‘The Kerala Story’ Movie: Part of Propaganda
The love story of Khadīja bint Khuwaylid with Prophet Muhammed ﷺ blossoms in the years before the Prophet got the revelation of the Quran. Even Prophet ﷺ was poor and her local employee, the rich Khadīja loved him on account of his great personality. She was keenly interested to embrace Islam with her own choice. The noble Quran strictly prohibited forced religious conversion:
لا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْد مِنَ الْغَيِّ فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىَ لاَ انفِصَامَ لَهَا وَاللّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
(Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah is hearing and knowing all things.) (Holy Quran: 256/02).
The Quran guarantees freedom of religion.
وَقُلِ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمۡ فَمَن شَاۤءَ فَلۡیُؤۡمِن وَمَن شَاۤءَ فَلۡیَكۡفُر
(The Truth is from your Lord: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it)) (29/18).
Here, the choice is upon the people to embrace Islam or not, if it is in an Islamic republic. The two verses indicate the absolute choice in the belief. Many like Khadīja, the rich, nobles, and scholars embraced only after experiencing Islam, not any account of compulsion and pressure. Even in the time of the conquest of Makkah, Muslims were major in Arabia, the Prophet ﷺ proclaimed harmonious talks and tolerance towards non-Muslims. He gave them the choice of whether to accept Islam or go in their own faith. As the magna carta of the Muslims, what the Quran says is the answer to allegations against Muslims. The Quran’s style is not to answer the facing challenges, but rather to state and establish Islamic principles and values.
The Quran’s openness deserves much prominence when Indian director Sudipto Sen’s ‘The Kerala Story’ tries to visualize that Keralite Hindu and Christian women are being seduced by Muslim men in Kerala and recruiting them to ISIS in Syria and Yemen. The film alleged almost 32000 women confronted such a ‘foul and filthy’ plight. In Kerala, Islamic ‘Jihad’ is conspiring behind such tremendous promulgation. When the Kerala public came forward to question the authenticity of such a claim of a big number, the team behind the film corrected the number and explained it as three women, not 32000!! Consummately, this is sheer propaganda of Sangh Pariwar politics ahead of the upcoming public election in India. What they accuse is against Islam and the Quran.
In the background, it is noteworthy what the noble Quran glancing on such convictions. The Quran, the holy book of Muslims, not only hardly urges on such ‘love conversion’, but also advocates the choice and self-determination to people. Allah says mentioning the issue:
وَلَا تَنكِحُواْ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكَٰتِ حَتَّىٰ يُؤۡمِنَّ وَلَأَمَةٞ مُّؤۡمِنَةٌ خَيۡرٞ مِّن مُّشۡرِكَةٖ وَلَوۡ أَعۡجَبَتۡكُمۡ وَلَا تُنكِحُواْ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ حَتَّىٰ يُؤۡمِنُوا وَلَعَبۡدٞ مُّؤۡمِنٌ خَيۡرٞ مِّن مُّشۡرِكٖ وَلَوۡ أَعۡجَبَكُمۡ
(Do not marry idolatresses, until they believe. A believing slave girl is better than a (free) idolatress, even if she pleases you. And do not marry idolaters, until they believe. A believing slave is better than a (free) idolater, even though he pleases you.) (Holy Quran: 221/02)
While evidently the truth Quran restricts the woman to being married to a Muslim man should be a Muslimah or embrace Islam with her own decision. Where is compulsion or seduction here? That’s nice and decent words, “until they believe”. Even in the advent period of Islam, the non-Muslims never accused such contentions on Islam. As a matter of fact, the issue is much political and gain of ‘divide and rule’ cheap diplomacy. Sangh Pariwar is fishing in dirty water through Muslim victimization for Hindu consolidation. Truthfully, it is prohibited in Islam to marry non-Muslimah. It is legal to marry women from people of scriptures (أهل الكتاب), Jewish and Christian women, subject to some conditions such as they strictly follow the exact path Prophets Moosa and ‘Isa (pbuh) propagated. Such Christians are not in Kerala. Islam puts forward love (propagation through seduction) under no circumstances. Love or kindly behavior is a key core of Islam towards people of different faiths. The only sincere and everlasting love in Islam is towards only Allah and the Prophet. Sufistic conceptions emerge from this true divine love or spirituality.
The Quran sheds light on love between couples in a beautiful tone ever:
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, that are indeed signs for a people who reflect. ((21/30)
The Quran never allows to misuse and contaminate love, nevertheless, it has a clear viewpoint on the purity of love. Love and affection come when a relationship builds only in the way of Allah. Islam propounded ideal methods for branding Islam, love is among them. Affection means here affectionate behavior towards others.
History pages of Muslims in India are thumped at the edges with golden events and tolerant sultans. Even the Mughal rule of eight decades witnessed peace, tranquility, and compassion in spite of some silly local issues. Muslims played significant roles even in the formation of independent India. It is evident from history that they actively participated in India’s freedom struggle, and constitution-making and became an indispensable part of Indian politics.
The Quran’s declaration of لكم دينكم ولي دين (To you your religion, and to me my religion) (06/109) encompasses the ultimate tolerance and broad-mindedness towards other religions. In Kerala, practicing Muslims adhere to the philosophy of the Quran. They live in a mixed society.
The controversial film is titled ‘The Kerala Story’ giving reference to Kerala is a planned move because Sangh Pariwar had no access to Kerala’s political scenario. Islam has deep roots in the soil of Kerala when it emerged in Arabia. Kerala people accepted Arabs wholeheartedly when they reached Kerala for merchandise. That’s the inclusive culture of Kerala. While militancy and radicalism are not principles of the Quran, why love is radicalized and downtrodden as seduction? Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Taliban-like extremist groups go against the teaching of the Quran. The propaganda is not casual oversight, it is deliberate. Brutal beheadings, mass massacres, lethal atrocities, and fanatic lynching stand against humanity as well as in the Quran.
In the end, the Quran simply reacts to the propaganda of big lies on Muslims. Islam never regards love as a forceful tool to compel and oppress Islam on others. In the light of the Quran, affection is one of the key human morals that should be promoted.
- قصص النبيين, الجزء الخامس, أبوالحسن علي الحسني الندوي
- Tafsīr al-Jalālayn, Jalal ad-Din al-Maḥalli, Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti
- Towards Understanding Quran-Website
About the author:
Riyas Panayathil, S/o Saidalavi, Velliyampuram, Malappuram, pursuing Masters in English Literature from the University of Calicut. Interested in fiction writing and communicative language. Published some articles and poems. email@example.com
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily mirror Islamonweb’s editorial stance.