Eradicate dowry system in community; it’s ‘haraam’, act of sin: Asma Zehra

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Dr Asma Zehra, chief organiser Women’s Wing of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).

Eradicate the evil of dowry on a war-footing, Dr Asma Zehra, chief organiser Women’s Wing of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), has appealed to the members of the Muslim community.

Dowry is “Haraam” and an act of sin. Marriages should be made simple and easy according to Sunnah of Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Participation and attendance in marriages where dowry is given or taken should be avoided totally to eradicate this evil, she said.

This appeal comes in the wake of the suicide of Ayesha Arif Khan in Ahmadabad. This tragic incident had shaken the Muslim Community across India.

The issue of dowry and harassment for dowry has led to the death of an innocent daughter. This needs condemnation in the strongest terms. The community should eradicate this evil, Dr Zehra said in a statement on Monday evening from Hyderabad.

Dr Zehra has appealed to the elders of the Muslim community especially Ulema and Imaams to create awareness of “simple marriage” and condemn the taking and giving of dowry in any form at Friday “Khutba” (sermons) in Mosques.

Harassment for dowry

She pointed out that Ayesha was suffering from harassment by her husband and in-laws. She was under deep depression and grief with the loss of hope together with severe social pressure. The last words of the victim that she “doesn’t want to see the face of any human being”, reflects her agony and pain. And her departing video has shaken the community, especially women, she lamented.

The statement said: “Evil of dowry has deep roots in the society. Every class – the rich and poor, educated and illiterate – continue to demand cash, furniture, vehicle and dinner from the bride’s parents.

“Islamic laws empower women with “Meher” at the time of marriage and lay the responsibility of setting up of house on man as he is the “Qawwam” (Care-taker) of the family.

Deep rooted un-Islamic customs

“However, it is a sad reality that the Muslim community has gone into collective transgression by deviating from the path of Islam. Lack of awareness and deep-rooted un-Islamic customs and traditions have made marriage difficult and poor girls, whose parents are not in a position to pay dowry, spend years without marriage.

“After marriage, the women face domestic issues, harassment from husband and in-laws. But there is no redressal system in place in the community or society. Suicide is “Haraam” (totally forbidden) but the circumstances leading to this event need deeper introspection”.

Daughters are precious pearls. Their safety and security should be the top priority of the community. It is time to introspect and repent for this collective criminal negligence of the Muslim community towards the daughters, Dr Zehra moaned.

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