Nikkah or Marriage is a social union or legal contract between two individuals, a man and a woman that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate are acknowledged depending on the religion, culture or the social setup the people live in.
People have diverse ways of celebrating marriages according to their customs or religious beliefs. Muslim marriage (Nikkah) needs a consent by both adult partners that is recorded and properly documented in presence of at least three adult mentally sound males.
Since majority of the population in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is Muslim, the institution of marriage is and should be bound by the principles of Islam. Even though the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) has always advised to make Nikkah an easy custom, but over a period of time people in Kashmir have made the entire process so complex that girls of marriageable age find it hard to get a match these days.
According to an unconfirmed survey nearly 45 thousand girls have crossed the marriageable age in Kashmir as the social demands have grown to such an extent that an average household finds it hard to get their daughter married off in a simple and less expensive way.
However, just yesterday we witnessed a biggest mass marriage in Srinagar with around 1058 couples tying the nuptial knot at Srinagar’s Amar Singh Club.
Although the function was simple, but hundreds of people had gathered to witness a first of its kind event in Kashmir.
The function was organized by Jafri council of Kashmir and the majority of the deserving couples belonged to northern parts of Kashmir’s Uri, Pattan, Baramulla, Sumbal and central Kashmir’s Srinagar, and Budgam.
In 2015 the Council undertook marrying 38 couples from deserving categories of the society. In 2016, 70 couples married in a joint function and in 2017, the number was 75. However, this year’s function was biggest by any means. This increase in the number of couples who want to make marriage as simple as possible shows that the educated and even the less educated youth are interested in making the social institution an ease for everyone.
The functions organised by the council are sponsored by donors, but one thing is clear that these type of functions incur least amount of costs and the benefits are mammoth. The process of carrying forward the process of involving the couples to get married too is simple.
The council gets dozens of applications every week, which are later verified and one those who belong to the deserving category are accepted. This exercise have proven that the institution of marriage can be strengthened by making the entire process simple and most importantly, affordable for those who find it hard to spend lakhs on marriage ceremonies.
The society needs to accept this norm of solemnizing the marriages among Muslims in the state as we have been spending extravagantly on marriage ceremonies from the last several decades. Let us take a pledge that such marriages will become a norm in our society so that equality in promoted in real sense.
Our society is involved in various other complex issues which need immediate redressal and if our institution of marriage is simplified it will provide us enough of resources to be utilized in other much demanding sectors.