Religious conversion for second marriage un-Islamic: Muslim clerics

February 19th, 2009 - 11:37 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) Muslim clerics have termed as “un-Islamic” and “unacceptable” conversion to Islam to escape legal complications of a second marriage, citing the example of Chander Mohan alias Chand Mohammed and Anuradha Bali alias Fiza whose apparent wedding of convenience is now showing signs of strain.

“Adopting Islam with an intention for second marriage is not only un-Islamic but against reason as well,” renowned Muslim scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan told IANS.

The debate about religious conversion was triggered after then Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan announced his second marriage to former law officer Anuradha Bali and their conversion to Islam Dec 17 last year. Chander Mohan is the father of three teenagers from his first marriage.

The much-hyped love affair soured sooner than expected after the rechristened couple of Chand Mohammad and Fiza fell apart. Chand suddenly left Fiza’s home in Punjab’s Mohali town Jan 28 and has been elusive since then.

Quoting from a hadith, Prophet Mohammed’s saying, Khan said such conversion is “unacceptable” and “childish”.

The author of around 200 books and a known authority on interpretation of the holy Quran said that embracing Islam “in its true spirit should be for the sake of truth”.

“Conversion should not be for the sake of marriage or any personal motive. The motive of conversion should be truth… The realisation of the truth in a religion can be achieved only after in-depth study and discussions about the religion,” Khan said.

To prevent such conversions, Khan laid emphasis on educating people about the sanctity of the institution of marriage and “not to take it as fun”.

“It is not possible to check such conversions. We are living in a society which provides freedom on such aspects to every one. The only thing we can do is to educate people about the seriousness and sanctity of marriage. Marriage is not a fun thing and we need to make people understand this,” Khan said.

A senior cleric of Darul Uloom, a highly revered seminary in Deoband town of Uttar Pradesh, also denounced the conversions with the objective of marrying again.

“Adopting Islam with the intention to have a second wife is un-Islamic, incorrect and not justifiable,” said Qari Usman, an expert on hadith.

About the Chand-Fiza marriage and conversion, Usman said: “Although he (Chand) became a Muslim, the whole chain of events has come out in a way that has sent a wrong message about the religion in society. People should not use religion for such motives.”

Usman has also been pro-vice chancellor of the seminary that attracts thousands of students from India and other countries.

Darul Ifta, the fatwa department of the Darul Uloom, has also slammed Chander Mohan, saying his conversion was a “lowly act”.

Mufti Muqarram Ahmad, a leading cleric in Delhi, says accepting Islam should be in consonance with belief in the tenets of Islam and “not for using it for personal hidden motives”.

“One cannot know the real intention of a person but using Islam for purposes like to have a second wife is not in the spirit of Islam,” Ahmad said.

(Khalid Akhter can be contacted at khalid.a@ians.in)

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