By Mian Usman
Our society has got many false beliefs and unrealistic approaches to life. One of the curse that we have seen over the years as over spending at the weddings and especially on dowry.
Its easy for people who are filthy rich to give their daughters all the possible things which could bring comfort to daughters life in the days to come. It starts with gifting land, furnished house, factories, cash, jewellery, latest model expensive cars etc. Although they get their daughters married in the same rich class who might not be needing dowry but they still bear this expense as they think that this would keep the brides head high at the house of In-laws.
But Rich and elite class is not a majority in Pakistan. Parents having middle or lower income level struggled through out their lives to give a better education and a dream wedding to their daughters. A good dowry expectation is from all the families even illiterate or educated. Poor parents spend their life savings and take additional loans to send their beloved daughter’s away after wedding. Despite the fact that our Holy Prophet Mohammad may peace be upon him has always rated a daughter as a blessing of Allah to the people, still having a baby girl is not much celebrated in Pakistan especially in the middle income earning families and struggle a lot to be able to fulfil the demands of the Girl’s potential in laws at the time of her wedding.
Why cant we put an end to this trend? The amount of money that has spent on weddings is far beyond apprehension and its a total torture to the parents. The routine feed back we get that since every body is doing it so we have to do it. This trend can be changed by an effort on the part of a boy who is getting married, if he is able to convince his family to not to put a huge burden on the bride’s family in terms of dowry and the marriage is also to be celebrated in a simple and decent manner. The change in culture and trend can be brought if men decide not to get advantage of the marriage contract to change life styles. The worst thing is demands from the bride grooms family for cash and other stuff which they dont have seen themselves in the life time. Price of Gold has almost made it impossible for most of the people to arrange a reasonable jewellery for their daughters but the demands are there so they have to use every available source to come up to the expectations of every one in terms of giving a good dowry.
Its a shame and a challenge on our hands to exclude this tradition from our lives. All we need is few good examples from wealthy people to celebrate weddings in a simple and modest manner and a lot of men from middle income level families firmly refusing to take dowry in any form. It will be a welcome change but we need quite a few dare devils to come forward and set a new living standard. Parents focus should be on giving a good education to the girls so that she can be a helping hand to her husbands earnings by doing a suitable job and can also become a good mother of the future. A lot has been said and written about this but nothing practical has been done apart from an attempt to have single dish at functions or not allowing food at weddings. But it never helped, poor parents had to arrange dinners at house or had to give dinner/lunch parcels to families in any case. Rich people were happily paying fines and feeding the wedding guests.
We are still an under developed Nation and such expenses are not suitable for us if we want to survive in the tough economic conditions. Government can help by making a practical law to discourage or ban DOWRY and we as individuals can take this evil out by saying no to it in real terms. We need to lead a simple life which is encouraged in our religion and we have got several examples from the life of our Prophet Muhammad may peace be upon him, His companions and a lot of rulers of the Muslim world in the past. All we need is solemn pledge to our heart n soul that we would come forward and would not wait for government and people around us to take the initiative.
This would help a lot of parents to lead a stress free and easy life, we see a lot of parents working day in and night out, doing two jobs at a time to fulfil one dream; a decent wedding ceremony for their daughters. Lets be part of a struggle to help them.