Muslim) slave girl is better than a (free) polytheist woman who associates partners with God, even though she pleases and attracts you.” Quran (2:221)
The Saffron Brigade mischievously coined ‘Love Jihad’ to create an illusion in the minds of people that Islam is encouraging its adherents to marry Hindu women as some form of “Jihad”! Is there any truth?
The preposterous term “Love Jihad” flabbergast not only Muslims but all sensible people of other faiths. Such absurd terms elicit feelings of amusement, pity and helplessness - all at the same time. It was common for educated Muslims to laugh earlier at such flummox ideas as “idiotic” and move on maintaining a dignified silence.
However, the absurd idea of ‘Love-Jihad’, if legislated, as the state governments of MP, UP and Haryana are currently planning, will become a tool for the persecution of not only Muslim men marrying Hindu women but their families as well. Thus, it becomes necessary to present the facts to clear fallacies deliberately peddled about Islam. Islam does not encourage marriages with polytheist women.
Love and Jihad! These two things are inherently contradictory to say the least. The modern idea of ‘love’ is euphemism for promiscuity, free mixing of opposite sexes, lust, adultery and even live-in relationships. Jihad on the other hand is a sacred struggle against the evil inclinations of the human soul including the longing for promiscuity that is the crux of the so-called ‘love’ in this era.
Jihad in Islam:
Jihad is an Arabic term which literally means striving or struggling with a spiritual goal to cleanse the soul. In Islamic context, it can refer to almost any effort to make personal and social life conform with God’s guidance. It is a struggle to prevail over evil desires and inclinations to cleanse the soul to attain higher spirituality.
Islam sees unchecked human desires as a big hindrance in the path of spiritual growth and development. In Sufi and pious circles, spiritual and moral Jihad has been termed as ‘greater Jihad’. The ‘Jihad’ is waged, as Quran says, against “the human soul which is ever inclined to evil” (12:53). It further says: “Successful indeed is the one who purifies the soul; and doomed is the one who corrupts it!” (91:9-10)
The instinct to love opposite sex is meant to fulfill God’s higher purpose in ensuring continuity of human race through procreation. Islam allows the powerful emotion of love between a man and woman to get fully manifested only in the form of lawful wedlock that could lead to the birth of their descendants.
Marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women are the result of free mixing of opposite sexes in educational institutions and work places. Islam discourages such free-mixing of opposite sexes in view of the likely moral degradation it can lead to. A Hadeeth of the Prophet says: “No man is alone with a woman but the ‘devil’ will be the third one.”
Quran cautions believers: “And do not come near adultery, it is a shameful deed and an evil, and opening the road to other evils” (17:32). Similarly, amongst other traits, Quran expounds of those who get salvation is: “… And those who guard their chastity (against illegal sexual acts)” (70:29).
Islam warns against adultery: “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is aware of what they do” (24:30).
Youngsters are encouraged for early marriage lest they succumb to evil sexual desires and promiscuity. The Prophet of Islam said: “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e., from committing illegal sex), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual urge.”
Severe punishment is stipulated in Islamic Law for those indulging in adultery: “To the woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual relationship, flog each of them with one hundred stripes; let not compassion withold you in their case, in a matter of punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day and let a party of the believers witness their punishment” (24:2).
Islam regards promiscuous behavior of men and women as moral corruption. It says: “Corrupt women are for corrupt men, and corrupt men are for corrupt women. Pure women are for pure men, and pure men are for pure women” (24:26).
There is guidance to Muslims in every sphere of life including marriage. A Hadith of the Prophet says: “A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her religious commitment. Seek the one who is religiously committed, (so) you may prosper.”
Thus guidelines are clearly given to the Muslim men to seek religiously devout Muslim women for marriage preferring them over other Muslim women of wealth, high lineage and beauty. In the broader scheme of familial relations, Islam foresees a great future role for a married woman, i.e., to educate her progeny with her sound knowledge of faith and inculcate in them high values of Islam. This purpose cannot be attained unless the woman is a devout Muslim herself with a sound knowledge of Islam.
When Muslim women of wealth, high lineage or beauty are not preferred in comparison to a devout Muslim woman, how, then, anyone can think that Islam would approve of a Muslim man’s marriage with a non-Muslim woman! So, the less said about the idiotic idea of a ‘Love Jihad’ the better.
Islam has nothing to do with inter-faith marriages. It never ever encourages such marriages. However, it is the secular Indian polity which grants freedom to Indians – men and women – to chose their life partners as they wish. But Islam has nothing to do with inter-faith marriages that take place across India.
It is pertinent here to note prudence of Islam in insisting upon the approval of the woman’s father or her guardian in order for marriage to be deemed valid. Without such approval, the marriage would not be valid. We have seen the dire consequences of ‘love marriages’ that take place without the consent of the woman’s parents. Such marriages are fraught with grim repercussions resulting in the crime of ‘honour killing’ of one or both the parties. It can also lead to insurmountable social complications due to the different religious backgrounds.
Hence the Islamic idea of marriage is more or less an ‘arranged’ affair – even when man and woman had previous acquaintance and liking for each other but the marriage take place with the approval of both the families. Intense love between a man and woman, as per Islam, must develop after the marriage. Islam had a great many examples of how such a love between a man and his wife can become legendry. Taj Mahal is a living example of such an intense love of a man for his wife.
Marrying a woman of a different faith always requires an intense pre-marriage emotional involvement which is contrary to the teachings of Islam. And any intense pre-marital love between a man and woman is fraught with perils, heartbreak, disaster and tragedy. The legendary love-tales of ‘Laila Majnu’, ‘Shirin Farhad’, ‘Heer Ranjha’ all amply demonstrate the destructive consequences of such a perilous love.
Islam’s insistence on obtaining girl’s parental approval can save men from such dangerous consequences. If there is an insurmountable hurdle in the way of such parental approval, then a true Muslim takes that hurdle as God’s will and move on in life by submitting to His injunction: “Perhaps you hate something and it is good for you; and you may love something and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not” (Quran 2:216).
The aforesaid Quranic quotes and Hadees amply clarify Islam’s stand vis-à-vis a Muslim’s marriage to a non-Muslim woman. Frankly speaking, Islam does not encourage Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women.
Can any person with a sound mind still peddle the idea of ‘Love Jihad’ and accuse Islam of encouraging Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women?!