Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court has held
that a Muslim man`s marriage to a woman of another religion
shall be considered void and against the tenets of Islam if he
fails to get her converted to the religion before wedlock.
In its order, a division bench comprising Justices Vinod
Prasad and Rajesh Chandra also ruled that remarriage of a
Muslim man shall be held void if he abandons his first wife
without divorcing her and fails to treat children born of the
marriage in a fair and just manner.
The order was passed yesterday when the bench dismissed
a writ petition of one Dilbar Habib Siddiqui, a resident of
Allahabad, who had married a Hindu girl named Khushboo on
December 29, last year.
Siddiqui had moved the court with the plea to quash the
FIR lodged against him by Khushboo`s mother Sunita Jaiswal
alleging that he had kidnapped her daughter, a minor at that
time, and had compelled her to marry him.
Refuting the charges levelled against him in the FIR,
Siddiqui produced a copy of Khushboo`s high school certificate
to prove that she was a major at the time of marriage and her
(Khushboo`s) representations to higher authorities, upon
learning about the FIR, that the marriage was a result of
While holding that having more than one wife is
permissible under Islam, the court, however, took strong note
of the fact that before tying the knot with Khushboo, Siddiqui
had not disclosed to her that he was already married and was
the father of three children.
His first wife had appeared before the court during the
course of the hearing and alleged that Siddiqui had abandoned
her and their three children, compelling them to "live like
The court noted that Siddiqui "albeit married, had
deceived Khushboo Jaiswal, who did not intimate us that she
was in the knowledge of the petitioner`s first marriage".
"For a valid Muslim marriage, both the spouses have to
be Muslim. In the present writ petition, this condition is not
satisfied", the court remarked and quoted from a verse in the
Holy Quran which says, "Do not marry unbelieving women until
they believe... Nor marry your girls to unbelievers until they
Besides, the petitioner`s marriage to Khushboo without
divorcing his first wife and not dealing with his three
children in a fair and just manner was "against the tenets of
the Holy Quran" and hence "cannot be legally sanctified", the
The bench quoted the following verse from the holy book
while making the above observation - "Marry woman of your
choice, two, three or four; But if you fear that you shall not
be able to deal justly (with them), then only one... that
would be more suitable to prevent you from doing injustice".
Dismissing the petition, the court directed that
investigations in the impugned FIR be conducted expeditiously
and authorities of the Nari Niketan, where Khushboo is
currently housed, hand her over to her parents.