Aquib Ul Ahad Wani
Marriage which you can also call it Wedlock, wedding, but most preferable term used is NIKKAH, which means the joining of two hearts, and two different families via Nikkah. Nikkah was first celebrated in heavens, the Nikkah of our Father Adam and our Mother Hawwa. Unfortunately, marriage has become a very big issue today. If someone thinks about marriage they immediately think of all the stress, hassles and responsibilities. Youth who are in colleges and universities, date with different girls every week, to commit sin, yet they don’t want to get married because marriage has become such a big hassle. The reality is, marriage is very simple. Due to our traditions, culture, and customs, marriages have become costly and adultery or Zina have become cheap. There are numerous contributory causes of late marriage. Few among them are Dowry, an extravaganza in making marriage, unemployment, and settlement outside of native places. Dowry is oldest social evil that is still prevailing in both subtle and obvious ways and is a well-established reason of late marriages. In spite of long being said and done against this custom, it is one of the basic existing causes of late-marriages. As per fresh reports, 15 deaths were reported in the last 3yrs over the demand of dowry by in-laws in Kashmir. This evil has impeded the poor parents to think about wed-locking their girls.
Extravaganza in marriages is another factor that contributes to late marriages. Kashmir witnessed the new reprehensible trend of serving dishes beyond limits in wedding feasts; even currency notes of the high denomination were presented to guests. Others have to follow such trends compulsively to evade disgrace. But the poor families fail to withstand this pressure and find it difficult to get their daughters married. Unemployment also influences marriages. To live the life of prosperity is the aim of everyone which is not possible without employment. So, before thinking of marriage, getting a job (especially government job) becomes the first priority of every man. Employment being financial security, women also prefer government employed spouse. Nevertheless, unavailability of government jobs makes most of the youth including girls to wait till they cross marriageable age.
Parents are more responsible towards the late marriage menace, their choice is that, their children should get a healthy job and high salary in order to get married. Unfortunately, the children cross all limits while reaching their parents expectations. One more factor that is responsible for a late marriage of girls is the settlement of boys outside of their native state /country. Unemployment has forced many young men to migrate to other states and countries to have economic prosperity. Economic prosperity followed by the change in their living standards engage them in a way they never consider returning back to the native state/ country. Mostly they choose their partner there and settle forever. This has resulted in the imbalance between the two genders in a state of J&K; resultantly we have thousands of over-aged unmarried women.
To resolve this grave issue, one and all have to come forward for the elimination of above-mentioned problems. Anti-dowry laws should be stricter that can help to contain the problem. Wealthy families should abstain from lavishly staged marriage ceremonies and prefer its solemnization in an austere way. They need to think of lower-classes who get suffered by their undesirable ostentation. Unemployment is a major concern and is rising uninterruptedly. Either we have to delink marriage from employment or there is no solution other than government’s active role to put an end to favoritism and nepotism. The latter would not only generate competitiveness among youth but would help to check the problem of unemployment thence late marriage. Lastly, apart from choosing simpler ways of making marriages, giving preferences to local girls for the union us the responsibility of every young man. We as Muslims need to remember “Nikah” has been made easy. By complicating and making it difficult we are giving space to evils for which we would be blamable on the resurrection day.
(The author is a student of law at University of Kashmir and a freelancer. Views are his own )