Last month in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh, a 25-year-old Hindu man named Akshay Gaur converted to Islam. He changed his name to Faheem Khan.
Within four months of his conversion, however, he has returned to Hinduism. He says he had converted out of fear of ‘hellfire’.
In a rather unusual move, Akshay has registered a complaint against the cleric who got him converted. He shared with this correspondent his reasons, which are detailed in this report. Based on it, the police have filed a first information report against the cleric.
The FIR (number 524/2022) was registered at Moghat Road Police Station of Khandwa on 17 November 2022.
In his complaint, Akshay told the police that:
He is a resident of Prempuram colony in Khandwa. In June, 2022, when he was quite worried about his career and job, he left home to visit Nagchun (A place around eight kilometers from his house). While sitting in a park, he met a man who began inquiring him about his problems.
He introduced himself as Aminuddin Quadri. He said he was an ‘Alim’ at the Noorani Mosque in Khandwa. He began telling Akshay about Islam and asked him to come to the mosque.
A few days later, Akshay visited the mosque. Quadri again told him about Islam and asked him to visit the mosque regularly. When he began visiting the mosque frequently, Quadri started badmouthing Hinduism.
He said Hindus indulge in idol-worshipping, which is of no use. It is a religion for idiots, he said.
Quadri asked Akshay to embrace Islam, which teaches about one god, that is ‘Allah’. Offering namaz will give him a place in ‘Jannat’ (paradise) while not doing so may land him to ‘Jahannum (hellfire)’, he said.
Quadri said Allah will never forgive non-believers of Islam.
Akshay began visiting the mosque regularly and started offering namaz as advised by Quadri.
Later, he asked Akshay to invite people including his family and friends to Islam. By doing this, they will also attain paradise or else they will face the hellfire, he told him.
Quadri told Akshay that his people chop the head of those who do blasphemy or abuse ‘Nabi’. In fear, Akshay started forcing his family members to accept Islam.
On 10 August, Quadri told him he and his group had converted a lot of people to Islam in the Khandwa and asked Akshay to formally accept Islam. Akshay recited ‘Kalma’ and changed his name to Mohammed Faheem Khan.
Akshay changed his name to Faheem Khan on his social media handles too (the posts give the spelling differently as ‘Faim’. His friends who were following Hinduism approached him and told him about the trap Alim had created for him. Gradually, Akshay believed them/
He reached Mahadevgarh and underwent a ‘Shuddhi’ ritual became Hindu again. Fearing Alif Quadri, he stayed at his uncle’s house in Indore for two months. On his return, he filed a complaint against Quadri.
A video statement by Akshay can be seen here.
Quadri has been booked under IPC section 295 A (outraging religious sentiments) and sections 3 and 5 of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of religion Act, 2021.
As per a report by Dainik Bhaskar, the Superintendent of Police of Khandwa, Poonam Singh Yadav, told the media that the cleric was absconding and would be arrested soon.
This correspondent called up Town Inspector Ishwar Singh Chouhan on 2 December 2022. He again said that the accused is absconding.
As per Chouhan, police teams are still investigating the matter to check the authenticity of the claim that Akshay was converted to Islam.
He said the last time they raided the mosque, Quadri was not there.
Akshay’s story as narrated by him
This correspondent had a telephonic conversation with Akshay. He told Rashtra Jyoti that, in his first meeting with Alim Quadri, he got convinced that Islam as a faith is the solution to his every problem.
Quadri asked him to install an application from the Google play store for a translated version of the Quran.
As soon as Akshay visited the mosque and started asking questions related to his life and religion in general, Quadri suggested to him some more religious texts.
He asked him to read Quran twice and thrice as this was the ultimate solution for each of his problems.
With frequent visits to the mosque, Quadri told him that if he did not embrace Islam and follow ‘Sunnat’ (things the founder of Islam did as per Hadiths), he would forever burn in ‘hellfire’.
He was told by Quadri that non-believers of Islam will face ‘Dozakh ki Aag’ while the followers will go to ‘Jannat’.
Akshay says he got scared by the description of ‘Dozakh ki Aag’, and this was the prime reason why he accepted Islam.
