Islamic Perspectives

Suicides by Muslim girls

There has been a spurt in suicide cases in the state of Madhya Pradesh. What is surprising is that Muslim girls lead in this mad race. Till now because of their strong faith in Allah, Muslims used to desist from this extreme step. However, within two months, more than six cases have been reported in which Muslim girls either hanged themselves or opted for poison. A backward state like M.P. is leading in this craze and this should be a matter of grave concern.

In the past, suicides were reported from Kashmir where young girls resorted to suicide following atrocities at the hands of armed forces or loss of family members in fake encounters or through forced “disappearances” of male members of the family. Driven by anxiety, poverty and unemployment, they took such an extreme step.

It may be recalled that women in Gujarat demonstrated exemplary courage and will-power by refusing to be daunted by the tragedies of the pogrom in which they had to undergo a lot of trauma following arson, murder and rapes.

However, the incidents in M P are not because of any tragedy of such kind. In most cases it was a failed love affair which drove them to desperation. In one case, the girl wanted to marry a boy of a different faith which the family did not approve of. Both of them jumped in front of a running train and ended their lives. In another case, refusal of the boy’s family prompted the girl to hang herself with the hope that they would ultimately be united at Allah’s Abode in the Hereafter.

Thanks to hundreds of entertainment channels, girls are glued to the idiot box, living in a dream world of their own where they hope to meet their prince charming. Boys as well as girls live in a fantasy world unaware of the harsh realities the community is engulfed in. They do not take cognisance of what happened to Ishrat or to hundreds of young men undergoing torture in various prisons all over the country. They live in an absolutely cocooned world where “man of the match” or winner of the reality show / idol is their only concern. A girl fasted and pledged niyaz (offering) to a peer should a competitor in a reality show get chosen as the Indian Idol.

Teenagers look at the success stories of people of their community. The present day scenario of three Khans dominating tinsel town; the love affairs of the Nawab’s family; the acceptance accorded to inter-religious marriages of a ruling family convinces them that this is the right course to follow - the life style adopted by so many elites. Add to this, the adventures of Pakistani girls who demean themselves and their faith for a moment of fame at Bollywooed also prompt the teen-agers to emulate them and live in eternal bliss.

With the government going soft on homo-sexual and live-in relationships, Muslim girls have started showing lesbian tendencies. A few months ago, a married Muslim girl “eloped” with her girl friend causing not only a lot of humiliation to both families but also a law and order problem as the lesbian friends belonged to two different faiths. Recently, a small town in M.P. witnessed a lot of communal tension when two girls eloped and later on surfaced as married “husband and wife” Despite the tragedies that swallowed Parveen Babi, a glamorous star of yesteryears, girls refuse to learn lessons. Jiah Khan’s suicide is an example of the westernized life style in which not only live-in relationships but also rapes and abortions are acceptable norms.

What does this trend reflect? Obviously it shows that people are “blissfully” ignorant about Islamic values - the prohibitions and restraints that their faith imposes on both the sexes - maharam and ghair maharam. The Shehla Masood murder exposes the utter neglect of Islamic values which an unmarried (and also married) woman has to abide by. In our mad race to appear liberal, modern and enlightend, we have begun pursuing goals that are not only detrimental to our personal happiness but also harmful to family and community life.

When people were enlightened by the commandments that faith enjoined on them, nobody ever solved one’s problems by resorting to suicides.

Suicide is rebelling against Allah and the very intention drives one away from Allah’s mercy. It is a kind of surrender to Satan, implying that Allah is neither Compassionate nor Merciful. Burial and Namaz-e-Janaza of such persons is not allowed by orthodox people. Allah, with His immense mercy, may forgive any sinner whatever be the magnitude of his/her sin if one has faith in Him. But, Allah shall not forgive one who refuses to believe in Him and His divine Attributes. Let us not get entangled in the religious nuances of the debate leaving the final decision to Him.

What we have to drive home to our young men and women the fact that one should never be so pessimistic as to expect no sign/prospect of any kind of help, relief or guidance. Firm faith in Allah guides one through all kinds of crises. People have survived the onslaughts of atrocious rulers, pangs of hunger, and deaths of dear ones by the strength of their faith. Ditched by a lover should not make one feel that the world is without a person of nobler kind. Why should one be so myopic as to believe that none else deserves any kind of consideration?

There has been a lot of hue and cry when khap panchayats or a politician recommended ban on use of mobiles. This gadget has contributed immensely to the menace of elopement, chatting and finally succumbing to designs of a vile stranger. Jiah Khan had a 29 minute conversation on the mobile before taking the extreme step. Add to this the social interaction on Internet with unknown people and thus prospects of seduction and succumbing are imminent and immense.

To a great extent all these events indicate poor parenting. With religious education thrown out of the window and parental attention reduced to the zero level, such tragedies are bound to occur. The young generation does not want to be dictated by parents who have neither the time nor energy to attend to their children. Grandparents prefer to remain aloof. For them after their Haj and devotional prayers, they have nothing to do with family concerns. It is, at this juncture, that they can lend a helping hand to teenagers who refuse to listen to parents.

Solutions could be many. What is necessary is the urgency to take cognisance of events happening around us. If Muslim girls are turning to non-Muslim boys, the fault, to some extent, rests with Muslim boys who waste their time and energy in pursuits which are neither noble nor worthwhile. There is a dearth of eligible boys. Where have they gone? Chasing non-Muslim girls? Participating in reality shows? Indulging in intoxications?

It is time that religious scholars, instead of taking Jamaats to distant destinations, pay attention to their own mohallas. This too would be a service to Islam. Bringing persons gone astray back to the faith is also a religious obligation which our chilla-driven elites refuse to undertake. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 July 2013 on page no. 20

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