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Muslim cleric issues fatwa against dowry in Bihar

By Ians English

Patna, Nov 3: A Muslim cleric in Bihar has opposed a demand for dowry and issued a fatwa against organising dinner or lunch with the money received from bride's family.

Qazi Maulana Mansur Alam, chief Imarat-e Sharia of Bihar Sharif in Nalanda district, has said it is illegal and forbidden in Islam to use money received as dowry in organising dinner or lunch in a reception ceremony after marriage.

He said the reception party is a sunnah (sunnah is the way of life prescribed as normative for Muslims on the basis of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad) but for the past few years, people are following a trend of organising reception known as 'dawate-walima' after marriage, contrary to Islam.

It has become an occasion to display wealth, he said.

"Such receptions, organised from the money received as dowry, are totally forbidden and sinful in Islam," Alam told IANS Monday.

"Issuing a fatwa is a part of our fight against social evils like dowry and create awareness. It is a kind of social boycott to warn dowry takers," he said.

Alam said dowry is not allowed in Islam and Muslims are bound to follow it. Reception is a simple way for getting blessings from Allah but it has been turned into a worldly show, which is improper.

"In Islam, credit or loan on interest is also illegal and forbidden," he said.

Early this year, Alam has declared that Muslim clerics would not conduct marriages of those who give or take dowry. "We have decided not to conduct nikah (marriage) for those who take and give dowry," he said.

It is only in Islam that at the time of marriages, a groom hands over to his bride a sum of money called 'Mehr', which is a token of his willingness to accept the responsibility of bearing all expenses of his wife.

According to the Islamic jurisprudence, a woman married to a Muslim man has a right to get property or money which is called 'Mehr'.


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