Dowry ~ A Meaningless Stigma

By Aleesha Shahzad Bhatti

Dowry is the property that a daughter takes to his husband’s house at the time of marriage. It is sometimes money, clothes, households or expensive gifts for in-laws. It was never a necessary thing to be practiced but it has been made part of our tradition. As time passed by, the greed to get more and more stuff in dowries increased.

However, Dowry has become a worst nightmare in women’s life. Privileges of our society gives dowry as per their own status. They give things from essential requirements to the things that come in luxuries. They show their status by giving increasingly more in dowries. It often becomes a burden to families who cannot afford to give their daughters expensive things. It is difficult for them to satisfy needs of groom’s side and as an outcome their daughters are left unmarried just because of this evil practice i.e Dowry. People don’t think about the worries and concerns of parents about the marriage of their daughters but they only focus on demanding car, bikes and property as a dowry. Needy individuals are being granulated in the merciless competition of dowries.

Dowry is practiced by everyone in the society whether illiterate or educated. Its a bitter but true reality that we fix dowry charges for boys of various classes doctors, engineers, lecturers, commercial enterprise men, etc. Merit of the lady is of no value. Parents locate it tough to pick a boy, well-settled in life. On the alternative hand, the boy accepts that lady who belongs to a well-off family, quite knowledgeable in providing and earns. He additionally wishes a lady whose mother and father can provide hefty dowry at the time of marriage. Even educated parents expect their daughter-in-law to bring money and gifts from her family. They use the dowry system as a short-cut to gain wealth. They torture someone else’s daughter forgetting that their own daughter might also meet a similar fate.

Parents spend their whole life to give their daughter the best life but when the time of responsibility (i.e marriage of daughter) comes, This dowry system brings a darkish cloud above the heads of the bride’s family. Fathers of girls worry about the day of their daughter’s marriage and store cash for that unique day.

Some people believe that their standing in society can improve by giving and receiving dowry. If the parents of brides don’t have enough money to offer dowry, then after the marriage, this will badly affect the girl being married i.e girl has to get through bitter taunts about her family being poor. Husbands, for the most part, beat their wives until they bring dowry from their parents’ home and in some cases to exploit the girl and her family, threats of divorce are used in Pakistan.

This is one of the motives the birth of a daughter in Pakistan has appeared as a burden.

Hence,For a mere amount of money, a car and some pieces of furniture, men who anticipate and claim dowry from their would-be wives barter the prospects of a happy marital relationship.

Since Dowry has become a stigma in our society, girls after marriage are only judged on the basis of what they bring along with them in their dowries irrespective of the fact that those necessities are to be fulfilled by husband after marriage. This is husband’s responsibility to give his wife whatever she wishes for. When a man owns a woman, it’s his duty to take care of her and her needs. It’s illogical for a man to ask for money from a girl’s parents.
The giving of dowry, some even attributing it to the Sunnah, is often equated with a religious ritual but There is no mention of any such concept concerning a bride anywhere in any book. Dowry has no basis in Islam and was never practiced in our islamic history. Though dowry has to be given by husband to his wife in the form of “Mehr”.
About Mehr it is mentioned in Quran as:

“And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allaah has made it lawful)”
[al-Nisa’ 4:4].

The definition of a dowry and Mehr is misunderstood by most individuals. The sum given by the groom to her bride is A Mehr. In Islam, this practice is obligatory, and was developed simply to protect women rights. It is a significant amount, usually set by the groom’s family.
Cultures that demand dowry from the bride’s family are literally practicing the other of what Allah has commanded.
Since it’s crystal clear that dowry has no basis in Islam, it must not be practiced in our tradition too. A girl must not be tortured to bring dowry from her parents. Every girl should get a better place after marriage irrespective of what she brings with her at the time of marriage. This dowry culture should not be promoted in our society in order to give importance and deserved value to women in society. Everyone should start normalising anti-dowry culture in order to lessen up the burden on parents of girls at the time of their marriages.

A great step has been taken on this issue in the form of “Ban On Dowry” previously in Pakistan but the need is to implement it in our society starting from ourselves to let each girl live happily after marriage.

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