Too many misconceptions about Islam: Arshad Warsi

Published: June 14, 2011
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Indian Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi and wife Maria Goretti pose during the Chivas Studio Spotlight party in Mumbai. PHOTO: AFP

Indian Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi and wife Maria Goretti pose during the Chivas Studio Spotlight party in Mumbai. PHOTO: AFP

MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi feels that there are too many misconceptions about Islam and that 90% of what people know about the religion is a myth.

“Islam is a very nice religion, but it’s been misinterpreted very badly” Arshad told IANS.

He said, “90% of what people say about Islam is a myth. People say that in Islam you get a divorce by just saying the word talaaq three times. All that is rubbish. It is not that you say the word three times and marriage is over.”

Explaining the divorce process, he said: “You go to the court, say talaaq there once. Then you have to live together (with your wife) for a month…and again you go back to the court and say the word again and then again stay together for another month. Even then your problems are not resolved, then you go to the court again and say talaaq again. That’s how it happens. Even after that you have to give maintenance to your divorced wife.”

Arshad also said that the four marriages concept is not exactly the way it has been perceived so far.

“It’s not that you can marry four women. You can’t get married again without the permission of your first wife.

Half of the people don’t know the truth about Islam,” said the actor who is married to Maria Goretti, a Christian, and they have two children, a son named Zeke Warsi and a baby girl named Zene Zoe Warsi.

The 43-year-old actor however says he is not a very religious person.

“I’m not religious. I don’t believe in rituals. However, I’m not an atheist. I believe in god. I believe that there is a power and I believe that all the religions are just different roads of reaching that one power. But those roads are made by people that I don’t like,” said the actor, who made his debut in 1996 with “Tere Mere Sapne”.

“I go everywhere, I celebrate everything. My kids if you see, you’ll see them more as Christians as they go to church very often. I have no problems with that,” he added.

Arshad, popular for his role as Circuit in “Munnabhai MBBS” and its sequel “Lage Raho… Munnabhai”, is right now looking forward to the release of his comedy film “Double Dhamaal” slated for June 24.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Max
    Jun 14, 2011 - 2:57PM

    Bollywood is a dream world….it is beyond religion.Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Jun 14, 2011 - 2:57PM

    Really??? He should say that in Pakistan and we will see if he repeats that statement again.Recommend

  • Atts
    Jun 14, 2011 - 3:14PM

    very true, but unfortunately the people who promote these misconceptions have a louder voice compared to others and tolerance is by and large dwindling amongst us.Recommend

  • RN
    Jun 14, 2011 - 5:46PM

    @Billoo Bhaya:
    Shut up. Stop enforcing yourself on others – like many of the self-claimed righteous people here in Pakistan. Who has given you the authority to police the other people.
    All that you can do (like every one else) is perhaps get YOURSELF be forgiven by ALLAH. Nothing more. you are not responsible for others.
    Dont pose threats to others. Leave my religion between me and my ALLAH. I do not need YOU. thank you.Recommend

  • Jun 14, 2011 - 6:12PM

    No Doubt… Islam is the Religion of Peace and Truth…Recommend

  • A
    Jun 14, 2011 - 6:25PM

    Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) Ayat 42 :

    And mix not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth [i.e. Muhammad Peace be upon him is Allah’s Messenger and his qualities are written in your Scriptures, the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] while you know (the truth) .

    I think this ans ur questionRecommend

  • Moderate
    Jun 14, 2011 - 8:11PM

    Yeah, yeah and now Arshad Warsi is interpreting religion and that too after saying I dont believe in rituals. Seriously??????? Recommend

  • Jun 14, 2011 - 8:26PM

    Arshad bhai should come to PAkistan. He will be bigger hero here.Recommend

  • Muhammad Saleem Usmani
    Jun 14, 2011 - 8:27PM

    What else did Mufti Warsi spoke about…..its true that most of the people don’t know a bit of religion and most of the items they hear is not what they appear, but who said that a muslim going to church is okay instead of going to mosque…..he said partial truth about divorce……but hid the other part and as usual we are going gaga since some mufti from show biz told us what he said rather believed (which may / may not not what the religion is), and we believed since we cannot make an effort to understand our religion so we will find an excuse not to believe in it one way or the other….Recommend

  • Alsahdiq
    Jun 14, 2011 - 8:40PM

    The only and best way to find out whether Arshad is right or not, regarding the process of “Divorce” by Muslims is to read Surah “Talaaq” in the holy Quraan.
    It tells all that one wants to know absolutely clearly in total black and white leaving one in no doubt. It may be a surprise for the reader learning that many Muslims simply do not know the correct process of executing proper divorce as prescribed by the Creator (swt). It will make a very startling addition to the knowledge of many Muslims who have not paid enough attention to this Surah while reading through it.Recommend

  • Abdul Ahad Ayub
    Jun 14, 2011 - 8:41PM

    @chetan

    totally. I can imagine him twisting his moustache with one hand and holding a rifle with the other, as a cougar circles a tree before launching herself on himRecommend

  • iffo
    Jun 14, 2011 - 9:18PM

    Read Quran and give references..
    This website tribune is doing its bad job by allowing such type of nonsense articles by nonsense people..
    You cannot change the Islam the way u like it.
    We know what is true or what is wrong.
    This media,internet is just a crap.Recommend

