, by MOHD. Z.A. MANSOORIE
Mr. Maqbool Ahmed Siraj’s concern over the ‘Plight of Muslims’ (Radiance 22-28 October 2006, and his letter in Readers’ Pulse column (Radiance 19-25 November 2006) deserve appreciation. Altogether, he may very earnestly be suggested that he must try to know and honour the Qur’anic injunctions even while some ‘revolutionary’ cause is in sight such as Muslims’ attitude vis-à-vis the ‘plural society’ they live in.
The learned writer is advised to make a difference between the Qur’an’s (and Sunnah’s) mansoos injunctions and those in which the Ulama have different opinions given the fact that the scope of more than one interpretation does exist therein.
There is a difference of opinion in Ulama regarding death-penalty for Muslim converts to other religions, through the interpretation of the Sunnah itself. But there is no difference of opinion amongst them on permissibility of “Muslim men marrying Christian and Jew (chaste) women, but not the vice versa”. The “vice versa” is Mr. Siraj’s own (mis)inference.
The related Qur’anic verse (Al-Maidah, 5:5) goes as under:
“This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you, and yours lawful unto them. Lawful unto you in marriage are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book….”
Here, the Holy Qur’an states clearly – and hence Mr. Siraj must also be clear – that the injunction does apply only ‘one-way’, and it does not talk of the “vice versa”. Qur’anic wisdom can’t be surpassed by the pressures and provocations, whatsoever, posed by the requirements of the Muslim community in a ‘plural society’.
This wisdom has been briefly explained by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, under note 700, as under:
“A Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim man, because her Muslim status would be affected; the wife ordinarily takes the nationality and status given by her husband’s law. Any man or woman, of any race or faith, may, on accepting Islam, freely marry any Muslim man or woman, provided it be from motives of purity and chastity and not of lewdness.”
The writer’s ‘vice versa’, thus, has no room in Islamic Shari’ah in the name of liberalism that, in the modern days, our journalists wish to induce into the Ummah for the sake of living ‘harmoniously’ in a ‘Plural Society’; ‘prick of conscience’ notwithstanding.