ZAHRA TARIQ

Allah has created men and women as a company for each other so that they could live in peace and tranquility according to the commandments of Allah and the directions of His messenger.

The Quran says: “Marry those among you who are single and (marry) your slaves, male and female, that are righteous.” (Quran 24:32). “And Allah has made for you your mates of your own nature, and made for you, from them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you the best sustenance.” (16: 72)

Islam considers marriage as one of the most virtuous and approved institutions. The messenger of Allah (PBUH) declared: “O you young men! Whoever is able to marry should marry for that will help him lower his gaze and guard his modesty.” (Al-Bukhari)

Most people keep on considering poverty as a major hindrance to marriage. Usually, a boy’s family desires that girl’s parents should be rich so that they could get maximum dowry and feel proud in their family and social circles of being a rich family. Similarly, a girl’s family wants that a boy’s parents should have an elite social status and boy/bridegroom should be enjoying high official position or should be a well-established businessman, having his own home and car. It’s obvious that both the parties are desirous of enjoying wealth and high social positions out of their greed. Another thing that has been observed is that a boy’s family wants a very beautiful girl. This process of liking and disliking causes an inordinate delay in marriage.

Religiously speaking, it is narrated that poverty and richness are not a permanent phenomenon. If a noble proposal is there for marriage, it must be accepted. Even God withdraws His help if a proposal is rejected for personal reasons. If a person trusts in Allah during dearth and poverty, He ends hiss poverty through his wife and progeny. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (RA) narrates: “Obey Allah’s command of solemnizing Nikah. He will surely meet His promise of making you rich from His hidden treasures.” In this regard, it has been observed that at the time of marriage, financial position of a bridegroom is week, but with the birth of one or two children, suddenly, his financial resources increase.

Since the beginning of this world, parents have been giving preference to their immediate families during the match-making process of their children. There was a time when elders of the family used to decide the match for their children and no one could dare to object or reject that. Such marriages were highly successful. Similarly, in such cases, there was no issue of property/inheritance at any stage.

Due to the deteriorating values of the society, practices have now changed. The institution of family has started facing problems. Especially, due to partition of the subcontinent, the institution of family suffered a lot. Families and relatives got scattered during the partition and settled at far-off places. The rich became the poor and the poor became the rich. People changed their castes for social benefits and prestige. This damaged sincerity and love among families. Parents were forced to solemnise their children’s marriages outside their families.

All this resulted in lack of patience and harmony among people. The ratio of divorce increased manifold. This situation perturbed parents as the future of divorcees became at stake. Moreover, in certain cases, second marriage of a divorcee becomes very difficult. The reason behind all this is that men and women desirous of holding second marriage want a bachelor match and waste very long time in search of ideals. The situation is getting bad to worse day by day.

According to a newspaper report, more than 10 million girls are awaiting marriage. Similarly, 4 million girls have passed their age of marriage. In every fourth home of Pakistan, more than two girls have reached the age of marriage while in every tenth home more than five girls are awaiting marriage. Parents are worried and the situation has resulted in loss of self-confidence among all stockholders. Previously, the best match was searched and identified, but, nowadays; it has become a matter of availability and random choice. Those who keep on finding beautiful faces instead of personal virtues have to face disappointment ultimately.

No government has ever paid heed to this burning issue of our society. However, a few NGOs, political, social and welfare organisations are holding mass marriages for poor girls and boys. Newspapers and TVs cover such ceremonies.

In some cases, it has been reported by bridegrooms that as their parents forced them to solemnise marriage, they (parents) should bear the expenses of their wives. It is obvious that such marriages do nothing except creating problems for the families and the society.

In Turkey, marriage is responsibility of social welfare department. The department prepares a file bearing name of each child after charging a certain amount of fee. The file contains all necessary credentials and a complete medical report. At an appropriate time, the board of the social welfare department fixes the match. Boys and girls are invited; both the parties interact and, with their mutual consent, Nikah ceremony takes place. At a small ceremony, bride departs. This important need may be fulfilled amicably in our society too. Contrarily, most of marriages here are arranged by marriage bureaus and female individuals and there is no role of government in this regard. No doubt, there are many organisations working hard with honesty and commitment to help parents. Through their arrangement, mostly marriages are successful because the decision is taken with the consent of both the parties. It is, however, need of the hour that the marriage institution should be strengthened to make Pakistan a chaste society. Importance should be given to this on priority basis as it would also help alleviate poverty and paucity from Pakistan.

Guest writers are welcome at umun79@gmail.com