Below is how the conversation with Akshay went (audio recording of which is available with this correspondent).
Correspondent: What were the teachings in the mosque?
Akshay: Follow the Sunnat of Rasool, grow beard, clear the moustache etc.
Correspondent: As per them, what was the reason behind this?
Akshay: It is Sunnat, means Rasul did so, and hence the followers of Islam must do the same. Not following this will land people in Jahannum.
Correspondent: What else did they say?
Akshay: They said there is only one religious text humans should follow and that is Quran. Hinduism is a fake religion, they talk about 36 crore gods and goddesses which is based on a myth. They call everything a god, be it a stone, an idol, water or animals – everything. This is all Shirk and people doing Shirk will go to hell.
Correspondent: What does Shirk mean?
Akshay: Polytheism, meaning worshipping idols or many gods except one ‘Allah’.
Correspondent: What kind of clothes they asked you to wear?
Akshay: They said I should wear a ‘kurta pajama’ that too is Sunnat to them. They asked me to give ‘Deen ki Dawat’ to every non-believer of Islam. I began forcing my family member to accept Islam.
Correspondent: Did they ask you to watch videos of clerics?
Akshay: Yes, they asked me to watch videos of Tariq Jameel, Tariq Masood and others.
Correspondent: Did they ask you to watch videos of Zakir Naik?
Akshay: Yes, I have watched his videos as well, but they didn’t ask me to. I watched them on my own.
Correspondent: Which cleric has been the most influential on you?
Akshay: Zakir Naik.
Correspondent: Anything else which was new to you, during your visits to the mosque?
Akshay: I have not been to the mosque much, fearing local activists and my family. I used to offer namaz five times a day at my home. They said I can offer namaz at home but with it, I should also ask the non-believers to come to Islam.
Correspondent: How did they teach you – how to offer namaz?
Akshay: They taught me a few times in the mosque. They asked me to read the translated version of the Quran daily. They also asked me to download ‘Al-Bukhari’ Hadiths and recite them.
Correspondent: Did they ever give you any gem or ‘Tabiz’?
Akshay: Yes, they did, but nothing worked. My family members suffered a lot because of me. I started wearing the skull cap and living like a Muslim.
Correspondent: Did they ever discuss a term called ‘Jihad’?
Akshay: It is written in their book that a true Muslim should kill all the ‘kafirs’, loot their property, women and everything. Keep these women as sex slaves in your house.
Correspondent: Did you ever ask questions about these?
Akshay: Yes, but they never answered my question and, if they did, all they said it’s a thing people did in the older times. NowMuslims are not like this, they said. I started watching a show on News Nation called ‘Kya Kehta hai Islam‘. It helped me a lot.
Correspondent: Did you read Quran many times?
Akshay: Yes, I read it a number of times. Within months, I had more knowledge of Islam than their [Muslim] boys.
Correspondent: How did they define Jannat and Jahannum to you?
Akshay: They said that on the night of Qayamat, Allah will give life to all the dead people in the world. People will collect in front of Allah.
No matter how noble work Hindus have done, their work will be considered Shirk as they worship many gods and goddesses. They will suffer in Jahannum.
The Muslims irrespective of their sins will be sent to the Jannat as they believed in ‘Allah’.
Correspondent: What perks Muslims will get in Jannat?
Akshay: In Jannat Muslims will get 72 hoors. Girls will ask if a man wants to eat vegetarian or non-vegetarian food, and there will be alcohol. Water will be blue, and it will be beautiful. The height of men will increase ten times, and power to do sex will increase by 100 times etc.
Correspondent: Did they offer you money, a job or a promise of marriage?
Akshay: No, they said – live as a man of Allah and he will take care of your every problem.
Correspondent: To who did you give ‘Deen ki Dawat’ ?
Akshay: I asked my family and cousins to accept Islam or else they will suffer the hellfire. Instead of converting, they made fun of me.
When asked about the circumcision ritual, Akshay said, he did not underwent any such ritual.
Akshay concluded the conversation that he is happy to be back in Hinduism, and fears hellfire no more as he doesn’t believe in it. The cleric filled his mind with endless myths and his friends showed him the true path.
He says he will focus on his career.
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