Indian television

Love, marriage and the triple talaq debate feature in Zee TV’s ‘Ishq Subhan Allah’

Writer Danish Javed talks about the inspiration for the show and responds to a complaint alleging that it shows Islam in a bad light.

Opposites attract, but what about opposing ideologies? In Zee TV’s Ishq Subhan Allah, Zara Siddiqui (Eisha Singh) is an open-minded Islamic studies graduate and Kabir Ahmed (Adnan Khan) a staunch traditionalist and aspiring maulvi. The two meet as protests erupt in Aligarh following the August 2017 landmark Supreme Court ruling that declared triple talaq unconstitutional. The attraction is instant, but the couple’s charming first encounter is foiled when the two realise that their ideas about Islam is poles apart. Among other things, they differ on triple talaq – the practice that allows a man to divorce his wife by uttering the word “talaq” three times.

Through the prism of romance, Ishq Subhan Allah explores pressing topics such as the triple talaq debate and religious dogma. The Creative Eye Limited production was premiered on Zee TV on March 14.

“The term religion is well explained by all means, but the customs and traditions vary,” the show’s writer Danish Javed told Scroll.in in an interview. “Sometimes we are not able to differentiate between customs, traditions and the religion. We often think that the custom or tradition we are following is a religious practice. So I felt the need to make that distinction through the show.”

Play
Ishq Subhan Allah (2018).

Javed’s writing credits include the Doordarshan series Nargis, Sony TV’s Tu Naseeb Hai Kisi Aur Ka (1999) and Piya Bina (2002). He conceptualised the show after he noticed a void in Muslim-centred programming after Zee TV’s popular series Qubool Hai ended in 2016. “Being a practising Muslim, I have a knowledge of the religion,” Javed said. “We also had many scholars on board for research. We confirmed and consulted with the scholars at any point of doubt. Our intentions are very clear because we do not want to hurt anyone.”

However, the show hit a hurdle recently when a Mumbai Islamic organisation filed a complaint against it for allegedly showing Islam in bad light. The Raza Academy has sought a ban on the show.

Javed clarified that the show’s intention was to represent different points of views without taking a stand. “I have not received any copy of the complaint yet, so I cannot say anything without seeing the complaint, but I never expected this kind of a controversy,” Javed said. “Our motive is to make people more aware about the real practices of the religion. Nowhere in the show are we going against the religion and the practices.”

He reiterated that the show is primarily about love, not triple talaq. “This is a story of two characters, Zara and Kabir,” Javed said. “So when we make a story of two characters with specific names, the names show their religion. When the characters have a certain religion, they have to practice it and the good and bad of the practices are bound to come. Talaq is just a part of the story.”

Play
Ishq Subhan Allah (2018).
Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

Racers are no different. Behind their daredevilry lies the same history of dedication and discipline. Cornering on a sports bike or revving up sand dunes requires the utmost physical endurance, and racers invest heavily in it. It helps stave off fatigue and maintain alertness and reaction time. It also helps them get the most out of their racecraft - the entirety of a racer’s skill set, to which years of training are dedicated.

Racecraft begins with something as ‘simple’ as sitting on a racing bike; the correct stance is the key to control and manoeuvre the bike. Riding on a track – tarmac or dirt is a great deal different from riding on the streets. A momentary lapse of concentration can throw the rider into a career ending crash.

Physical skill and endurance apart, racers approach a race with the same analytical rigour as a student appearing in an exam. They conduct an extensive study of not just the track, but also everything around it - trees, marshal posts, tyre marks etc. It’s these reference points that help the racer make braking or turning decisions in the frenzy of a high-stakes competition.

The inevitability of a crash is a reality every racer lives with, and seeks to internalise this during their training. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, racers are trained to keep their eyes open to help the brain make crucial decisions to avoid collision with other racers or objects on the track. Racers that meet with accidents can be seen sliding across the track with their heads held up, in a bid to minimise injuries to the head.

But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.

Play


The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.