AIMPLB to start anti-dowry campaign

Lucknow: Concerned with the increasing practice of demanding dowry among Muslims in past some years, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has decided to launch a nation-wide campaign against it soon.

"The AIMLPB has decided to persuade community members not to demand dowry in marriages and they will be made aware that it is a social evil," board member Zafaryab Jilani said.

During the board's meeting last month, its members expressed concern over increasing practice of dowry among community members in pat 5-6 years.

"There is no provision for taking dowry. There is only one provision for (taking) meher, which the groom side promises to pay the girl," a board member said.

Though the board has noticed this trend among the community, they do not have any specific data yet.

Jilani said that as a part of the anti-dowry campaign, the board members along with other influential people of the society and local residents will visit houses where marriages were scheduled.

"Parents of the groom will be persuaded not to demand dowry," he said.

Giving gifts to the bride is considered to be "Sunnat" and justified, but there should not be any demand or pressure from the groom side. But the bride's family should not offer gifts beyond their financial capacity, he added.

He said the board has been making effort since long to dissuade Muslims from taking dowry. "But this will be the first time when board will be launching such a campaign to dissuade community members directly," Jilani said.

He said that there was a proposal that the board members should boycott marriages where dowry was given or accepted.

"Some members agreed with the proposal, but then it was thought that boycotting such functions was not a solution to the problem," he added.

The ALMPLB member said besides creating awareness against dowry, the board will also persuade people not to get involve in pomp and show during marriages.

"People will be told not to make extravagant expenses in marriages, made with the sole purpose to show-off to others," he said.

The board will persuade people to organise marriages in the Mosque so as to avoid unnecessary expenditure.

"The Groom side can organise "waliam" (reception), but from their own sources and it should not be passed on the bride's side," he added.

The purpose behind the exercise is that girls hailing from weaker section could also get married easily.

Jilani said the board will also be issuing a detailed guideline on these issues.

There was also a proposal that "Qazi or Imam" should not perform marriages in functions where dowry was taken or unnecessary expenses were made, but the proposal was found to be impractical.