Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sharia Law documentary on Hilla

Hasan Mahmud, the author and producer of the Docu-Movie “Hilla” is driven by justice in general and justice for women in particular, a fundamental value of Islam. Indeed, if Islam were to be defined in one word, it would be Justice.
There were a lot of practices that Islam had negated but continue within a few societies. Culture runs deeper than religion, and some of the primitive practices like honor killing, female genital mutilation, and instant divorce without the consent of the wife continue till this day, even though Islam prohibits it.
Hilla is one such instrument; a deviant deterrent for men and women not to rush to divorce. If they do, the woman had to marry another man and fully consume the marriage and then if that other husband divorces her, she can come back and re-marry the first husband. What an agony! Even business is carried in such temporary marriages. Darn, that is again without her consent, the prophet liberated women and said, if a woman is unhappy with the marriage she can initiate divorce, it was a feminist idea in the 7th century while women were considered chattel everywhere in the world including Europe.
The Sharia laws like all other laws were devised to serve regret free justice. However the implementers have been men and mis-application of the law continues where ever there are divorces. Indeed, no society is free from the misapplication of laws including our own U.S of A. We have put many innocent people on Electric Chair in Texas.
This Docu-Movie is about dealing with Hilla marriage under Sharia law. The dialogues and characters of the Imam, father, bride, the teacher and college educated girl are authentic and are set in tiny Bangladeshi town. The language is Bengali with English subtitles. I have lived in a small village and a town and I can relate with the originality of the screenplay. I was absorbed and watched the 90 minute movie in one sitting.
When the movie Lagan was released, I wondered who is going to watch three hours of Cricket and the guys hitting the balls and fielders chasing it. But the movie became a classic and I have seen it twice and it’s been shown all over the world including Latin American resorts.
This documentary is gripping and dialogues are fascinating.
The Imam and the adopted father of the woman (her departed father’s friend and the Village-chief) want the marriage restored, as the husband, inadvertently uttered the words Talaq (divorce) three times inadvertently; it means the end of marriage, the divorce is final. What an oppressive tool!
They gather in the public square and bring all the books on Islamic jurisprudence, the Sharia books to read through to find solutions. It is a very powerful scene; the fact that so many books were to be read with different opinions will open up the eyes of those who are entrenched with a singular view. The local Imam asks the reader to read Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Shafii opinion as well. This deliberation needs to become a part of the culture to bring about a positive change. At the end the Quran wins in restoring Women Rights. A happy ending to the tension the viewer endures.
Hasan has subtly introduced a new norm in a small town environment. It encourages research and truthfully portrays the differences in opinions, it opens up people’s hearts and minds to do the basic thing; Justice.
Please watch and share
Scroll down for each one of the 15 parts of about 6 minutes each.
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer and a frequent guest on Hannity show and nationally syndicated Radio shows and Dallas TV, Radio and Print Media. He presides America Together Foundation and is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Over 1000 articles have been published on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, India and cohesive societies. Two of his books are poised to be released this fall on Pluralism and Islam. He is available to speak at your place of worship, work, school, college, seminars or conferences. His work is encapsulated in 27 blogs, four websites and several forums indexed at MikeGhousedotnet.

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.