All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has released a statement regarding the issue of dowry in Indian marriages. This has come in the background of a heart wrenching widely circulated pre-suicide video by Aisha Arif Khan, a young girl from Ahmedabad city of Gujarat. In the video, Ayesha is seen expressing her defeat in the battle of married life. Though she doesn’t blame anyone for her suicide, she does refer to evil in humans and one-sided love. After the recovery of her body from the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad, more evidence has emerged confirming the psychological brutality inflicted on Ayesha by her in-laws.
There are also indications that most of the humiliation meted out to her was because she could not fulfillrelentless dowry demands made by people in her matrimonial home.
The AIMPLB press release contains the strongly worded message by Maulana WaliRahmani, the General Secretary of the board who calls for an honest and sincere introspection by the society in matters like these. He says that Muslims should learn the bitter lesson from the incident and should take all measures to end the social curse of dowry. In the matrimonial home, the girl should get all love and respect. To harass her in the name of dowry, taunting and pressurising her to get money from her home is the worst kind of human behaviour.
In shariah, giving and taking dowry is forbidden, yet unfortunately, people do not desist.
Maulana Rahmani clarified that AIMPLB is trying to resolve this issue at the organisational level and has conducted several awareness programmes in different regions across the country. He makes a general call to all to get associated with these initiatives of the board and exhorts people to make a resolution that they will neither take nor give dowry in any of the matrimonial events. Any demand of dowry puts the girl and her family under a lot of pressure and is extremely demoralising. It is necessary to ensure that sad incidences like these do not repeat or appear in any form whatsoever.
On behalf of AIMPLB, Maulana Rahmani makes a passionate appeal to everyone that they must be conscious of giving the same respect and dignity to the girl in the house like it is usually given to the boy. She must be treated kindly and with love. They should realise that their daughter-in-law is the daughter of somebody and that their daughter will get married to someone eventually. If everyone starts treating daughters-in-law like their own daughters, practices like dowry demands will end. To keep a balance in the society, evils like these must be resisted with full force.
Lastly, he said that suicide does not have a sanction in Islam.As a matter of fact, instances like dowry related suicides and burning the girl to death are much more prevalent in other communities as compared to Muslims. This matter is getting media traction only to peddle false propaganda of widespread suicides among Muslims.