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Tuesday, 18 May 2010 09:09

Sweating it out in Gulf: Just for Dowry?

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Non Resident Indian’ or ‘NRI’, is a beautiful phrase which naturally impresses common men in Indian society, because generally people think that NRIs lead a happier and more successful life compared to the other Indians.

But, in fact, as far as the Muslim NRIs leading an expatriate life in Gulf countries are concerned the above assumption is not true, as their lives are filled with agony, sorrows, tensions and debts. And surely the main reason for most of their woes is dowry.

There is a huge population of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi in the oil rich countries neighbouring the Persian Gulf. Most of them have flown there with the prime purpose of earning money for getting their daughters and sisters married off to a ‘suitable’ partner.

It is a bitter truth that men too suffer throughout their life along with women because of this menace. Bearing the responsibility of their sisters’ marriage, thousands of people fly to Gulf countries, carry out hard labour without caring about their own health or life. Their main intention and tension is to pile up money for a grand marriage of their daughters and sisters. Many of them stay bachelors even after crossing more than half the age of their life time. “How can I marry, when my sister in the home is still un-married?” This is a common question we often face from many Indians working abroad. And the worst thing is that many people prefer to pay dowry during their sisters’ or daughters’ marriage in the name of “GIFT”, not only to impress their partners but also to be recognised in the ignorant society. Don’t they know that there is no place for dowry in the religion of Islam? Just imagine, a Muslim travelling thousands of kilometres working for years spending an important part of his life for a thing which is outlawed in Islam!

We also can find other kinds of people in Gulf, who go there to earn money for their own marriage! We can say that the entire lives of most of the people, who go to Gulf countries from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Districts, are dedicated for the purpose of marriage and dowry. In other words, marriage in general and dowry in particular is sucking the lives of Muslim community of these two Districts.

Crores of money flows into Dakshina Kannada and Udupi District in a single day from Arabian Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, and a major part of that money ultimately takes the shape of “dowry”. This is neither an exaggeration, nor a rumour, but a bitter fact.

Imagine the difference and the result that one would see, if the same amount of money is utilised in any kind of productive investment. Surely, the picture of the regional Muslim community would drastically change.

It is a historical truth that centuries ago Arab Muslims voyaged to Southern parts of India to spread the message of Islam, which strictly prohibits extravagancy like grand marriages and menaces like dowry, but, unfortunately now, Indian Muslims are flying to Arab countries in order to earn money to pay dowry and arrange grand marriages!

Being the care takers of our sisters and daughters there are many areas, in which we compulsorily have to spend our wealth according to the religion. According to the teachings of Islam the best gift from a father (or caretaker) to his child (whether it is male or female) is nothing but proper education. But, unfortunately, nowadays, it seems that our society has come to a conclusion that dowry is the best gift.

All this happens when we follow bad examples and models in our society. We should always be aware that when we follow or adopt a custom or tradition from anyone, we also will become an example or a model for many people. E.g, if you hold a grand marriage with dowry, many other people of your surroundings too wish to do so. And if you arrange a simple marriage without dowry, that too influences your surroundings and many people may follow you.

Now, I would like to ask an important question with all those Indian expatriates who work in Gulf countries that what kind of example do you want to set for other people of your own community through your wealth and time which are nothing but two gifts of Almighty God? Do you want to spend them only in arranging marriages, parties and paying dowries, which destroy life? Or do you prefer to invest it in any productive sector with the intention of gaining fruits in this world and hereafter too? Are you ready to say good bye to extravagant marriages and practice of dowry?

If we want to follow some other people, why don’t we adopt the example of those people who spend their money for the sake of the education of their daughters rather than spending in their marriages? Why don’t the follow the life style of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), during whose period marriage was an easiest thing for any woman? Why do we dedicate our entire life for the purpose marriage which is nothing but a small part of our precious life? Are we giving more importance to marriage rather than our lives? Whether life is a part of marriage or marriage a part of life??? We have to ask these questions to ourselves, so that we can bring a revolutionary change in the entire community.



