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Indian Got.'s booklet on marriages to NRIs

Hyderabad Muslims reject the NRI books's proposal to meet alone before marriage

'No' to meet-before-marriage proposal

HYDERABAD,Feb. 28, 2006
Md A Basith

A proposal of allowing brides and grooms to meet alone before marriage to understand each other and share feelings, in case the groom is an expatriate or an NRI, has been rejected by Muslims in Hyderabad.

The idea was proposed by the Union government's ministry of overseas Indian affairs. A booklet of guidelines on 'marriages to overseas Indians' has been drafted by the ministry of overseas Indian affairs as a safeguard for women getting married to an expatriate or an NRI.

The booklet proposes that women be given an opportunity to get information about the groom, his job, salary and living status abroad.

The most important issue in the failure of some NRI marriages is the lack of understanding between the bride and groom once the bride is taken abroad.

The ministry has found that the hurried marriages could mar relationship. The ministry sent the guidelines to Hyderabad through the wakf board for a feedback of the community.

The wakf board referred the guidelines to several religious institutions and scholars who all promptly rejected them stating they were against the shariah.

"We can allow the couple to see each other before marriage for a few minutes. But they can not be left alone for understanding each other or sharing their feelings," a senior wakf board official said.

"It is wrong to say that relationships are breaking up due to lack of sharing of feelings and likes and dislike before the marriage.

Not many had an opportunity to know each other before marriage in the past but still the relationships survived," said Moulana Abdul Mughni Mazahiri of Madarsa Sabeel al Falah.

Hafez Mastan Ali of Jamiatul Mominath said that shariah is same for all whether they are expatriates or not. Dr Rehana Sultana, director Centre for Women Studies, Moulana Azad National Urdu University, suggested that the boy and the girl be allowed to speak in the presence of the guardians before the marriage.

There is nothing wrong if they have a free talk but this should be done in the presence of elders only," Dr Rehmana Sultana told STOI here.

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