Christian man in Kerala wants to die a Muslim, High Court asks the govt to help him

The Kerala High Court in a judgement dated 26 June has directed the state government to frame rules under section 4 of the Muslim Personal Law(Shariat) Application Act 1937 so that the petitioner can be governed by the Shariat law, Live Law has reported.

As per the report, the petitioner Abu Thalib was born a Christian but embraced Islam three years ago and wishes to continue with his new faith for the rest of his life. He is married to a Hindu. He thus petitioned the High Court to make true his wish of being governed by the Muslim Personal Law.

As explained in a Times of India report, the state government has been directed to frame rules which would grant an approval to his conversion to Islam, as currently, he has no proof that he has changed his religion.

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According to Live Law, Abu Thalib has expressed the need to make such a declaration about his conversion as, in a recent case a Christian to Muslim convert named Simon Master, was not buried as per Islamic rites owing to his family not recognising his conversion. The matter of Simon then reached the Kerala High Court, when a Muslim body asserted that he be buried as per Islamic Rites.

Thus Abu Thalib wanted to give a statutory declaration to avoid Simon like confusion but was unable to do so as the absence of government’s rules in this regard, prevented him from doing so.

In absence of conversion laws, the petitioner claimed that some Islamic bodies like Maoonathul Islam Association, Ponnani and Tharbiyathul Islam Association, were issuing conversion certificates, but they had no legal standing.

Following his plea, the two-judge bench of Justice C.T Ravikumar and Justice A.M Babu directed the government to frame the required rules, which as per the government’s representative would be done within three months.

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