There is love jihad in the holy Quran. The rules and regulations regarding the marriage of a Muslim with a non-Muslim have been discussed in the aphorism 221 of sura ii, in the holy Quran. It categorically prohibits the marriage of a Muslim with non-Muslims. It warns the Muslim youth that “do not marry idolaters until they believe” (in the Islamic faith). Believing in the Islamic faith means (1) to give up whatever be the faith the non-Muslims have been practicing, (2) to lay faith in the only one God who is the abode of unconditional mercy and who, exists beyond the limits of time and space and free from form and content, (3) to lay his faith in the last prophet as the messenger of God, (4) to lay faith only in the aphorisms revealed by him which is known as the text, the holy Quran, (5) to lay faith in the angel Gabriel and the day of the last judgement by god. Since it is a monotheist religion, the believer in the Islam has been strictly prohibited from sharing any form of faith in other religions.
So, the girls who belong to the Hindu, Christian and Judaic faiths, must give up their original faith and to convert to Islam as a primary condition to get the religious approval, for their marriage with a Muslim youth, from the Islamic faith. Again, it advises the youth to be cautious in getting attracted to a girl belonging to the other faiths. It prescribes the next condition that “even though she allures you” you should not marry her because she attracts you to the hell, not to the path of the Almighty God. A girl belonging to the other religious faiths has been identified as an icon which leads a Muslim boy to hell. A Muslim cannot embrace any other religious faith because, in accordance with the Islamic faith, Islam is the only one religion of truth. Hence, after realising the religion of truth, that is, after embracing Islam, nobody has the right to leave the religion which is capable to attract wrath from God and the faithful Muslims.
An act of leaving the Islamic faith amounts to blasphemy, and death sentence is the minimum punishment for blasphemy, according to Islamic faith. It further believes that he who kills a person who commits blasphemy, is ensured a safe place in the heaven by the almighty god. According to Islamic faith, to slay and be slain, for the cause of God, has been considered as an act to get the rewards from the God. A Muslim must believe: “and say not of those who are slain in the way of godthey are dead. Nay they are living, though you perceive it not” (sura ii,154). So, a person who slays or being slain, in the name of God is ensured with special rewards from God. Conversion of a non-Muslim to Islamic faith has been considered as an act of Jihad because, it is an act of fight in the name of God which, leads a person from a religion of untruth to a religion of truth. He who fights in the name of God would be rewarded by God, it matters not whether he kills someone or being killed. Therefore, Islamic religion believes that Jihad or fighting in the name of God has been prescribed for Muslims. (sura ii, 216)
Further, it warns the guardians of the girls that, whatever be the contextual compulsions, they should not give their daughters to the non-Muslims in wedlock because, such an act is against the will of God and it will attract the wrath of God. According to Islamic faith, god never permits a Muslim who, is the follower of truth, to marry a non-Muslim who is the follower of untruth. The boy who wants to marry a Muslim girl can solemnise their marriage after converting himself to Islam. In accordance with Islamic faith, conversion to Islam from the other religions is nothing but the conversion from untruth to truth and it has been prescribed as a sacred duty of the Muslims. It advises the girls that, whatever be the intensity of their attractions to the boys, they should be abstained from wedlock until the boy converts to Islam, because, the marriage between a Muslim and non-Muslim is considered as an act against the will of God. He who does something against the will of God is eligible to be killed and he who kills or get killed in the act of killing a non-believer should be rewarded by god because it is an act of Jihad.
The point is that, the revelations compiled in the Quran givesanction only to the marriage between the Muslims. The holy text specifically says that, a Muslim should marry a Muslim and a Muslim should not marry a non-Muslim. The almighty god never gives sanction to marry a non-Muslim under no circumstances, because, all non-Muslims are considered as inferiorthan slavesand, religiously superior people or masters should not marry a girl or a boy from an inferior religion, that is, from the class inferior than slaves. According to Quranic belief, all those whobelieve in the words of other prophets and the texts narrated by those prophets are treated as unbelievers. The Quranic God specifically says, “I will instilterror into the heart of the unbelievers.” (sura viii 12). The Quran reveals that God loves only those who believe in the Almighty God, the text revealed through Mohammed, the last messenger of God and the text that has been revealed by him is for the mankind. Since, the text has been revealed for the whole world and since, the god favours only those who follow the text and the prophet then, it has become the duty of every Muslim to persuade the persons belonging to other religion to embrace Islam. This is the theory behind the largescale conversion for the formation of Dar-al-Islam or pan-Islamic world.
The Quran warns the Muslim that “do not marry idolaters until they believe” (in the Islamic faith). Believing in Islam means— to give up whatever the faith the non-Muslims have been practising; to lay faith in the only one God; to lay his faith in the prophet as the last messenger of God; to lay faith only inthe aphorisms revealed by him which is known as the text, the Quran; to lay faith in the day of the last judgement
He who refuses to believe in the God, prophet, and the text has been considered as a non-Muslim. The category of non-Muslims include idolaters, Jews, Christians, Pagans and those who belong to the other denominations of faith. Since, a non-Muslim does not believe in the God and his angels and the Prophet then, he has been considered as an enemy to God. “Whoever is an enemy to God and his angels, apostles, to Gabriel and Michael to, God is an enemy to them” (sura ii 98). Since, the God keeps enmity to the class of unbelievers then, a Muslim should not invite the wrath of God by marrying a girl or boy from that class, an act which amounts to blasphemy. Therefore, no faithful Muslim would take a decision to subject himself to the enmity of God which is equal to an open invitation to get assassinated by the faithful people in Islam.