Like [2]Dislike [2] #31 , mangalore2010-05-21

Like [3]Dislike [1] #30 , dubai2010-05-21
thank u Mr Abdulla for ur valuable comment.
we are using all the means to reach our people to educate on this practise.
as part of that we were success on the Kazi's trip aswell on our dowryfree concept at sheikmale.
insha allah 2 more jamaths are taking step towards the same with a new programe to help poor men with "mahr".
as everyone know there are more than 180 ladies above the age 40 in our 2 district & alhamdulillah 6 of them got married by last 4 month,insha allah we hope more in future too.
Like [0]Dislike [0] #29 , DXB MLORE2010-05-20
Good Said Br. Abdallah,

Here I agree with you. please do educate, bring the people to fear Allah, the Creator Almighty, Everything will come to constant. No Doubt. Mullas have no fear so they dont want to tell that the System is Haraam. But each and every body know it is Haraam.

Anyways, before we preach let us practice. so dear Brothers in Islam. Please Join Hands to Learn and then teach. and dont depend on others, ssaying we will pay them and they will teach. No. its not gonna Happen. so let us learn and spread the Divine Truth of Quran and Sunnah.

Dowry is the problem, Knowledge of Islam and fear of Allah and practice of Sunnah is the remedy. If a mulla say's that "I cant oppose dowry by saying it is haraam" the we ill have to oppose that mullas. He cant be the follower of precious ISLAM. Islam is pure. please save the pureness of ISLAM.

May Allah reward for those who follow the guidance of Allah and his Messenger (PBUH)
Like [2]Dislike [3] #28 , Abu dhabi2010-05-20
Dear Zahir Shah,
I agree with your concerns regarding both NRIs and dowry system. But I felt you have tried to prescribe an "over the counter prescription" to the serious social issue of dowry. We cannot solve dowry problem overnight by asking people not to give dowry. Dowry is not given voluntarily, it is given out of compulsion. You were harsh on dowry givers but silent on dowry takers. If there is no demand for dowry, would any one offer dowry voluntarily? There is no point in passing the buck to rich people and their posh marriages. Why do we need to follow the rich people in spending only, why can’t we follow them in earning too (let us not assume that all the rich people make money unlawfully)? To counter dowry problem, we need a systemic change, we need to educate our society , we need to create more awareness about correct religious practices among our people.
Again, when we prescribe remedy for dowry menace, it should be two pronged. One, long range steps to tackle the problem permanently and two, immediate steps to take care of our girls who are left unmarried because of dowry. Finally, isn’t there positive side to the dowry system ? Without dowry, can we imagine a poor , not good looking , uneducated, dark girl ever getting married ? No, I am not a dowry supporter , just a thought why would any one marry such a girl ? If you say for the sake of Allah, I wish I will be alive to see such a society.
Like [2]Dislike [0] #27 , Riyadh2010-05-19
Br. zair, good work, keep it up. surprising when ever there is an article related to Anti DOWRY, hell lot of comments supporting the subject. but how to en cash it bringing an end to this NIGHTMARE?.Zair solution lies in the hands of youngsters like you and needs a fierce battle against this dirty menace. The whole process surrounding the Marriage is unislamic. Dont give up, we are with you.
Like [0]Dislike [1] #26 , bantwal2010-05-19
not only muslim community. most often hindu community also facing the same problem
Like [1]Dislike [0] #25 , canada2010-05-19
wow , wonderful article.
mee too suffered a lot at my young.
i wasted my good time by this custom too.
at least stop it now or our next generation too will suffer
Like [0]Dislike [0] #24 , dubai2010-05-18
thank u brother imran for highlighting a excellent point on ur comment.. that dowry custom even effects the relationship between a husband and wife..
Like [0]Dislike [0] #23 , dubai2010-05-18
masha allah...we wanna more sameers in our community.. alhamdulillah.
lets both join hands at first and will join more for this cause

mail me at
thnk u brother sameer
Like [1]Dislike [0] #22 , kuwait2010-05-18
I see every one telling about the good article indeed it is good but the question is who will do the good work you ,I or all of us as a community .we can take this devil practice out of our society but we the youth and the old have to stand by islam and enforce it and follow wht say people are we ready?????????? i come first inshalla i will try my best for this to happen
Like [0]Dislike [0] #21 , RE: Sweating it out in Gulf: Just for Dowry?2010-05-18
Good write up. Need to spread the growing evils of dowry to our young generation.

