A fatwa from Dar-ul-Uloom, Deoband, which was hotly contested among Muslim clerics, questions the validity of innumerable love marriages in the Muslim community where a girl or a boy from different religion converts to Islam for matrimony.
In reply to a question, the fatwa department of Dar-ul-Uloom termed the conversion of a woman to Islam for marrying someone in the faith as "illegal" - that is to say, against the Shariat. The head of the fatwa unit, Mufti Ehsan Kazmi, said conversion to Islam must be a matter of faith and not for coveting anything - even a relationship. Because then, the motive behind changing faith can be questioned.
While president of the Uttar Pradesh Imam Organisation, Mufti Zulfikar, has supported this fatwa, Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Maheli - he is the Naib Imam of Eidgah Aishbagh and also member of the executive committee of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) - has a different take. He says the "intention" part behind such marriages must be left for the Almighty to decide. "How can we decide on somebody’s intention, which is purely an issue between two persons and God?" wondered Khalid Rashid. "If one adopts Islam not because of its teachings and beliefs but because of something else (marriage), then the conversion is rendered meaningless. The basic reason behind conversion is defeated," said Khalid Rashid.