  • CB Guy
    Jun 14, 2011 - 9:21PM

    Some nice thoughts there and some confused ones as well. Anyhow, seems to be a decent person, atleast by Indian Film Industry standards. Recommend

  • Anoop
    Jun 14, 2011 - 9:24PM

    I think if more celebrities like Arshad come forward to counter Fundamentalists of any religion, it will help in big way. I have studied law in India. I am pretty sure his statement about divorce is wrong. But i still support him Recommend

  • buttjee339
    Jun 14, 2011 - 9:37PM

    @RN

    Brother, I think you have misunderstood Billu Bhaya. He is not threatening you. Unfortunately, today we are living in a world which has become intolerant in the name of Religion. People with vested interests have propagated various interpretations of Islam, particularly jehad, to suit their own ulterior motives. Terrorism and violence have no place in Islam. Islam is religion of peace. Islam guarantees the rights of non Muslims and does not permit killing of innocent people. If our people practice Islam in its true spirit then I can assure you there will be no violence in Pakistan. Those people who are killing innocent Pakistanis in the name of Islam are in fact the agents of anti Pakistan intelligence agencies operating from our Eastern and Western neighbourhood. Many of them are hardened criminals and some of them are the ones who have been brain washed by the hostile intelligence agencies. Recommend

  • Hassan
    Jun 14, 2011 - 9:55PM

    i think he too is not clear about the divorce…….he should not comment about something that he does not know himself clearly……..Recommend

  • MN
    Jun 14, 2011 - 10:37PM

    Just another PR Stunt.. silly old bloke.. anytime u want to be popular in India, just talk about Islam and how it’s peaceful & nice.. exhibit A: the PM Manmohan Singh – that famously said Muslims have the first right to the resources of India.. just a PR stunt.. one for his upcoming film, the other for votes.. simple as that..Recommend

  • Azeem Anwer
    Jun 14, 2011 - 11:56PM

    Listening to a film actor talking about religion is worst than listening a moochi telling you how to avert a heart attack.Recommend

  • Aslam
    Jun 15, 2011 - 12:24AM

    I didn’t know Indian Muslims are such progressive minded. No wonder they have less problems and more tolerant society than us. Bravo..Recommend

  • Khurram
    Jun 15, 2011 - 3:50AM

    I believe in god. I believe that there is a power and I believe that all the religions are just different roads of reaching that one power. But those roads are made by people that I don’t like.
    This statement clearly shows that he is not a atheist, but not a theist either. He is a deist, the one who believes in a ‘power’ running the universe, but does not believe in a personal God or religion, whom he thinks as man-made, and rightly so. He is a smart guy. I just he could spare his kids from church too, and would have given them a chance to decide whether they want to chose any belief system once they got older.Recommend

  • Omar
    Jun 15, 2011 - 8:29AM

    Wow! He is incapable of introducing Islam to his kids let alone the world.

    He may be right in bits but far away from emulating in his own life.

    Just be away, its not your cup of tea. It ‘s for the pious people not for adulterous like you.Recommend

  • Jun 15, 2011 - 11:47AM

    No one stop islam it will rule the world:)Recommend

  • AMJAD
    Jun 15, 2011 - 12:11PM

    From the explanations he has given about Talaq, his own belief about his family life and upbringing of his children amply proves that he himself is a Muslim only in name. May Allah Taala in His infinite mercy guide him to sirat-e- mustaqeem.Recommend

  • Imran Ali
    Jun 15, 2011 - 12:11PM

    Arshad has his beliefs and I respect it. But most interesting part is how people react as people have given comments here. I think somehow we have got this idea that we can judge people for their acts and religion, which is not good one.

    Let people speek their mind and we got to respect them.Recommend

  • Aslam
    Jun 15, 2011 - 7:09PM

    @Billoo Bhaya:
    That is the very reason that Pakistan is in such a peril state. People like your mindset are responsible for backward, uneducated, corrupt and beggar society where everyone try to judge other person how pious Muslims they are and fails to judge themselves. Arshad Warsi atleast has brain and ability to make people laugh and happy by whatever he does. Do we have any Pakistani pious Muslim actor possess that capability? I am sick and tired of sick minded people like you. Leave ordinary Pakistani alone. Don’t threaten ordinary Pakistani who wants to live peaceful life. People like you are responsible for death of Salman Taseer, Saleem Shahjad.Recommend

  • aman
    Jun 16, 2011 - 10:14AM

    Arshad says: ‘I don’t believe in rituals. However, I’m not an atheist. I believe in god. I believe that there is a power and I believe that all the religions are just different roads of reaching that one power.”

    This is what the majority of the educated Hindus all over the world have been saying all these days….

    He has married a Christian girl and has not taken trouble to convert her; nor has he given nice islamic names to his kids….

    Arshad seems to have been sucked into the Hindu way of life …poor fellow… Recommend

  • viewer
    Jun 16, 2011 - 7:24PM

    WHAT???????????????????????Recommend

  • MShah
    Jun 17, 2011 - 10:35AM

    It’s his opinion about religion; Islam is “complete way of life
    I would recommend to writer to alsways consult Islamic Scholars (Ulemaa’s & Mufti’s) to clarify what exactly Islam says about Divorce or any other subject in Islam. Becasue such articles may mislead.Recommend

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