It is said that the density of the issue is more in our part of India (Kasaragod and beyond), they are spending on dowry and marriage parties much more than others!!

However, a tragedy in this story is many of our young brothers are asking dowry not for himself, but just to get his sister out!! A pathetic situation!!

Like [0]Dislike [0] #20 , Dubai, M'lore2010-05-18
Dear All,

Yes it is a very good article. We are very much appreciating over Brother Zahir. But How much of us are ready to duplicate and get this done in our own lives? How many of us are ready to work for this? How many of us will be ready to educate those white uniformed mullas who are always keep telling this is not not haram in-spite of Allah's clear words give the indication of Haraam?

How many of us??

Dear Brothers, please react. do some thing which you will please Allah. we are accountable for those ignorant people around us. We hold responsible for each and every bad things going around us if we know that and if we dont initiative to stop those evil according to Quran and Sunna.

Quran gives Clear cut message to those who follow it. see Ch:3- V104 and also 110.

see Ch 4: Verse 4

And many more you will find but will understand only if we fear Allah and do according to What Allah and his messenger (SA) has given us. See also Ch4:59.

May Allah Guide us in his right Path.

Jazakallahu Khairan. May Allah reward the noble cause to eradicate the evil to our brother Zahir. if you need any kind of help in educating the people you know me and will be with you, Insha Allah.
Like [0]Dislike [0] #19 , Mangalore/Kuwait2010-05-18
Very nice article brother Zahir Shah, Allah bless you for spreading the awarness about dowry.Thank you CD for publishing such a good article. You people are doing amazing job.
Like [0]Dislike [0] #18 , KSA (RUH)2010-05-18
Zaheer i agree with you that the hard earned money is going to dowry & also the best gift by a father to her daughter is a better education.But today a new business has been established in the society & it is called as dowry.Dowry is like a virus which is slowly & steady damaging the whole society.People are becoming selfish day by day.I think it is one of the signs of doomsday.May ALLAH forgive those persons who have taken dowry & the new generation should take an oath that no to dowry system.Then only the true love will come in exist between husband & wife.
Like [0]Dislike [0] #17 , saudi arabia2010-05-18
Excellent article My Dear Brother Zahir,Especialy our Muslims Parents(mothers...)Shame on those boy or his parents who demand DOWRY like Money,Gold,Car....May Allah bless you for all your efforts and let us strive to make a dowry free society...Ameen
Like [0]Dislike [0] #16 , dubai2010-05-18
Mr Zakir katipalla
thnxs 4 ur feed back... im looking all brothers to join hand with me to fight against this evil so plz cantact me thru
Like [2]Dislike [0] #15 , RE: Sweating it out in Gulf: Just for Dowry?2010-05-18
Brother Zahir has not written an article , he wrote fate and fact of NRI Muslims. Good one. Thank you Brother.

If any one has time please visit T.A. Pai Auditorium or Milagris Hall everyday , you will find a muslim lavish marreige ,where 3 -4 thousand people with lavish food, and a luxury dowry car decorated stationed infront of the door, and bride with 2 to 300 pawans of gold...etc..etc... All these functions are one or other related to those Community Leaders. relegious leaders who speak about dowry and other community problems. All are bogus leaders. Let any one of these leaders come forward and say that I have not taken dowry or I have not given dowry when my sister or my daughters's marriege.
It is now every individual's duty to abolish this system. Educated girls should tell to their parents that I will not marry if any dowry is involved. I am not going to sell myself. I am not cow or horse to make a deal with someone.
Shame on those boy or his parents who demand money , gold and car.
More and more articles and programmes may help giving awarenss against dowry system so that one day we can go back to our country and atleast stay with our kith and kins.
Like [0]Dislike [0] #14 , Kuwait2010-05-18
Excellent article zahir, I request all our CD readers,pls explain our muslim brothers about Dowry.Why Why Why Dowry ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????//
Like [0]Dislike [0] #13 , RE: RE: Sweating it out in Gulf: Just for Dowry?2010-05-18
Sorry its Zahir Shah 'not' Zahir Khan
Like [0]Dislike [0] #12 , Muscat ,Mangalore2010-05-18
Fantastic article by Mr.zahir, its a truth and daily worry for the people working in gulf as well as in India, very hard earn money to be given as dowry ,its Haram and forbidden in Islam,they why dont we all work together to remove this dowry system from our Muslim society? we always see people working in gulf, in tension they work 18 hours and take this halal money for harm things? Allaha guide in right path ameen
Like [0]Dislike [0] #11 , RE: Sweating it out in Gulf: Just for Dowry?2010-05-18
चलो, की पहल हमारे अपने घर से पहले और यदि हम कि में सफल होगी तब हमारे समुदाय से बचाये गये शीघ्र ही इस दहेज कैंसर

