Special Representative to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Wednesday said that Islamic Sharia strictly prohibited forced marriages and forced conversions adding no Muslim could think contrary to the teachings of his religion.
Speaking in a seminar titled “The Rights of Minorities and Women in light of Seerat-e-Taiba of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)”, Ashrafi said there is no concept of forced marriages or conversion in Islam.
Referring to forced conversion cases in Sindh, he said tribal traditions must not be portrayed as Islamic traditions. ”We must not put the stamp of Islam on our own thinking, actions and tribal traditions.” Islam did not prohibit female education.
Brushing aside the claim of a right group about per annum 1,000 forced conversions in Pakistan, he said he contacted the right group and asked them to give addresses and names of 100 of the non-Muslims who were forcefully converted in Islam in Pakistan but the group had failed to prove their claim.
One of the main purpose of the advent of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) was to give respect to women folk. Islam taught the lesson of love, peace and the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan protected the rights of marginalized segment of society.
He said the Muslims still bound to comply with peace treaty inked between the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Christians of Najran.
A sad day for Pakistani Minorities.A bill was defeated in a committee of the Pakistan Parliament to tackle forced conversion and forced marriages. No one has the right to coerce someone into marriage or to force them to convert or renounce their beliefs.https://t.co/VxzCkom6db
— Lord (David) Alton (@DavidAltonHL) October 13, 2021
The seminar was organised by Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) in collaboration with Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony and Interfaith Harmony Council. Ashrafi said females must not be deprived from her rights as provided in Islamic Sharia.
He said his office was working 24/7 for protecting the rights of minorities. Interfaith Harmony Councils were working across the country to resolve complaints of minorities. So far 160 complaints were received and all were resolved.
In the creation of Pakistan, minority votes played decisive role in making possible emerging of new Islamic state. He said Rehmatullil Aalamin Authority has been established to portray before the world a true image of Islam besides carrying out research on Seeratun Nabi (PBUH).
It comprised Islamic scholars of international repute who would help acquaint the children and elders about the teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). The core objective of the Rehmatul-lil-Alameen Authority was not only to appraise but also inculcate the teachings of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and his way of life in the lives of kids and adults alike.
Speaking on the occasion Director General International Research Institute and Professor of Islamic Sharia International Islamic University, Dr Zia-ul-Haq said that the Muslims had unfortunately forgotten two key Sunnahs of behaviours with women and minorities.
Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) expanded women’s rights to include inheritance, property and marriage rights. It was a revolutionary move at a moment when women held few, if any, rights.
Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz, Qazi Abdul Qadeer Khamosh, Member Council of Islamic Ideology Zia Ullah Shah Bukhari, Father Alistair Joseph, Pakistan Ulema Council Vice Chairman Allama Zubair Abid, Allama Tahir-ul-Hassan, Bashir Badria also spoke on the occasion.