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Muslim Clerics in Bihar insist on Pre-nuptial No Dowry Vows

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Patna: Muslim clerics from Bihar, in a rare joint move, have asked would-be grooms to visit local mosques and make formal declarations that they would not accept dowry as a condition for performing their “Nikah” (wedding). The move, which has received huge praise from various quarters, sets a noteworthy example in a state that is notorious for dowry deaths. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Islahul Muslimeen Muslim Samaj, an organisation of Muslims, held in the Valmiki Nagar locality of West Champaran district. The meeting, attended by a large number of Muslim religious leaders, announced a social boycott of persons seeking dowry stating that Islam strictly prohibits the practice. “A groom will have to make a declaration in the mosque stating he has not sought for dowry nor he will accept dowry. No clergy would perform his ‘nikah’ if he fails to do that,” Mufti Mohammad Gyasudeen told the media. “This is not a warning or fatwa [diktat] but a declaration by the Muslim community,” he said.
A similar meeting was earlier held at Tarwan village in southern Bihar’s Gaya district at which Muslim representatives from 94 villages took part. “From today onward, no maulana [cleric] will be there to read out ‘nikahnama’ or administer ‘khabulnama’ under the circumstances,” said a unanimous resolution adopted at the meeting, adding that those seeking dowry would instantly face a social boycott.