June 14, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10019

Islamic Leaders In India Call For Beheading Of Hindu Politician Nupur Sharma, Whom They Accuse Of Blasphemy Against Muhammad: 'Nupur Sharma's Head Will Be Found Away From Her Body'

June 14, 2022
India | Special Dispatch No. 10019

In June 2022, Nupur Sharma, the spokeswoman of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), delivered an angry outburst on Indian television in which she spoke the truth about the marriage of Islam's founder Muhammad to his youngest wife Aisha at the age of six and consummation at the age of nine, resulting in international condemnation by a number of Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Qatar, and Pakistan.[1] She was immediately suspended by the BJP, while another BJP official Naveen Kumar Jindal was expelled for similar comments on Twitter.

Nupur Sharma's controversial remarks have led to calls for her beheading and protests in several Indian states. Her suspension from BJP, which is known for its anti-Muslim stance on several issues involving Muslims, led to an outcry by rightwing Hindu activists who constitute the core support base of the ruling party. Soon, the rightwing Hindu activists dug up a video of Dr. Zakir Naik, the well-known Islamic scholar now self-exiled in Malaysia, in which he confirms what Nupur Sharma said.

Nupur Sharma (left) and Naveen Kumar Jindal (image:

In the video, Zakir Naik is asked by a Muslim woman to confirm that Aisha's age was nine, not 19.  Zakir Naik, speaking in English, quotes a hadith (a saying or deed of Prophet Muhammad) compiled by Sahih Al-Bukhari saying: "She was married to the prophet at the age of six and the marriage was consummated at the age of nine."[2] Naik discusses the grammatical points and argues that those Islamic scholars who say Aisha's marriage was consummated at 19 are engaging in an "assumption" and that the hadith from Sahih Al-Bukhari is "an authentic hadith" both relating to their marriage at six and their consummation of the marriage when Aisha was nine.[3]

However, several Islamic leaders have led street protests, while many others have called for Nupur Sharma to be beheaded for blasphemy. Some of the reactions of the Islamic leaders in India are discussed below.

Islamic Cleric Adil Ghafoor Ganai: "The Moment We Lose Our Patience, Then Who Is Nupur Sharma? Nupur Sharma's Head Will Be Found Away From Her Body"

Speaking from a mosque in Jammu & Kashmir, Islamic cleric Adil Ghafoor Ganai told the protesters: "Brothers teach how to behead. Let them know it well that we are sitting silently only till the time we can bear things. The moment we lose our patience, then who is Nupur Sharma? Nupur Sharma's head will be found away from her body."[4]

The radical cleric Adil Ghafoor Ganai added: "I will myself come to the battlefield. The administration should take hold of those who speak against the azaan [call to prayer], those who speak against the hijab [Islamic veil]; they should be held by their neck. If they cannot hold their necks, then we are ready to chop their necks."[5]

Islamic cleric Adil Ghafoor Ganai in Jammu calls for beheading

Islamic Leader Mohammad Hamid Engineer: "To Attack Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him, To Launch Attack On Him, To Attack His Honor, It Has Only One Consequence – That's Death"

At a press conference organized by the Minorities Democratic Party in India's Nagpur city, Islamic leader Mohammad Hamid, national president of the Imaan Tanzeem ("Faith Foundation"), indicated that her suspension or expulsion from BJP was not enough to satisfy Muslim sentiments: "To expel [the blasphemer] is a problem for her party [Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi]. But the crime she has committed, has committed the criminal offence, that as per the country's law, as per the Constitution, she should be arrested after registering FIR [First Information Report, necessary for police to prosecute]."[6] Hamid added: "Such party workers, whether they are gents or ladies, numerous workers have come out like fungi within the BJP who have no strength, to go into the party by their work, they are given a clear target that is the biggest [personality] of Muslims, Prophet Muhammad peace upon him – speak against or attack him or his family, And by attacking him, they make themselves popular, and want to come forth in politics."[7]

Hamid further threatened Nupur Sharma with death and implied that she could be killed even years later: "This is very bad thing – the worst work. And such things are done by those who are useless, who have no identity of their own; such people use such language, they should not do so because to attack Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, to launch an attack on him, to attack his honor, it has only one consequence – that's death. No one can stop you, you sign a suicide note; Kamlesh Tiwari [Hindu Mahasabha leader accused of blaspheming against Muhammad] died after five years, people killed him five years later by entering his home [in 2019]."[8]

He added: "You shouldn't think that if the issue has been resolved today, you will escape tomorrow. Do not touch this wire, this wire is of 1,100 volts; you or no one has the capacity to touch it. So, of any religion, of any personality, whether it's a top religious leader or anybody, do not attempt to harm his honor. This a secular country, it's run by Constitution, work by living within the framework of the Constitution."[9]

Imtiaz Jaleel, an Indian Muslim leader and member of parliament, argued that Islam is a religion of peace, but in the same breath approved of the calls for killing Nupur Sharma. Jaleel belongs to the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), a pro-Islamist party. Addressing protesters in the city of Aurangabad, Jaleel said: "Islam is a religion of peace. True, people are angry, we too demand Nupur Sharma should be given capital punishment. If she is let off easily, then this will be endless. We want to say that if any person is making such comments against any caste, religion, religious leader, or our Prophet, then there should be a law which ensures strict and immediate action. Just removing her from the party is not enough action."[10] Speaking in Hindi, Jaleel was more direct: "Agar Nupur Sharma ko phansi dena hai, toh Aurangabad ke isi chauraha ke andar phansi de [If Nupur Sharma is to be hanged, hang her from this very square in Aurangabad]."[11]

Imtiaz Jaleel called for hanging Nupur Sharma (image:

At the same time, several Islamic leaders also called for peace and harmony. Islamic religious leader Suhaib Qasmi said: "Islam says Nupur Sharma should be forgiven."[12] The Islamic cleric added: "We are welcoming the decision of the law because India is the land of law and we are not going to take the law into our hands."[13] Malik Aslam, a senior member of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, said: "Muslims, as an obligation, should stand together against anyone who disrespected Islam, but maintaining peace was also very important."[14]


[2], June 7, 2022.

[3], June 7, 2022.

[4], June 10, 2022.

[5], June 10, 2022.

[6], June 5, 2022.

[7], June 5, 2022.

[8], June 5, 2022.

[9], June 5, 2022.

[10] (India), June 12, 2022.

[11] (India), June 12, 2022.

[12] (India), June 12, 2022.

[13] (India), June 12, 2022.

[14], June 13, 2022.

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