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Monday, April 27, 2009

Children's rights over their religious conversion - Case by case basis






Bismillahirrahmannirahim.
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.

Brothers and sisters,
Once again, the nation is brought to a religious crisis in the form of a case involving a revert to Islam's converting his children who are under the age of 18 into Islam as provided for under the nation's Federal Constitution.

According to Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi's take on the Federal Constitution :
Article 12(4) clarifies that for the purpose of religious instruction, the religion of a person under the age of 18 years shall be decided by his parent or guardian. It was established in Huat Teoh Eng v. Kadhi Pasir Mas (1990) that infants have no constitutional right to receive instruction in any religion other than their own or to convert to another faith without the permission of a parent or guardian.

This is where the Malaysian authorities need to come to an agreement as to the matter involving the case of the 3 children of Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah @ formerly known as K.Pathmanathan, (40) and his ex wife M.Indira Gandhi, (35).

The children of the now divorced couple are Tevi Darshiny (12), Karan Dinesh (11) and 11 months old baby Prasana Diksha.

As we can see in the video above, Karan Dinesh states clearly that he wishes to be with his mother and wants to remain as a Hindu. He speaks articulately that he was born as a Hindu and wishes to die as a Hindu. From that we know that he understands exactly what he is talking about and the authorities of this land need to take that into consideration?

We do not see Tevi Darshiny stating her opinion in the video above and thus can't conclude about her choice?

The 11 month old baby girl Prasana Diksha clearly won't know what is taking place over her life as she is yet to understand anything what more involving something as serious as this?

Let's listen now to the mother speaking about her predicaments :




Now, from the video clip above, it's obvious that the mother @ Madam M.Indira Gandhi has been duped by her ex husband into turning up at the Religious Department of Selangor @ JAIS in order for her to be served with the Syariah Court order which she doesn't want to accept because her baby Prasana Diksha who was to be returned to her by her ex husband was simply not there as he had promised?

We need to be fair to her as a mother and not to be given the runaround like this?

For me as a Muslim, I am glad to be born into my Fitrah as a Servant of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and have no regrets being a Muslim. Alhamdulillah!

Yet, here we are opinionating about the lives of others and whether we like it or not are held accountable to give our views and decide as to what is right and wrong for others, born out of a social obligation to speak up for the truth and defend what is right?

As a Muslim, I live my life according to what my faith asks of me?

I hold the Words of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala as revealed in the Holy Qur'an to be the Whole Truth and Guidance for us who are the children of the holy Prophet Adam Alaihis Salam and borne of our Mother, Sayyidatina Hawwa Radhiallahu Anha.

I also live my life according to what the Greatest and Final Messenger of Allah, Sayyidina Muhammad ibni Abdullah, Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam enjoined us who are and choose to live and be as Muslims!

In my life here as a Malaysian Muslim, I face all kinds of situations which at times requires me to take a stand and state my opinions in this space online when things involving me as a Muslim and a fellow citizen of Malaysia surfaces?

This case involving the fate and future of 3 young children of a now fellow Muslim takes precedence over other affairs and problems involving us because it deals with the sensitive subject of converting one's children when one such as Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah @ K.Pathmanathan (40) decides to embrace his birthright to be a Muslim.

As a Caller to Islam, I believe that each and every human being, no matter who or what they are, living here or elsewhere are but a Servant of Almighty Allah!

That is exactly what I believe and hold to be the absolute truth without an iota of doubt in my heart or my mind.

The essence of being a Muslim has no space at all to believe that there is another god or creator other than Allah Rabbul Alamin! Not a micro jot for any such belief for anyone who thinks so or gives room to such thought automatically ceases to be a true Mukmin @ Believer!

In the case of Brother Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah @ K. Pathmanathan, all I can conclude is that as a Muslim, he is now obligated towards bringing his children into the faith of Al Islam because he is responsible over their fate and affairs involving their lives as they are still under the age of 18, which is as provided for and enshrined in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

We should also take into consideration the feelings of the children's natural mother for it is she who conceived and gave birth to them!

In the teachings of Islam, the position and rights of the mother supersedes that of the father 3 times over!

Let me share with you what Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala has revealed regarding the high position of our mothers?

