Conversion to Islam: The One-way Street in Marriage between a Muslim and non-Muslim

published on March 25, 2010

In marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims, conversion of the non-Muslim partner to Islam is a must, failing of which may lead to tragic consequences, from beheading to burning alive even in Hindu India (see below).

It has been mentioned in the previous article that in every occasion a Hindu or a non-Muslim girl becomes a victim of Muslim love-trap, she has to convert to Islam. Starting from Indira Gandhi to Sabra Bugum and Samira Begum, all had to convert to Islam before marrying their Muslim lovers. We may add two more names to the list.
Story of Jemima and Imran Khan

Jemima Marcelle Khan (nee Goldsmith),daughter of the late UK billionaire Sir James Goldsmith, fell a victim of the love-trap of the Pakistani cricket star Imran Khan. Their marriage took place in 1995, when she was 21 and Imran was 42. Before the marriage, Jemima had to convert to Islam (with the new Islamic name Haika) and went to Pakistan after marriage. But after becoming exhausted with the strict Islamic restrictions and lack of freedom, she had ultimately to seek divorce and as a result Imran divorced her in June, 2004, and she returned to the UK with her two sons Sulaiman Isa (born 1996) and Kasim (born 1999), born out of the wedlock. In her effort to adjust with the Muslim community and adapt to Pakistani culture, she learned to speak Urdu and wore traditional Pakistani clothes. Despite all her efforts, her married life ended in bitterness and divorce. After returning to London, she once commented, “I now think, my God, I mean, how did I live five years with Imran’s whole family, who I was very close to? I mean, I really liked and respected them, but obviously, they lived very, very differently.”
But, fortunately, she could start a new life and became involved in a romantic relationship with movie star Hugh Grant in 2004.
The Story of another Hindu Girl
In her article “A Hindu Girl’s Troublesome Marriage with a Muslim”, a Hindu girl, nick-named Leona, narrated her sad story of falling in love with a Muslim boy and marrying him. During courtship, he promised her repeatedly that she would not have to convert to Islam to marry him. But as soon as he came to understand that her love had deepened, he started impose Islamic restrictions like avoid eating pork or taking Chinese food, upon her. At last, he disclosed that it was not possible for him to marry her unless she changes her religion. So, she had no other option but to accept Islam. The Islamic restrictions that followed turned her life hellish. In fact, Islam turned her “from a very cheerful, chirpy person to a depressed person who was always crying.” But ultimately, she was not doomed. Her husband allowed her to return to her original Hindu faith, but secretly.
A few other examples