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It has been believed by the Islamic faith that, a Muslim has the natural right to convert the non-Muslims to Islamic faith because God has entrusted the Muslim to show the right path, that is, the path of truth to those who are unaware of it. The Quran warns the Muslims that, “take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors” (sura v 51) and it also warns that “take not for friends those who take your religion for mockery” (sura v 57). A Muslim is strictly prohibited from mingling with those who commit blasphemy. Islam believes that, all religious denominations, other than Islam, commit blasphemy because either they share the glory of one God with several Gods or they conceive the god with form and content. “They do blasphemy who say God is Christ the son of Mary” (sura v 72) because, the Christians share the absolute power of God with a human being, which is an act of delimiting the power of God. The fate of the pagans need not be elaborated as, the text commands that “ But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)” (sura ix 5).
No Muslim can say that he does not subscribe to the whole text. He cannot say that he refuses to accept the theory that excludes a large number of people as unbelievers and brand them as those who deserved to be killed, because, they refuse to embrace Islam. According to the Islamic faith, nobody has the right either to add or to delete not even a single alphabet from the text, because, God has revealed whatever should not be altered by man.The Quran warns that, “then is it only a part of the book that you believe in and do you reject the rest. They shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty” (sura ii 85). So, a Muslim must accept the text as it is; he must obey the commands revealed by the text in letter and spirit. It is possible to present counter statements which provides place for those who believe in other religions from the holy text. If, a text contains contradictory statements then, what would be the criterion to determine which statement is primary to the other. But the text never gives the right to anyone to fix the priority of statements included in the text as, man is incompetent to sit on the revelations of God.
Therefore, the theological context of the Quran should not be ignored when we discuss the issues relating to love jihad. A faithful Muslim knows it well that, he/she cannot marry the girl/boy who belong to other religions, without converting him/her to Islam in the beginning of the love affair itself. If, a Muslim knows this factor at the beginning of the love affair then, how can a Muslim who engages in the love affair with the boy or girl who belong to different religions be treated as innocent of knowing the rider of conversion stipulated in his/her religion? If, a person is a practising Muslim, then, the person must be aware of the immanent conversion in the act love with a person belongs to a different religion. Hence, the issue of love jihad cannot be discussed as a societal issue, as it has been dealt with by the judiciary at large. The theological content of the issue should be considered when, judiciary makes a judgment on love jihad. It cannot be considered as an issue related to two individuals having equal rights. It is evident that there is no equality between a Muslim and non-Muslim in the religious practice because, a Muslim cannot marry a non-Muslim without converting him/her to Islam. But there are religions which do not admit religious conversion at all and under what logic these two religions can be equated.
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How can the persons belonging to these different religions be treated as equals in the issues related to love and marriage? If, there is no equality between the persons belonging to Muslim and non-Muslim, then any effort to pass judgments based on the social norms alone, ignoring the religious content ends up only in absurdity. How can a religion which never permits its members to leave the religion be equated to a religion which gives freedom to leave it? The Islamic faith curtails the personal freedom of a Muslim to criticise it. But, in Hinduism, even blasphemy has been not treated as a punishable offence. Under what law and logical criteria the judiciary can equate these two religions in matters related to love and marriage? According to the religious faith of a Muslim, he/she cannot marry a boy/girl without converting him/her to Islam. How can a religion which, insists its follower to begin the love affair with a rider demanding conversion of the non-Muslim to Islamic faith and another religion which stipulates no such riders be treated as equals? How is it possible to consider a person who engages in the love affair with another person belonging to a different religion with an intention to convert the other to his/her religion as an innocent act of unconditional love?
A Muslim cannot embrace any other religious faith because, in accordance with the Islamic faith, Islam is the only one religion of truth. Hence, after realising the religion of truth, that is, after embracing Islam, nobody has the right to leave the religion which is capable to attract wrath from God and faithful Muslims
If, a love affair is limited by the religious stipulations which affect the constitutional right of one of the partners, to practice the religion in accordance with his/her freedom of conscience, then, it cannot be considered as a legally valid form of marriage. If, both parties who engage in the love affair do not place any condition, based on religion or social status, for the execution of the marriage, then, it can be considered as a union of equals. But, in the case of a love affair and resultant marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, the Muslim firmly believes that he is superior to the non-Muslim because, according to his faith, a Muslim is superior to the rest. Instead of getting declassified, a Muslim re-classifies the non-Muslim to his/her religion as a process of upgradation of the inferior religion to superior religion through the process of religious conversion. If the marriage cannot take place without the religious conversion, then, it cannot be considered as a genuine token of love. So, the arguments based on genuine love and the unconditional freedom of the individuals cannot survive the test logic and law, because conversion is the basic condition in the marriage between a Muslim and non-Muslim as taught by the Quran.
(The author is former Vice-Chancellor of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit)