Well, certainly there is no second opinion about the fact that we ought to get rid of this curse that is dowry; it has shattered the dreams of innumerable girls in our society. The complete code of life, Islam, nowhere endorses the idea of dowry. The concept of dowry typically relates of Hinduism where girls were not given any share in inheritance. If we study about marriage ceremony of Hazrat Fatima, the dearest daughter of our Holy Prophet SAW, we find that Holy Prophet PBUH did not specially arrange something for his dearest daughter in the name of dowry, the way it is done nowadays.
Recently, an online campaign has been launched with hashtags of “#StopJahezKhori”, “#JahezKhoriBandKaro” (Stop dowry). This online movement has received a tremendous response on social media, which is quite encouraging. People from various walks of life are chipping in to support this campaign without any reluctance. But the point is how actually this idea would materialize into reality. It is being said that generally, those of us who are actually supporting this campaign belong to families who not only give lavish dowry but also spend millions on various functions in the name of wedding. Besides, some of us are coming up with parallel hashtags series i.e. “#StopAskingForSettledLarka”, “WellSettledLarkaMangnaBandKaro” (stop looking for well settled son-in-law), #BridalShowerBandKaro etc. This is quite unfortunate. We should not victimize a noble campaign by highlighting another social evil prevailing in the society. However, at the same time we ought to reconsider the transformation of marriages into really luxurious events. Wasting hundreds of thousands in the name of bridal showers, wedding joras, catering of the events, flower decors, mayoon, etc. and offering or demanding millions’ dowry would certainly leave the middle and lower middle class families in a fix; they feel compelled to ape the others and by hook or by crook, they also have to bear come up with extravagant wedding events and of course, dowries. Unless, those of us who can afford these super expensive events and items of millions, adopt a moderate approach in weddings, the fruitful outcome of such campaigns cannot be witnessed.
When it comes towards “asking for well settled larka”, parents of a girl, undoubtedly, are justified to inquire about gentlemanliness and a reasonable source of income of the boy with whom they plan to marry their daughter. Nevertheless, here again we don’t remain limited to the limits we ought to. In our society, parents have been seen looking for a damad (son-in-law) who is earning in six figures per month and, at the same time, they have been observed inquiring about the bank balance, luxury cars and bungalow, the prospective son-in-law owns. Here, parents of the girl should also remain moderate and give first preference to character traits and gentlemanliness while choosing their son-in-law.
Neither Islam categorically forbids inquiring about reasonable source of income of prospective son-in-law nor it stops gifting something to your daughter, son, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or any other relationship. However, it clearly negates splurge and extravagance. And mind it, gifting something also nowhere permits a guy to exploit parents of a girl who are forced to spend millions in the name of this so-called-gift - dowry. So parents of boys who claim “apni beiti ko he gift dena hai, hamain thori kuch dena” (parents will gift their daughter not us) are nowhere permitted to take undue advantage of this phenomenon. They have no right to comment (read: taunt) if parents of a girl gift (or don’t gift) anything to her. as they don’t have any right to demand anything in the name of dowry. Rather, it is the responsibility of the groom to be to support his wife. So, whether you are on the side of “stopping jahezkhori” or a proponent of “stopping demanding well settled larka”, let’s come out of this sick mindset and change all that is bad. After all, it takes two to get it right.