Marriage is a sacred institution in the human societies. Down the passing phases of time, the human beings have tied knots of man and woman in pairs to continue the order of the universe. God created human being in pairs and created humans out of those predecessors. This is even today the order of the nature and will remain so forever.
Marriage is a social and legal contract where man and woman are tied in a holy knot under the auspices of religious principles of Nikkah, as in Islam to carry forward the legacy of humans and human beings. Marriage is a pious knot that brings a man and a woman together forever to created an edifice of support for one another in times of need,pain,happiness,good and bad, nothing and something, etc and is equated with one half of the Muslims faith. Marriage holds a vibrant symbolic significance in that people still want to marry and revere the institution. Overall, it is said that the institution of marriage gives peace and order to the life of the man and Islam is infact testimony to that bizarre fact.
Marriages form a major component of our Kashmiri culture which have come a long way since times immemorial. Marriages in Kashmir have undergone a fundamental transformation. In simpler terms, the age of marriage has risen. During the past times, the marriages in Kashmir were performed in an atmosphere of extravaganza where a lot of food and dishes were wasted and those nostalgic memories are perhaps etched to one and all if one recalls the memoirs of the past life.
However, today, a civic and moral sense has prevailed among the masses where lavishness is slowly and steadily losing grip in our society and austerity is taking the substitution thereof. Even the persons who accompany the groom towards the bride’s house have been reduced to few. The guests are also nowadays restricted in our society. It is a good gesture and a positive step towards development of society in Kashmir.
In an interview to India today T.V. few years back, i reiterated and favoured the stance of the government regarding ban on lavish marriages in Kashmir and guest control.
However, the major problem that besets our marriages in Kashmir is the night long overuse of loudspeakers and subsequent firecrackers at the time of bharat reception. Suppose a person is suffering from disease and is ill, a student has examinations next day, a pregnant woman is expecting a child and the neighbour’s marriage causes the trouble. It becomes a major sin and music is prohibited in Islam as wrong (haram).This ultimately causes trouble to one and sundry. Above the social plane lies the plank of moral conduit. We need to totally stop the use of loudspeakers during mehandirats. Although, women can sing in pairs through get together.
Today, when our valley is under the grip of political chaos and as uncertainty has become order of the day, people need to show a religious and responsible civic sense and say goodbye to lavish marriages, particularly the menace of dowry in Kashmir. When parents of affluent give huge gifts and dowry to their daughters on their marriages, it causes roadblocks for the poor and disadvantaged sections of the societies and hinders their marriage prospectus..After all, it is the questions of our sisters. A parent who raises a girl child and marries him to a different person knows the pains of departure. Girls need to be respected and cared. They are not the property of their in-laws. There must be regard for the sacrifice of the women’s parents and the bride itself.
According to a famous Hadith, Prophet Muhammad SAW says that a marriage is performed on the basis of four factors. Some marry for the prestige of the caste, some marry for the financial prospectus, some marry for the beauty of the girl and others marry for the character of the girl. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW says that we need to focus and keep the last factor, that is, character of the girl in consideration for the to be married man.
In contravention, in our valley, the parents are wary of the future of their daughters and want and wish to marry their daughters to the government employees. How many parents ask about the past, character, morality of the man? Be he a morally bankrupt, but, he should be a government employee. How sad and pathetic? Besides, the daughters are pushed towards late marriages on account of getting education and other factors. It is good to have education, but age factor matters. Parents should rather focus on the humbleness, compassion, character of the to-be grooms. Delaying marriage until personal and professional goals are achieved is a illogical response of our society.
Today, our society has degraded enormously. Our youth are under the grip of a moral disaster and soaked in immoral acts. The problem of late marriages has already aggravated and compounded the problem. The late marriages have given rise to various social problems and ills. Parents should marry off their wards once they become adults and attain maturity.
God is responsible for their future. This will prevent our society from moral ills and our society will metamorphosize into a moral hub of social order. Unfortunately, we lack marriage planning and counselling centres in Kashmir. Besides, there is no problem if parents ask about the choice of their wards. Compatibility is a vital factor and golden rule in marriage.
The money which we spent on the lavish marriages can be exploited for the overall good and development of our society. The poor can be helped via this mode. This will make our society a just and humane and also please our creator Allah SWT.
Post-marriage step is a crucial phase in the life of a man. According to John D Gray, men are like rubber bands and women have a wavy nature. The married men and women ought to understand each other and have a regard for each other and their families. Patience is the essence of life. Differences can arise, but it is the role of the married persons to annihilate the crisis that makes inroads almost in everybody’s life day-in and day-out and display a calm attitude thereof.
Kashmir history is witness to the fact that in some cases, the demand of dowry ruins the marital bond during post-marriage time. In some cases, the daughters have committed suicide or have been dragged towards the same under the circumstances.
There should be a total ban on the use of dowry in Kashmir. Government should rope in a permanent ordinance to ban lavish marriages and dowry in Kashmir. I was stunned when recently in a facebook post, it came to light that thousands of girls are unmarried in Kashmir. What causes that and who is to be blamed? Let’s ponder over it….One day we have to answerable before Allah SWT about our worldly deeds as this life is too short.
The parents which raise a child in the hope of pillar of support tomorrow need to be respected and regarded by the daughter-in-laws. The in-laws become the parents of the women after marriage and they need to treat them equally in that perspective and kind regard. This creates a healthy atmosphere in the lives of couples during post-married life and turns as boost in arm to solidify their strength of oneness forever. Marriage is more than being together. It is a responsibility in vogue, vis-a-vis the creator and created. We can’t turn a blind eye to this raw fact. This is all about the conjugal commitments.
*Abid Ahmad Shah is a columnist and educator.