September 7, 2006
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Sept 6: In a significant move, the 130-year-old Jamia Nizamia has declared unscrupulous Arabs marrying young Indian Muslim girls as "gunahgar" (sinners) and liable to be punished under Shariah (Islamic jurisprudence).
"Nikah is for life and a person marrying a woman should have the niyat (intention) of keeping her for ever. If a person weds a woman with the idea of deserting her after enjoying her for a specific period, he becomes a sinner. He is answerable to the Almighty God in the Hereafter and society in this life. Under Islamic law such a person is liable for imprisonment or lashes," says Moulana Mufti Khaleel Ahmad, vice-chancellor of Jamia Nizamia, the premier Islamic institute of higher learning in the South.
Reacting sharply to the increasing menace of "bride bazar" in Hyderabad and other parts of the country, Mufti Khaleel Ahmad, who is also the chief mufti of the institute, told this correspondent in an "oral decree" (fatwa) that Islamic Shariah had made the institution of marriage sacred and no one had the right to make a "tamasha" (mockery) of it. If anyone makes a mockery of Nikah by marrying a woman just to have sex with her for certain period, he becomes a sinner. Nikah is not meant to loot a woman of her chastity or cheat her.
He said the Nikah would become null and void if a person makes known his intention to the Qazi at the time of wedding that he was for a temporary wedlock. The chief mufti said though the Nikah of old Arabs with young Indian girls was valid legally according to the Shariah, the unscrupulous bridegrooms were answerable to the Almighty God for deceiving women.
"The problem is we do not know the real intentions of the Arab bridegrooms. If we know we can stop them. Since the Qazi and the parents perform the marriage in good faith, they are not to be blamed. However, since Arab marriages have become rampant and increasingly turning out to be temporary and for lust, the Indian government should enact some rigid laws or impose conditions just like the Saudi and other Arab governments," Mufti Khaleel Ahmad pointed out.
He suggested that parents should think twice before giving their girls in marriage. "There should be a proper and thorough investigation into the antecedents of the Arab bridegrooms. They should verify whether they had permission from their respective governments to marry Indian girls," the Mufti noted.
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