From The Holy Al Quran Al Kareem :











15. Wawassayna al-insana biwalidayhi ihsanan hamalat-hu ommuhu kurhan wawadaAAat-hu kurhan wahamluhu wafisaluhu thalathoona shahran hatta itha balagha ashuddahu wabalagha arbaAAeena sanatan qala rabbi awziAAnee an ashkura niAAmataka allatee anAAamta AAalayya waAAala walidayya waan aAAmala salihan tardahu waaslih lee fee thurriyyatee innee tubtu ilayka wa-innee mina almuslimeena

15. We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, "O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou has bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as Thou mayest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam."

Surah Ahqaf Chapter 46 Verse 15. Al Qur'anul Kareem.








23. Waqada rabbuka alla taAAbudoo illa iyyahu wabialwalidayni ihsanan imma yablughanna AAindaka alkibara ahaduhuma aw kilahuma fala taqul lahuma offin wala tanharhuma waqul lahuma qawlan kareeman

23. Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to (your) parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.







24. Waikhfid lahuma janaha alththulli mina alrrahmati waqul rabbi irhamhuma kama rabbayanee sagheeran

24. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood."

Surah Bani Israel Chapter 17 Verses 23 and 24, Al Qura'nul Kareem.








8. Wawassayna al-insana biwalidayhi husnan wa-in jahadaka litushrika bee ma laysa laka bihi AAilmun fala tutiAAhuma ilayya marjiAAukum faonabbi-okum bima kuntum taAAmaloona

8. We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.

Surah Al Ankabut, Chapter 29 Verse 8, Al Quranul Kareem.

The Hadiths :

1. The Prophet Muhammad said, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him: Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother (Ahmad, Nasai).

2. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim).

3. Abu Usaid Saidi said: We were once sitting with Rasulullah when a man from the tribe of Salmah came and said to him: O Messenger of Allah! Do my parents have rights over me even after they have died? And Rasulullah said: Yes. You must pray to Allah to bless them with His Forgiveness and Mercy, fulfill the promises they made to anyone, and respect their relations and their friends (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah).

4. Abdullah ibn Amr related that the Messenger of Allah said: The major sins are to believe that Allah has partners, to disobey one's parents, to commit murder, and to bear false witness (Bukhari, Muslim).

5. It is narrated by Asma bint Abu Bakr that during the treaty of Hudaibiyah, her mother, who was then pagan, came to see her from Makkah. Asma informed the Messenger of Allah of her arrival and also that she needed help. He said: Be good to your mother (Bukhari, Muslim).

We then need to look at the Quranic injunction not to force anyone into Al Islam :









256. La ikraha fee alddeeni qad tabayyana alrrushdu mina alghayyi faman yakfur bialttaghooti wayu/min biAllahi faqadi istamsaka bialAAurwati alwuthqa la infisama laha waAllahu sameeAAun AAaleemun

256. Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things.

Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 256, Holy Al Qur'an Al Kareem.

To sum it up, let me share with you that as I see it, we need to handle these matters on a case by case basis.

As we can see, the children in concern are able to speak for themselves as to who they wish to follow?

Karan Dinesh has spoken clearly and his wish must be respected as he understands his situation.
Being a minor, he does not understand the difference between converting to Islam and remaining as a Hindu has nothing to do with race?

He will remain as an Indian no matter what faith he chooses to profess?

His elder sister has not been put on record here as to what she wishes to be?

The baby is now in the custody of her father.

The mother still has her rights over the child unless the courts decide otherwise.

My advice to Brother Muhammad Ridzuan is to let your children decide and leave it to them as to what they choose to be?

They are free to be Muslims later on if they wish to or remain as Hindus as per their decision today.

You have done your part but you also need to respect the rights of your ex-wife as it is she who conceived and gave birth to them.

May justice for all concerned parties prevail but it must also be made clear that the Government of Malaysia should never kowtow to the demands of the IFC or its sponsors in the MCCBCHST.

Failing which, there will only be trouble brewing for us in the immediate future.

Please consult our Mufti's and Islamic NGO's before deciding anything as serious as this?

Thank you.

Wabillahi Taufik Wal Hidayah.

Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
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