Most preferable term for marriage 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. Seen from the religious angle, Muslim marriage is an ibadaat (devotional act). The Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said that it Is essential for every physically fit Muslim to enter into marriage, the only condition being that he should be capable to afford it. And the well known saying attributed to the prophet, “there is no mockery in Islam” expresses his attitude towards celibacy briefly but adequately. Marriage is an institution which leads to the upliftment of man and is a means for continuance of the human race. Spouses are strictly enjoined to honour and love each other. It is also reported by some of the writers that Prophet (SAW) has said that marriage is equal to Jehad (Holy-war), it is sinful not to contract a marrriage, it is Sunnah, And it is obligatory on those who are physically fit provided if the person can afford it. Moreover, the following traditions may also be taken into consideration. There are three persons whom the Almighty himself has undertaken to help. First, he who seeks his freedom; second, he who marries with a view to secure his chastity, and third, he who fights in the cause of God. He who marries, complete half of his religion, it is now rests with him to complete the other half by leading a virtuous life in constant fear of god. Whosoever marries a woman in order that he may retain his eyes God puteth a blessedness in her for him, and in him for her. Unfortunately, marriage has become a very big issue today. If someone thinks about marriage they immediately think of all the stress, hassles and responsibilities. IN recent years, there have been so many innovatory customs that have associated with Muslim Marriages in Kashmir (Indian Administered Kashmir).Mehandi, Ring Ceremony, Cake Ceremony, engagement ceremony in hotels, Baraat with 200 Men, Phir saal, Wazawan with 35 dishes, Staging of Bride & Groom Professional Singers and Dancers, Illumination The Prophet (SAW) said, “The Best Nikah is the one with least Expenses “thousands of marriages are pending in Kashmir. The students of various Universities had been involved in some research work regarding the late marriage phenomenon in the valley. Most of the marriages are pending because they fall in the ‘Non Affordable’ category according to the standards set by the Kashmiri society. There are numerous contributory causes of late marriage. Few among them are Dowry, extravagance, unemployment and settlement outside of native places. Requesting a high amount of Mahr is also cause of delaying marriage. There is no doubt that extravagance in dowries is one of the major causes of marriage delay and failure of many youth to have a wife, which considerably affects the issue of matrimony. Truly, the delay of marriage for youth causes many problems. So, it is obligatory to give much care to this issue. Hence, a person should carefully avoid boasting or being ostentatious in demanding dowries, giving banquets, etc., because boasting and ostentation in such matters harm everyone and cause many problems. My advice to all Muslims is to make such things easy and to reduce its expenses as much as possible, and also to reduce the expenses of Walimahs (wedding banquets) and not to lavishly spend on it. For, though people now enjoy welfare, still it is difficult for people to prepare such banquets. Therefore, dear brother do not hold a large Walimah, but rather limit it to moderate things which suffice in observing the Sunnah, without exerting yourself or bothering others, who are in no need to attend the ceremony. Thus, if a person slaughters one, two or three animals for the wedding banquet, it will be sufficient and rewarding. Likewise, this applies in womanly issues and things related to marriage declaration, invitation of many women, announcing marriage through loudspeakers and staying up all night long. For these things lead to manifest evil and serious corruption. So, frugality involves great benefit, and it involves facilitating marriage, getting many youth married, increasing birthrates and enhancing benefits. Perhaps the state might be guided to something that entails great benefit for the Ummah through increasing marriages and eliminating adultery by instructing people to assume frugality as regards dowries and to avoid excessiveness. We ask Allah to guide the government, Muslim rulers, scholars as well as all common Muslims to things which benefit them and their society and which avail the poor and weak among them. We also ask Allah to guide all the people to things which involve their good and their salvation and to help in this life and in the Afterlife. Dowry is oldest social evil that is still prevailing in both subtle and obvious ways and is a well-established reason of late marriages.
As per fresh reports, 15 dowry related deaths were reported in the last 3 years in Kashmir. This evil has impeded the poor parents to think about marrying off their girls. Extravagance 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. 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 has become cheap. 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 parental expectations. Unemployment has forced many young men to migrate to other states and countries to have economic prosperity. Mostly they choose their partner there and settle forever. 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. 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 is 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 held accountable on the resurrection day.
(The Author is LLM Scholar at Central University of Punjab Bathinda. Opinions expressed are solely his own)