Wednesday, May 12, 2010

To marry a Muslim, a non-Muslim girl has to convert to Islam: HC

Allahabad: In a judgment with farreaching implications, the Allahabad High Court has ruled that a non-Muslim bride must convert to Islam to marry a Muslim. Failing that, the matrimony with a Muslim man would be void as it would contradict Islamic dicta and tenets of Holy Quran, the court said.

The ruling on Monday by a division bench comprising Justices Vinod Prasad and Rajesh Chandra, came on a writ petition filed by Dilbar Habib Siddiqui. The petitioner had sought quashing of an FIR registered against him on March 17 under sections 323, 366 and 363 of IPC with Naini PS, Allahabad and prayed the court not interfere in his peaceful matrimonial life with Khushboo Jaiswal.
The judges directed a speedy probe into the marriage of Siddiqui and ordered the cops to separate Khushboo Jaiswal, who was lodged in Nari Niketan, and hand her over to her parents.
The primary question for adjudication was on whether the FIR could be quashed or not. A perusal of the contents of the FIR indicated that Khushboo Jaiswal was alleged to have been abducted by the petitioner three months prior to its lodging. However, the petitioner had succeeded in preventing the FIR from being registered.
The FIR was filed by the girl’s mother, Sunita Jaiswal, who alleged that the petitioner had abducted her daughter. She contended that Khushboo never converted to Islam and there was also no documentary evidence to suggest so. `In o ur above conclusion we are fortified by the fact that in the affidavit and application filed by Khusboo herself subsequent to her alleged contract marriage, she has described herself as Khushboo and not by any Islamic name. As Khushboo, she could not have contracted marriage according to Muslim customs. In those referred documents she has addressed herself as Khushboo Jaiswal daughter of Rajesh Jaiswal,’’ the verdict said.
“Thus, what is conspicuously clear unerringly without any ambiguity is that Khushboo Jaiswal never converted and embraced Islam and therefore her marital tie with the petitioner Dilbar Habib Siddiqui is a void marriage since the same is contrary to Islamic dicta and tenets of Holy Quran,” the court ruled.
Dismissing the petition, the HC observed: “Nikah, i.e., marriage in pre-Islamic Arabia meant different forms of sex relationships between a man and a woman. Prophet Mohammed brought about a complete change in the position of women in the society through Holy Quran, which is the primary and basic source of Islamic Law.”
Dealing with this submission of the petitioner that bigamy is not sanctified unless a man can do justice to orphans, the court also considered the argument of the petitioner that a Muslim man is entitled to marry four times.
“The ‘ayats’ of holy Quran mandate all Muslims men to deal justly with orphans and then they can marry women of their choice, two, three or four but if they feel that they will not be able to deal justly with them then only one,’’ the ruling said. `We are of the view that such a religious mandate has been given to all the Muslims for a greater social purpose. If a Muslim man is not capable of fostering his wife and children then he cannot be allowed the liberty to marry other women as that will be against the said Sura 4 - Ayat-3,’’ the HC observed.

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