Marriage is one of the most pious relationships between two people. It is a bond that not only joins two individuals but it also unites two families. In South Asian regions marriages are celebrated with great excitement and zeal, there are many customs and traditions that add color to this beautiful occasion, but some appalling customs make this a burden and hardship for the family.
Dowry may be just a small word but it has ruined many families and homes. Most people agree that this custom should be abandoned, but the bitter truth is that many people who condemns this act are the ones who themselves wish for ‘gifts’ from the bride’s family. Don’t you find it strange and hypocritical that on one hand we criticize the practice, and on the other hand we are willing to have it? Here one thing should be made clear that both the groom and brides families are party to this heinous practice, because if they both decide that they will not give or take anything, this practice can be easily abolished.
This started out as a tradition where the girl’s family wanted to help the couple setting up home, and need for nothing, but it has escalated to a business for mostly the boy’s family. Many girls remain unwed due to the poverty of the family and in rural and urban areas most brides become the victims of cruelty by their husbands and in laws when their parents are unable to fulfill the demands of their in-laws. If we say that dowry has given birth too many evils we would not be wrong.
Apparently, dowry has become an essential condition of the marriage settlement and the middle class people have became the main target of this crime being practiced openly as a ritual in our society. Many parents incur huge debts in order to give dowries to their daughters. They work hard for the rest of their lives to pay off these debts. Marriage, should be a simple ceremony, it would not be out of place to mention one of the sayings of the Holy Prophet (SAW), “The best marriage is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed.” It is sad that we have departed from the teachings of Islam.
SANOBAR NADIR BUTT,
Karachi, April 26.