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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

UP Imam refuses to solemnise marriage as wedding invite has image of Hindu gods

The invite, for the wedding of a tailor in UP’s Shahjahanpur, has the details of the marriage printed below a picture of Hindu deities Ram and his wife Sita.

lucknow Updated: Apr 29, 2019 12:40 IST
Chandan Kumar
Chandan Kumar
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
The invite for the wedding of Muslim woman in UP’s Shahjahanpur which has invited the ire of a local Imam who refused to solemnise the marriage.
The invite for the wedding of Muslim woman in UP’s Shahjahanpur which has invited the ire of a local Imam who refused to solemnise the marriage.(HT Photo )
         

A local cleric refused to solemnise the marriage of a 20-year-old Muslim woman in Shahjahanpur because the invitation card for the marriage carried a picture of Hindu gods.

“The cleric said that it was ‘haram’ (blasphemy) to have a picture of any god on the invitation card and refused to solemnise the marriage,” said the bride’s father Ibadat Ali, 40, a resident of Allahganj area of Shahajahnpur. Ali’s is the only Muslim family in the Hindu-dominated village. The marriage of his eldest child Rukhsar, is scheduled on April 30.

But after the cleric’s refusal, he is running from pillar-to-post to get another cleric for a ‘mistake’ he committed inadvertently.

Ibadat Ali, an illiterate tailor, said being busy in marriage arrangements, he asked a fellow villager to get 250 invitations printed for him. Trouble began when he distributed the invites printed on a calendar like rectangular paper. The invite had the details of the marriage printed below a picture of Hindu deities Ram and his wife Sita.

Ibadat said that he confirmed the design before it was printed. “Almost all the marriage invitations in the village are printed in the same format. I never thought that it would land me in such trouble,” Ali said. When he approached the cleric to invite him on Saturday, the cleric rebuked him for having the picture of Hindu gods on the invite and refused to accept it.

The cleric advised Ibadat to get another set of invites printed without the picture of the gods and apologise for his mistake. Ali agreed to apologise but expressed inability to get another set of cards printed. “I don’t have enough money. I have already spent almost all my savings on arrangements for the marriage,” Ali told HT. Rukhsar’s would be in-laws also developed cold feet because of the issue, he added.

On Sunday, he visited another Imam, Mohammad Imran to get his problem resolved. The Imam reiterated that he had made a mistake. “Printing the images of gods is prohibited in our religion. However, as Ali and his family are illiterate, this mistake must be overlooked. I have asked him to apologise to the Almighty and go ahead with the preparations,” the Imam explained to HT on phone. He added that he would solemnise the marriage if their local cleric refused to do so.

Meanwhile, Ali has received support from his fellow villagers over the issue. Village head Alok Mishra met Ali on Sunday and assured him of support. “We have known Ali for decades and we will not let anybody spoil the marriage because of a picture. We will arrange a cleric from another area if the clerics here refuse to solemnise the marriage,” Mishra said.

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Caption: Pic 1) The marriage invitation card.

2) The to be bride holding the marriage invite with her family.

First Published: Apr 29, 2019 12:38 IST

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