यदि हमें खुशी से विवाह रूप में एक लड़की हमारे जीवन में जीवन-साथी तो हम भी ऐसा नहीं करना चाहिए कि दहेज व्यापार पर विचार करने के लिए एक जीवन-साथी उसे एक व्यावसायिक साज्हीदार नहीं है ।

अल्लाह की प्रार्थना करने दीजिए गम्भीरता हटना शुरू करने के लिए अपने दिल धार्मिक कार्यों के साथ इन भयंकर महामारी काउन्मूलन करना हमारे सम्पूर्ण समुदाय से.
Like [0]Dislike [0] #10 , mukka2010-05-18
a great artical go ahead and spread
Like [0]Dislike [0] #9 , dubai2010-05-18
thank u Mr Anis...
very good suggestion.... insha allah v vill look into it..
Like [0]Dislike [0] #8 , dubai2010-05-18
yea Mr Zubair..
i wanna every NRI to open their eyes and see wat a big mistakes they do..

mail me on
Like [0]Dislike [0] #7 , Mangalore,Kuwait2010-05-18
Excellent Article. In Kuwait lot of my friends are suffering from same(Dowry)problem, some of my friends reach 30 age, but still Single(Bachelor). They dont have time think about their self.
Like [0]Dislike [0] #6 , RE: Sweating it out in Gulf: Just for Dowry?2010-05-18
Well said Mr. Zahir Khan,

I think the main obstacle behind this is a lake of proper islamic teaching, in the madrasas in most of our places in Mangalore moulanas teach holy quran to read but they do not translate that because they say its haram. Even in the religious speaches (Wal) in the mosque they will not utter a single word on dowry and its disadvantages, reason nobody knows.

Actually as a matter of fact the dowry issue and islamic way of marriage system should have been tought when we were children, if it is not tought at that time properly when we grow up we take the footsteps of our elders where they took dowry and spent lavishly on marriages and we presume that is the way it should be and its halal.

For that reason I presume we need to bring some kind of reform in the islamic teachings in the madrasas so as to make sure we are leaving with in the boundaries of Islam.

I think Just reading the quran is not only sufficient but understanding and practicing and initiating the same in our day to day life is also very much important.
Like [0]Dislike [0] #5 , Riyadh2010-05-18
Very good article, well said Mr. Zahir Shah, in the modern society most of parents assums that paying or receiving high rated dowry is the best gift for their childrens. The parents wraped to pay huge dowry to face his up in the society.
It is utmost true that we the NRI's spending our life in the gulf countries just to pay a large dowry or to build a luxurious house! why don't we save our earnings for our children's education or for a commercial investments.
Like [1]Dislike [0] #4 , RE: Sweating it out in Gulf: Just for Dowry?2010-05-18
Better you covert this article in kannada and spread it over to our state especialy Muslims sisters and mothers...
Like [0]Dislike [0] #3 , UAE.2010-05-18
Excellent article Zahir! Let this be an eye opener for all muslims who are not following Islam. The false "Pride" seems to be more important than leading a simple life.

May Allah bless you for all your efforts and let us strive to make a dowry free society.
Like [0]Dislike [0] #2 , Saudi Arebia2010-05-18
wonderful article by Br.Zahir Shah,very informative to read,all exptriates who work in gulf countries should find solution to above questions from now itself not waiting for future
Like [0]Dislike [0] #1 , KSA (RUH)2010-05-18
A very good article written by Mr.Zahir Shah.Fine go ahead & spread this message to the world that NRI are also like common man of India.NRI have to face many hardships in life since to adjust in a different country is not that easy as others think that NRI are very rich people.

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