Islamic Voice
Shawwal/Zul-Qada 1422
January 2002
Volume 15-01 No:181

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Religion

By Dr. Zakir Naik


Bindi and Mangalsutra
Burial is better than Cremation


Bindi and Mangalsutra

Why is it that Muslim married women do not wear bindi or tika on the forehead and the Mangalsutra, like Hindu married women?

Bindi is derived from the sanskrit word bindu, which means a ‘dot’. It is usually a red dot made with vermillion powder and is worn by the Hindu women between their eyebrows on their forehead.

Bindi is considered a symbol of ‘Parvati’ and signifies female energy which is believed by Hindus to protect women and their husbands. It is traditionally a symbol of marriage and is worn by the Hindu married women. It is also called as tika.

Bindi has become a fashion

These days, wearing bindi has become a fashion and is even worn by unmarried girls and women. The shape of the bindi is no longer restricted to a dot and is available in various shapes like oval, star and even heart shaped. It is even available in bright colours like blue, green, yellow and orange. The material of the bindi is no longer restricted to vermilion powder, but is made of coloured felt and other material. It is also available in a variety of designs in combination with coloured glass.

Mangalsutra

Mangalsutra means a thread of good-will. It is a necklace worn by Hindu married women as a symbol of their marriage. It consists of two strings of black beads with a gold pendant. The black beads are believed to act as a protection against evil. It is believed to protect the women’s marriage and the life of her husband. In southern India, mangalsutra is called tali, which is a small gold ornament string on a cotton cord or a gold chain. Hindu married women are never supposed to remove their mangalsutra. It is only taken off when a Hindu lady becomes a widow.

Allah is the Protector

Allah, our Creator, is the protector of human beings. We do not require any red dot or black thread to protect us from evil. It is mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Anam- chapter 6 verse 14 “Say: Shall I take for my protector any other than Allah, the Maker of the heavens and the earth?”

Surah Imran -chapter 3 verse 150 and Surah Hajj -chapter 22 verse 78 “Allah is your Protector, and He is the best of helpers.”

Wearing a bindi or mangalsutra signifies a lack of faith in Almighty God, our Creator, who is the best to protect.

Against the Islamic Dress Code

The Islamic dress code does not permit a Muslim to wear any sign, symbol or mark which is specially significant of a non-Muslim. Once, a Hindu friend of mine, while mentioning the benefits of mangalsutra said that it helps in identifying married women, and so prevents them from being teased and molested. According to Islam, each and every woman, whether married or unmarried, Muslim or non-Muslim, should neither be teased nor molested.

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Burial is better than Cremation

Why do Muslims bury dead bodies instead of cremating them, i.e. burning them?

1. Components of human body present in the soil Elements that are present in the human body are present in lesser or greater quantity in the soil. Hence it is more scientific to bury a dead body, as it easily gets decomposed and mixed in the soil

2. No pollution Cremating (burning) the dead body leads to pollution of the atmosphere which is detrimental to health and harmful for the environment. There is no such pollution caused by burying a dead body

3. Surrounding land becomes fertile To cremate a dead body, several trees have to be chopped, which reduces the greenery and harms the environment and the ecology. When dead bodies are buried, besides the trees being saved, the surrounding land becomes fertile and it improves the environment

4. Economical It is expensive to cremate a dead body when tons of wood have to be burned. Annually there is a loss of crores of rupees, only because dead bodies are cremated in India. Burying dead bodies is very inexpensive. It hardly costs any money

5. Same land can be utilised for burying another body The wood used for cremating a dead body cannot be re-utilised for cremating another dead body since it gets converted to ashes. The land used for burying a dead body can be re-utilised for burying another body after a few years since the human body gets decomposed and mixed in the soil.

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