Many prominent Muslims of India (and of Bengal) married Hindu girls; and in every case, they converted the bride to Islam before marriage. For example, the cricket player Mansur Ali Khan (Nawab of Pataudi) married Sharmila Tagore, a descendant of the prestigious family of the Nobel Lauriat poet Rabindranath Tagore, after converting her to Islam and adopting the new name Ayesha Sultana. Her son Saif Ali Khan married Amrita Singh, after converting her to Islam; and at present, he has started a fresh affair with the Bollywood film star Kareena Kapur. Gandhi, the apostle of nonviolence, had four sons and a daughter. A Muslim fellow married his daughter after converting her to Islam. A Muslim called Nadeem Haidar married the daughter of Dr Subramniam Swami, as usual, after converting her to Islam.
Beside these incidents, the renowned Bengali poet Nazrul Islam and Humayun Kabir, an ex-minister of the Union Government, married Hindu women. Shaikh Abdullah, the ex-Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, and his son Farooq Abdullah married English ladies, after converting them to Islam. Later on, Omar Abdullah, the son of Farooq Abdullah, married a Hindu girl, named Payel, after converting her to Islam. But problem arose when Sarah, the daughter of Farooq Abdullah, fell in love with Sachin Pilot, son of renowned Congress leader Rajesh Pilot, and got married according to the Special Marriage Act of India that allows interreligious marriages without conversion. Another cricket player Muhammad Azharuddin married the Hindu actress Sangita Bijlani, after divorcing her wife and driving her out of his house with four children. Bollywood film-stars Shahruk Khan and Amir Khan married Hindu Girls, following the usual practice of converting them to Islam.
Many Muslim intellectuals of Bengal, e.g. Abu Syed Ayub, Hosenur Rahman etc., married Hindu girls; the former married Gouri Datta and the latter Purnima Rudra. It is not known how these women take their life as wives in Muslim households. Most of these women dislike the food preparations.
Interreligious marriage between Hindus and Muslims is a one-way traffic
We have seen many examples of whenever a Hindu woman falls in the love-trap of a Muslim, it is a precondition that she convert to Islam to marry her Muslim lover, while the reverse is not tolerated by Muslims.
But what is the case when a Hindu or non-Muslim boy falls in love with a Muslim girl and wants to marry her? Let first specify that while a Muslim boy falling in love with a non-Muslim girl is common and welcome amongst Muslims, but if a non-Muslim boy get involved with a Muslim girl, the relationship is rarely tolerated: both the boy and the girl face violence, even death frequently, at the hand of Muslims. As a result, a love-relation between a Muslim girl and a non-Muslim boy is rather rare.
However, in predominantly non-Muslim countries, where Muslims are not always free to exercise violence, some love-relationships between Muslim girls and non-Muslim boys do take place. And in such cases, the boy has to convert to Islam before marrying his Muslim sweetheart. A failure to observe this precondition usually leads to a disaster. A few incidents are given below for understanding the severity of the consequences that followed for not fulfilling that basic norm. 
Sailendra Prasad beheaded
Nearly three years ago, Sailendra Prasad (32), a Hindu young man married Monera Khatun (25) according to the Special Marriage Act, in marriage registration office in Mumbai. Meanwhile they had a son. Sailendra had visited the paternal house of Monera, in the Lakshanpur village, district of Murshidabad, West Bengal, obviously concealing his religious identity and pretending himself as Munna Shaikh, a Muslim. On July 1, 2008, he came to Lakshanpur again to see his dear son. This time, he, along with other villagers, went to see a funeral procession and, driven by emotion, he whispered “Ram nam satya hai”, a common mantra that Hindus utter when a dead body is carried to the cremation ground. Unfortunately, one of the Muslim onlookers overheard the words of Sailendra, and this made him suspicious about the religious identity of Sailendra.
On the tip of this information, the local mullahs convened an urgent kangaroo court of the village elders, and summoned Sailendra to attend that court. There, Sailendra was asked to put off his clothes so that it could be ascertained whether he is circumcised. When they discovered that Sailendra was uncircumcised, the kangaroo court sentenced him to death for the guilt of marrying a Muslim girl by concealing his true religious identity. Then a crowd of Muslims, including the leaders Gaju Shaikh, Sattar Shaikh and Khairul Shaikh, led Sailendra to a nearby jute-field to carry out the court sentence. They then bound his hands and feet with a rope, some others pressed him hard to frustrate his bid to escape, and then one of them severed his head from the body. They also buried severed head to hide the identity of the corpse. After three days, on July 17, 2008, police could discover the headless trunk of Sailendra, and took Monera begum to the site to identify the body. But she, under threat dire consequences from her kin, denied that it was the body of her husband.
Arka burned alive
Arka Bandyopadhyay, a Hindu resident of Barasat, a sub-divisional town of North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, hardly 20-25 Km from Kolkata, married Rihana Sultana, daughter of the school teacher Nazrul Islam, a resident of the nearby village of Baduria. Though both Arka and Rihana were adult enough to select their partners, unfortunately their relatives on neither side could accept the marriage.
So, the couple left their families and started their new life in the village Haroa. After a year, Rihana gave birth to a male child. But in 2007, the relatives of Rihana came to Haroa, and took Rihana and her son with them to Baduria by force and kept them in house arrest.
On July 31, 2008, at about 10 PM, when Arka went to Baduria to rescue his wife and son, one of his brothers-in-law poured kerosene on him and set him on fire. Arka, like a fireball, started running along the road and screaming, but no one came to his help as brothers of Rihana were guarding him with weapons. However, Arka succeeded to put off the flames by rolling himself on the road and a cycle-van operator, ignoring the threat, came to his help and took him to the Barasat Government Hospital. Later on, on September 9, he was transferred to a private nursing home. The renowned social activist Rabindranath Datta went to that nursing home on August 6, to meet Arka, while he was fighting for his life.
Kesav Mahato murdered
Hindu young man, named Kesav Mahato, a resident of the village Makaranpur, near Bolpur in the district of Birbhum, West Bengal, had a love affair with China Bibi, as Muslim girl, of the same village. The love between them became so intense that they wanted to marry each other. But when the kin of China Bibi came to know the secret affair, they became furious. One day they attacked Kesav and murdered him.
Changhal Sadhukha, a resident of the village Sutragarh, near Santipur, in the district of Nadia, West Bengal, was in deep love with the daughter of Liyakat Shaikh, and they got married secretly. When the incident came to light, Liyakat, with Muslim goons, attacked Chanchal’s house. Scared Chanchal and his wife could somehow flee the house in the darkness of night. An Enraged Liyakat and his goons, unable to find his daughter and son-in-law, ransacked the house of Radhanath Sadhukha, the father of Chanchal and finally, Liyakat shot Radhanath to death with a pistol.


