Monica Khanna, who is playing the vicious negative character Zeenat in popular Zee TV show Ishq Subhan Allah is imbibing a lot about Muslim culture and society, while working in this Creative Eye project for the last 6 months.
“To start with, I have unconsciously started to use a lot of Urdu in my real life conversations as well. It does not mean that I talk differently with my close friends, but yes, there is a lot more tehzeeb and nazakhat in my vocabulary. This Nawabi lingo is very sweet and gentle. It is quite sad to note that most of us youngsters prefer to chat in English rather than their respective mother tongues,” says Monica, who first gained fame as the negative character in Thapki Pyaar Ki.
“Also, since we are dealing with religious issues, the makers took great pains to ensure that we got right the pronunciation of certain words and phrases, especially of those which address Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Seeing the hard work of the cast, which interestingly, except for the male lead, (Adnan Khan), are all Hindu (Esha Singh and Vineet Jain). Many of the creative and technical teams, who are Muslim, also chip in and correct us if we go wrong somewhere. We often don’t get the meaning of religious words we mouth, yet say them with great respect, as it not our agenda to hurt the religious sensibilities of any group or community.”
“Great pain is also taken to ensure that we show the namaaz reading part right. All these things took some time doing at the start, but we have now become mechanical. Sadly though, these scenes also attract the ire of certain trolls, who question non-Muslims doing namaaz on screen.”
“Doing the show has also helped dispel some wrong notions about Islam. I did not know that triple talaaq can’t be uttered in one go, and there has to be a cooling off period between each utterance, thereby allowing some reconciliation possibilities,” adds Monica, who has done other shows such as Aasman Se Aage, Pyaar Ka Dard Hai Meetha Meetha, etc.
“I also had no knowledge about the other controversial topic of Nikah Halala, where if a divorced woman wants to remarry her ex-husband, she will have to wed someone else, consummate the marriage, divorce the second husband, to return to her original hubby. Interestingly, if she gets pregnant during her second marriage, the divorce will not be given,” she states.
Kudos to Zee and Dheeraj Kumar, for starting this show which helps lay pubic get better understanding of the world’s largest religion. It also elaborates the fact that certain people misuse Islamic precepts, which sadly ends up giving a bad name to the whole religion.”