Excessive Dowries [Archives:2004/773/Culture]

September 16 2004

Excessive dowries is a phenomenon growing worse in our society everyday, and it is spreading unbelievably! It is an issue from which many of the youths are suffering. If we ask ourselves who is to blame for seeking, enhancing, and synchronizing such a phenomenon, we will of course say openly (and regretfully) that fathers are the main people who look at marriage from the perspective of “who will pay more?” The girl has become a commodity, sold and purchased, like any anything else on the market, without feeling for her emotions or her well-being as a human! She is treated with cruelty and disgraced.
They look at her as if she is a dependant who has to be got rid of, compared against a dowry which could satisfy her family. It is believed from this phenomenon that there is no social and religious awareness of the father, who also has no mercy towards the youths striving to get married.
In many cases, we find the laws, phenomenon and costs of the marriage party are very high, and borne by the groom. He has either to perform what is required from him or to withdraw from the marriage. Truly, many youths are avoiding marriage because of several reasons, most significant of which is the high-priced dowries which have become a heavy burden on them!
The youth intending to get married, may save the value of his bride, but may not be able to afford the rest of the money required to complete his marriage celebration in a best manner – such as the customs and phenomenon imposed on us like carrying out the party in magnificent out-of-door party halls, and the dinner feast.
Another causes of such high-priced dowries is as a result of some rich people, who pay extortionate amounts to the fathers of brides, implicitly setting an unpleasant trend. Consequently, we find that many people ask for similarly high amounts to get their daughters married off, believing that such a thing preserves their daughters' dignity! To add insult to injury, some of the fathers are not able to keep pace with the requirements of the marriage party, thus, they off load the full burden onto the groom, with no mercy or sympathy for him.
Therefore we, as civilized youths, ought to raise the awareness of our fathers, and direct them towards a better understanding of the correct attitude towards marriage dowries. All fathers must look towards their daughter's best interests in choosing for her a suitable husband, not by demanding huge amounts of money to buy her! As well, we ought to raise the awareness among people so as to abandon such terrible customs and practices which merely cause poverty and waste money.
We have to balance matters and try to do according to the prophet's saying, “we have to raise awareness in ourselves of religion first, and then in cultural and social awareness”.
Secondly, rich men have to be conscious of Almighty God in their dealings, as their excesses and exaggerations create social discrimination among people, and on top of it all, it is forbidden. Meanwhile, if fathers find the groom is a suitable for their daughter, they should not overburden him, even if he is capable of shouldering such heavy burden. Cooperation should be given due consideration to facilitate the marital affairs, not to cause difficulties as this is leading to misdemeanors among youths who may sometimes resort to wrongful ways such as illegal marriage, for example.
This is the easier way for two people to get married to each other, by eloping and marrying away from their families! In so doing, they escape from the phenomenon of the huge amounts which ought to be paid by the young man.
Sometimes, wrongful deeds might take place among the youths, which may lead to loss of the girl and the young man simultaneously. Thus, disaster occurs as a result of the abuse of fathers to their sons and daughters who want to get married. We must understand matters well from the very beginning, and look upon the youths status with more mercy and humanity.
A legal marriage according to the light of Almighty God's instructions is better than the harmful results damaging to the family, youths and the society as a whole, resulting from any alternative. We must not look at marriage from only one corner represented by money, but, we have to look at it from several perspectives noting various considerations.
Perhaps the most important of which is psychological and emotional stability, in addition to several other factors which determine whether the marriage will be successful. Money is not the only factor – marriage partners should be well-selected, mutual accepted, and sincere to expressions of well meaning.
If we had known it, we would not have had reached to the situation we are living in.