LETTER:Imran's wedding: unveiling some truths about Islamic customs

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The Independent Online
From Mr M Risaluddin

Sir: With regard to Angela Lambert's article "Has Imran bowled his last maiden over?" (15 May), there is no "process of conversion" to be completed in order to become a Muslim: merely bearing witness before two adult Muslims to one's personal belief in the One God and Muhammad, His Prophet. Either Jemima has taken the Shahada (witnessing), or she has not.

If, having done so and married Imran, she elects to dress in similar style to Pakistan's Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, she will not "veil herself from head to toe" but will wear the comfortable, gracious and modest shalwar qamiz (loose trousers and overshirt) with a gauzy chiffon scarf draped lightly over her head, not concealing even her hairstyle, let alone her face.

If she visits Mecca in the company of her husband, she will be fulfilling a religious obligation laid upon every adult Muslim, male or female, who has the means to perform the pilgrimage (though she will, if they go immediately after the marriage, be performing only the lesser pilgrimage, as the date of the full pilgrimage has already passed, a few days since, this year). And if Imran, rather than she, has said she has embraced the faith through her own conviction, that need have nothing to do with "the process of deferring to male authority": to suggest that it "clearly" has is pure assumption, coming from a biased understanding of the relationship between Imran, the "born-again Muslim", with a Western woman with Jewish blood.

There is nothing in Islam which forbids such a marriage; nor, indeed, is there any religious requirement for Jemima to embrace Islam, for Imran could, without violating Islamic law, have married a Christian or a Jew without her conversion.

Yours faithfully,


The Calamus Foundation

London, SW1

15 May