We have already covered some strange dowry requests by fathers of Saudi brides. Dowry is one of the major stigmas of Saudi Arabia which has made marriages very expensive. It is important to clarify here that we are not talking about normal Mahar but exaggerated Mahar or dowry demanded by the relatives of Bride. It exhibits an ugly fact that the men with higher status and wealth can marry any girl without any restriction of age or creed just for the reason because they can pay dowry money. Some greedy Mahram considers women a source to earn huge wealth by claiming huge amounts from Groom or his family.[irp]
Recently a man in Saudi Arabia challenged these local practices by asking Groom to make sure that he will make his daughter memorize Surah Al Mulch as his dowry and in return he wants nothing else. It was surprising news for everyone as the bride’s daughter took an initiative against the filthy trend of getting money. Surah Al-Mulk is famous for escape from Hellfire as Holy Prophet S.A.W emphasized to recite it every night to stay away from hell fire. The father of Bride mentioned that he wants his daughter to live a happy and calm life and may her life be full of peace and Allah’s blessing after her death. For this reason, he asked his son in law to make her daughter memorize Surah Al Mulk.
The other reason behind his act was to challenge the prevailing norms of getting exaggerated dowry on the marriage of daughter in Arab culture. Apparently, people claim dowry money from groom for the safety of their daughters and state that it will keep her satisfied for a lifetime as monetary and financial support is necessary for modern era. This is the biggest dilemma of Saudi Arabia in lieu of Saudi women these days. Even women belonging to wealthy and rich families are facing such issues.
Abdul Rahman bin Tahir Al-Hakmi (the bride’s father) has become one of the initiators who has shown other side of the picture to us. He stated that peace is more important to live life than relying on material assets and financial reserves. Recently another man in Saudi Arabia did a strange act by claiming SR 2 as dowry money for groom just to pull down the tradition of dowry money in Kingdom. Steps taken by aware Mahram have spread a message of well-being among groom.[irp]
It will also contribute towards the dignity of Arab women by creating awareness that daughters and sisters are not the sources of money or assets. They have all the rights to own their assets and should not be treated like commodities.