A few Prominent Hindus, who converted to Islam, for marrying Muslim women

Indrajit Gupta

was a leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI), an MP (For 37 years) from various constituencies of West Bengal, and from the Medinipur constituency up to the end of his life. He became India’sUnion Minister for Home Affairs in the United Front government from 1996 to 1998. Gupta belonged to a well-knowned anglicized Brahmo family of Calcutta. Gupta studied at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and later on, went to King’s College, Cambridge. While studying in England, he came under the influence of Rajani Palme Dutt and joined the communist movement.
At the age of 62, he married a Muslim woman Suraiya, his lover of many years. He waited till her earlier marriage with photographer Ahmed Ali (father of social activist Nafisa Ali) was lawfully dissolved. Before the marriage, he converted to Islam and assumed a Muslim name, Iftiar Ghani.
Kamal Dasgupta (married Firoza Begum)


Kamal Dasgupta was a versatile musical genius and earned his doctorate degree in Music (1943) from Benaras Hindu University for his work on the film “Mira Bai”, as the composer and singer. He sang modern songs in Bangla, Urdu, Hindi, and Tamil. He was also a brilliant and prolific composer with about eight thousand songs to his name. His work was based on classical music and tended towards the thungri style.
During his tenure, he developed a close association with great poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, and composed music for almost four hundred of Nazrul’s songs. He converted to Islam, and became Kamal Ali to marry Firoza Begum, a famous Muslim singer of Nazrul’s songs.

Suman Chattopadhyay (married Sabina Yasmin)


Suman Chattopadhyay is a Kolkata-based modern Bengalisinger-songwriter, musician, poet, journalist, TV presenter, and occasional film actor. In May 2009, he was elected a member of parliament of India from Jadavpur, Kolkata, on an All India Trinamool Congress ticket. He changed his name from Suman Chattopadhyay to Kabir Suman, when he became a Muslim to marry the popular Bangladeshi singer Sabina yasmin, his fifth marriage.
Two Prominent Hindus whose love could not mature up to marriage
Dev Anand and Suraiya


Dharam Dev Pishorimal Anand, better known as Dev Anand, is a famous Bollywoodactor, director and film producer of the yesteryear. His elder brother Chetan Anand was a film director, as was his younger brother, Vijay Anand, in Bollywood. Their sister, Sheel Kanta Kapur, is the mother of renowned Hindi and English film director Shekhar Kapur.
Dev Anand was romantically involved with singer-actress Suraiya; the two paired in six films together. Suraiya fell in love with him, but her grandmother disapproved the relationship Islamic ground. So, Suraiya remained unmarried all her life.


Guru Dutt & Waheeda Rahman

Guru Dutt or Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone was an Indian filmdirector, producer and actor. He is often credited with ushering in the golden era of Hindi cinema. He produced and directed many films and out of them Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool are now included among the greatest films of all time.
Guru Dutt had fallen in love with actress Waheeda Rehman, but the relationship could not progress to marriage on religious grounds. As result, Guru Dutt remained unhappy in his marital life.
Acknowledgement: Most of the stories presented in this article have been taken from “The Silent Terror” (in Bengali) by Rabindranath Datta.

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