Muslim brides in Kerala defy tradition by attending their own weddings

Brides were present on stage at two weddings in north Kerala over the past two weeks.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

KOZHIKODE : The presence of the bride at the wedding ceremony is slowly becoming a trend among the Muslim community in Kerala, where the ceremony is usually solemnised by the bridegroom and the bride’s father. Brides were present on stage at two weddings in north Kerala over the past two weeks.

The wedding of the daughter of Dr Ausaf Ahsan, oral physician and managing editor of Other Books, saw the bride joining the groom at the ceremony. In the other instance, the bride and her mother were present during the wedding ceremony of the daughter of Muhammad Shameem, author and Jamaat-e-Islami sympathiser. Jamaat Kerala amir P Mujeeb Rehman, general secretary T K Farooq, Shura member C Dawood and ideologue Sheikh Muhammad Karakunnu were present at Shameem’s daughter’s wedding. Islamic scholar Ilyas Moulavi led the prayers at the function.

In a Facebook post, Shameem said that this was not a new thing in the community.

“I myself had delivered khutba and prayers at such weddings and have asked the bride to directly receive the mahar from the groom,” Shameem said in the post.

He added that evolution, and not revolution, is the right way to bring about change.

Sheikh Muhammad Karakunnu told TNIE that there is nothing new in such weddings. “Islamic scholars will not oppose, but ordinary persons who are not familiar with such things may be surprised. The practice of the bride attending the wedding ceremony is prevalent in countries like Malaysia,” he said.

Karakunnu said the girl doesn't need to be present at the wedding but there is nothing in the religion that prevents her presence.

Observer Khader Palazhi said that no one can prevent such changes in society.

“There was opposition to performing in cinema and theatre earlier. Now, Islamic scholars themselves have YouTube channels. I think more Muslim organisations will follow this line,” he said.

C H Mustafa Moulavi, who led a wedding in the presence of the bride three years ago, said there was heavy opposition at the time.

“All Muslim organisations had come out against it. They described the marriage as adultery. The bride sued a Muslim scholar for defaming her. It was compromised after the person tendered an apology,” Moulavi said.

He said he has since performed more than 20 such weddings.

“Now girls assert that they have to be present during the most important occasion in their lives, and the community cannot override their objections. This trend will strengthen in the coming days,” he said.

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