By Uznain Nazir
Talking about the history of nikkah, there is no doubt that the first marriage was performed by Allah himself, between Adam(A.S) and Hawa(A.S).
“Dwell you and your wife in paradise” – (Al-Baqarah)
It is a divine union made by Allah. It is a gift from Him and it should not go beyond His limits. What was supposed to be a beautiful and a natural practice, has now become a source of evil in the present society.
Talking about Kashmir, Nikkah here has lost its true value. People don’t know what Nikkah means- that is two people to come under the shade of Allah’.
People here take recourse to elaborate and extravagant weddings. They take out a huge amount of loan just for taking part in things that are prohibited, even if they don’t have enough resources for organizing such a big wedding. For the sake of pleasing their relatives and other people, and for what people are going to say, they put themselves in a situation that creates a problem for them in the future. Like we see, people have created different sessions of marriage like Henna night, Reception, solemnization and so on and every session has its own traditions (not defined anywhere). For example, if we consider “Mehandiraat” (the day before reception), a lot of money is wasted that night. People gather along with the singers and dancers and start doing things that are inappropriate.
We are responsible for bringing up these problems to ourselves. It is evident from the fights and arguments that occur during the time of wedding, that the Shayateen are prominent in our practices. One relative turns against another, over petty issues, leading to conflicts.
Another problem which is a relatively more serious concern, and affects the future of the couple is “Wartaav” (a gift for the one who is getting married; usually money). If we dwell a little bit into the history of Wartaav, it was given to the people as a gift who were financially poor by their relatives or friends. This was a source of help for them. The intention behind giving money was only to help. It was a wonderful tradition which has turned into a burden and a curse for society. The people, who are invited to the wedding, feel obliged to pay. They just can’t go with their empty hands and pockets. And yes, their payment is noted by the recipient, so that when it comes to his turn of paying on the occasion of someone else’s wedding, they will return a similar amount or a little bit more than that, to somehow portray, superiority. And, this “Tit for Tat” relationship violates the importance of brotherhood and Nikkah which also a sometimes becomes the reason for some people to not attend a wedding- just because they couldn’t afford to present a significant amount of money or buy expensive gifts.
On the other hand, the newly married couple also suffers due to this gift exchanging ritual. They receive expensive gifts from others but there comes a time when they must return it back, one way or the other. This leads to financial distress which can become a cause of divorces today.
Apart from all this, there’s the obvious wastage of money and resources. A humungous amount of food is wasted in our weddings like it’s no big deal. A significant amount of money is exchanged between the two families in the form of gold and jewelry, which, again is unnecessary and immoral. Our Deen has given a way out for every situation and every problem in life. Islam demands a certain amount of money to be paid to the bride by the groom, called ‘Mahr’, in order to complete the Nikkah. Apart from this, there is no need for any more unnecessary customs which only bring more and more problems. People nowadays reduce the amount of Mahr as much as they can, and give more “gifts” and “presents” to the bride, so that in the future if need be, this will help their own selves. Mahr, cannot be used by the husband in any way and is solely the property of the bride.
Simplicity is beautiful and our Deen is the epitome of simplicity. We are the ones who make it complicated. Walima is a practice that is encouraged by Islam, and we should, if we can, oblige to it, and by keeping it simple, we can invite a whole lot of people in a way that benefits all. The relationship between a husband and his wife is supposed to be built on love and trust. By bringing in these evil traditions into practice, we are inviting Shaitaan to ruin this relationship and everything related to it.
Now is the time we need to open our eyes and look where we stand. Every citizen of Kashmir should work on this issue in order to save themselves from a big heartache. We should not care what others do because one person makes a huge difference. Just think about the time of Prophet(PBUH). Only a few people accepted Islam that time and today the second largest population of the world is that of Muslims. We just have to make a start and be positive about our efforts, and leave all the rest to Allah.
—The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org