KOLLAM: Breaking the stereotype, 24-year-old Ajna Nazim, who recently got married to 26-year-old Ijas Hakkim, asked for books instead of gold as ‘mehr’ (dowry). Agreeing to this, Ijas gave her 100 books, including the Quran, Bhagvat Gita and Bible as mehr on their wedding day.
December 29, 2019 was the big day for Ijas, a resident of Poredom in Kollam district and civil engineer working in Madavoor grama panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram, and Ajna of Chadayamangalam, a BEd student in a college in Kollam town, as they got married at Nilamel here. Their decision to celebrate this day uniquely is now making rounds on social media with people applauding their idea to buck the age-old Muslim wedding tradition of giving mehr.
The customary mehr involves a compulsory payment by the groom to the bride at the time of the marriage. “Mehr is the right of a woman and she can demand anything which the groom cannot refuse. There are no ground rules that only gold should be presented as mehr,” said Ijas.
Despite stiff opposition from their relatives and friends about the decision, the couple succeeded in going ahead with their decision due to their parents’ support.
“At first, when everyone around us learnt about our decision, they doubted that ours was a love marriage as these things are common in such cases. But, it is purely an arranged marriage fixed by our parents. And like many couples, when we started talking to each other after our engagement, she told me that she loves reading books and wishes to get books as mehr which I immediately accepted,” said the groom. “As we informed our parents regarding this, they too agreed without any second thought,” he added.
Ajna later prepared a list of books she needed and gave it to Ijas, who after adding his own favourites in the list got her 100 books that included a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, Bible and Quran which he gifted her on their wedding day, surprising the guests.