New Delhi: In Islam, ‘Mehr’ is a legal right of the wife and it can be in cash, wedding Jewels or kind.
But, in Kerala’s Malappuram district, a Malayali Muslim bride demanded just 50 books from her fiancee as ‘Mehr’, obligatory for husband to pay at the time of marriage, according to Indian Express reports.
Sahla Nechiyil, a PG in Political Science from Hyderabad, asked for books as mehr because of 2 reasons.
“One, because according to the religious texts, a girl can demand anything she wants and the groom cannot disagree. And second, because I wanted to show the Malappuram Muslims that a wedding can take place without obsessing over the amount of gold transacted between both parties,” she said.
Anees Nadodi, the groom supported her stand wholeheartedly.
“Mehr is the right of the woman, not the generosity of the man,” he said.
Like in every case, more than Sahla parents, her relatives express disagreement.
“In the early days of Islam, woman would demand mehr. But elders brought the situation to the notice of the Prophet (PBUH), because women were not allowed to think or decide for herself. Though the Prophet (PBUH) explained that she was doing nothing wrong, the practice saw more and more Muslim women quoting not her demands, but those of the elders as mehr,” she said.
The list of books that Sahla demanded includes Islamic feminist literature, feminist literature, politics, fiction etc.
“The religious texts allow us to live according to our wish, yet these girls fear to speak up or decide for themselves,” she said. “Ani (Anees) had to struggle a little looking for the books I demanded. Making your husband struggle a little is the idea of mehr, anyway,” she added.
In today’s great pomp and show off weddings, Anees and Sahla’s marriage set an example for the community.
They became the first Muslim couple to not have any gold or monetary transactions as mehr.