Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A MOTHER’S RIGHTS: No religious basis to convert baby


I READ the case of Indira Gandhi and her struggle to secure her right to live with her three children -- Karan Dinish, 11, Tevi Darsiny, 12, and 1-year-old Prasana Diksa, who is still on breast milk.

The New Sunday Times reported that Indira, a kindergarten teacher, had been waiting for her baby girl in the compound of the Ipoh district police station, but her baby was not returned to her by her estranged husband, who has converted to Islam.

As a lecturer of Islamic theology and philosophy, I am of the view that K. Patmanathan, who is now known as Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, should return Prasana Diksa to her mother. The Hindu mother has every right to look after the baby.

Islamic theology does not impose any religious duty on the father to take away the baby girl from her Hindu mother.

This baby should not be prohibited by her father from being breastfed by her mother. If he does, he is wrong and evil in Islamic theological view because Islam does not impose any religious duty on any baby regardless whether she was born to a Hindu or Muslim mother. Islam imposes Islamic religious duties upon mature men and women, not upon babies and children. Please let this baby girl be breastfed by her mother.
Some Muslims hold the view that when a husband or wife converts to Islam, he or she has the right in Islamic law to take the children with him or her and then convert the children to Islam. Islamic law does not say so.

The "Islamness" of the children is not taken into account in Islamic theology. Islamic theology will count on the "Islamness" of human beings who are mature.

The Islamic terms for mature, sensible and responsible human beings are "aqil" and "baligh". Patmanathan has been supported by some ignorant Muslims on the pretext of protecting the purity of Islam and his three children. These Muslims are wrong.

There is no Islamic legal basis for Muslims to help someone take away a baby from her mother and then convert that baby to Islam. Islam does not count on the converted babies and Islam does not reward those who have converted the babies to Islam.

The babies have no Islamic religious duties and, therefore, they are neither rewarded nor punished for such actions.

Therefore, I support the decision by the prime minister and his cabinet that the civil marriage has to be settled by the civil court and the religion of their children be the religion at the time their parents were married in civil law. With this decision, the baby should be returned to Indira as she needs to be breastfed and cared for.

I think the police should arrest Patmanathan if he is reluctant to deliver Prasana Diksa back to Indira after the court decided to give her interim custody of her three children.

Patmanathan is a bad Muslim if he does not hand back Prasana Diksa to her mother and does not pay compensation to Indira for looking after the baby and for breastfeeding her for two years. Being breastfed by a Hindu mother does not make the baby an infidel. She is still eligible to convert to Islam after she grows up and becomes an adult.

Patmanathan himself drank the breast milk from his Hindu mother and consumed food and drinks, probably prohibited by Islamic law, until he reached the age of 40 before he suddenly decided to convert to Islam.

He should not impose his Islam-ness on his children. Let them be what they want to be like he did. He grew up as a Hindu boy, a Hindu youth and then a Hindu adult before he changed his Hinduism to Islam after he had probably encountered problems in his marriage.

I do not support non-Muslims who convert to Islam just because they want to run away from their responsibilities as husbands or wives or because they want to marry Muslim women or Muslim men.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If a muslim baby sucking a non-muslim mother milk means "non-halal", how about drinking cow milk that own by non-muslim? How about getting blood donation from non-halal chinese or indian? Funny? This is all the stupid thing happen in Malaysia now!