KASHMIRI MARRIAGE: A SOCIAL MENACE
“And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect. (Al-Quran, Chapter 30 [Ar-Rum], Verse 21.)
Marriage in the Islamic perspective has the greatest importance in the realm of Islam. However, it seems to have taken the worst image, outside the image of Islam in Kashmir. This heavenly blessing has been converted into a curse in the valley, surely the threat for the financially backwards people.
As the social formalities and bondages make the marriage ceremony a menace because it costs one his hard earned money. The girls, who can’t afford the social formalities of marriage, either remain unmarried or in rear cases commit suicide. Now, even the married people in Kashmir go for female foeticide just to save themselves from expenditures in their daughter’s marriage.
These horrible incidents speak volumes about the hostility and cruelty towards the girl child. In most cases, woman agrees to abort her female foetus when she succumbs to family pressures. Her life is made hell through the illogical demands of in-laws for a male child. Many women are left by their husbands if unable to give birth to a male child, or if she conceives a girl child. The girl child is often considered a burden on account of the huge amounts of money, gold and other items needed as dowry on her marriage. Islam teaches us that the whole expenditures should be from the side of bridegroom and the bride’s side must not spend the money. But unfortunately, it goes inversely and the modern man, the product of materialism remains more concerned with Mahraz Saal (the Party in reception of the bridegroom).
As Prophet Mohammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) says; “It is not allowed to purchase any kind of gold for the groom with the intention of having him use it, whether it is a ring, cufflinks, watch, etc.”
But ironically here in our society, it generally seems all the opposite. The bride’s family is forced for dowry, even if that costs her family to mortgage themselves in addition to their belongings. In her parent’s home she is treated as the burden and liability, even after dowry and all the formalities, the poor girl is treated as the property rather than as the family member by her in-laws. Islam advises us that marriage is priceless (precious in terms of relations), but we also have made it priceless (costly), but in amounts and expenditures.
Shameless are the people who despite breaching every Islamic norm in Marriages, they lambast the people who try to perform the marriage in the Islamic decorum. The people who perform the marriage under the Islamic norms, they are treated as if they have committed a major sin. The expenditures on the occasion of marriages, either of a boy or a girl leads to the menace of late marriages, though Islam teaches us to get married as soon as we attain puberty. Late marriages give rise to social evils and crimes like bride kidnapping or purchasing that leads to social shift. It is the late marriages that lead to social degradation like illicit love affairs, elopements, scandals and children protesting against the authority of the family. If the late marriages, female foeticide and belittling the girl children prevail at the present rate, Kashmir will surely face a deficit in sex ratio throwing society into complete chaos.
Those people are the killers, the murderers who blindly follow the customs and rituals, and make a show of their property and income on occasions of the marriages of their children. They are responsible for the deaths of those girls who commit suicide when they can’t afford the huge amounts of the money for their marriage. There is a need of active participation of civil society to contribute to safeguarding the Kashmiri Society from further deterioration. The civil society must be contributing to the successful implementation of the Islamic version of Marriage.
This should be a great concern to every member of the society, to participate in a campaign against the late marriages, to force people not to belittle girl child and consider female child equally important.
The imams, intellectuals and the leaders of Kashmir must come forward and urge the people to make the Marriage simple. They must plead the individuals, particularly the educated youth to come forward against this social menace of Kashmir. Rich people are more responsible towards this social service because they started this menace and now they must try hard to abolish this stigma. They must shun off their personnel rivalries and try to come forward and curtail the social menace spreading in the society.
*The author is a student of Political Science and Pursuing Convergent Journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position and policy of Oracle Opinions.