Married to a Saudi!

I know it’s nothing unusual but still

THE CITY police have sought the help of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) as well as the Oman government to rescue two young Muslim women who have complained of “torture beyond endurance� by their Omani husbands within weeks of their marriage.

The two women, Sameena Begum (23) and Nazia Begum (20), were married to photos of their husbands by a local quazi and then taken to Oman on September 25 to be united with their husbands. On Tuesday, both of them tele phoned their family members alleging that their husbands (who happen to be twins) were epileptics and were subjecting them to cruelty.

The women complained that the marriage brokers in Hyderabad had conned them into matrimony, stating that the two Omanis were young men working in government and drawing decent salaries. But on reaching, they found that the two were aged men and suffering used to visit Hyderabad regularly and broker marriages for aged and old people who could not find brides in their country. He had also married two women from the old city area but deserted them after a brief fling.

The police said they had written to the Indian embassy seeking its help. “Our priority is to bring the women back to India,� said inspector Sai Krishna, who is investigating the case.

and two agents who had brokered the clandestine marriage .They were produced in court and remanded in judicial custody.

The police are on the lookout for Hosni, who from epilepsy and violent mood swings.

Sameera informed her parents that her husband confined her into a room, tried to strangle and jump on her abdomen. Shaken, her parents rang up Al Hosni, the Omani national who had escorted the girls from Hyderabad to Oman, but the latter demanded Rs 75,000 before releasing the two women.

Acting on the complaint of the parents, the police arrested three quazis.

Source- HT, 13th October 2006

Fathers, old orthodox and often bigots, coerce their daughters to get married to such people and then often end up in ruining the lives of innocents. Not just among Muslims but this practice is common in Punjab and other parts of North India. Mostly these marriages are for money. Fathers marry off their daughters in hope for a brighter future and lavish living, a freedom from abject poverty that most of these families are subjected to. Then there are dalals who direct the whole fictitious marriage, well marriage just for the name sake; a marriage with photo or online marriage or even telephonic! And of course there are greedy Mullahs who can make way for any possibility. The end result, the innocent virgin being raped by her, father like, husband. I can’t even imagine how she feels when she is confronted with an elderly man ready to let loose his sexual lust on her. Well in most cases the man has to be a shameless scoundrel whose morality has been traded for libido. These viagra powered men try to defy age and also malign the sacred ritual of marriage. They shatter the dreams of those innocent and benign young girls, marriages like these will continue to haunt them even if they are rescued.

This is highly disturbing to see such marriages taking place when shariyah has no room for such marriages! The shariyah says that for a marriage to take place, the bride and the groom should be present under a single roof.

4:128. And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves; and making peace is better. And human inner-selves are swayed by greed. But if you do good and keep away from evil, verily, Allâh is Ever Well Acquainted with what you do.

Secondly, its again ignorance on the parent’s part, that they let their girls get married to people without taking the pain of making sure that he is the right match. Even if it’s lucrative or whatever but it is a question concerning one life. When shariah has given clear commandments then why do people fall prey to such heinous crimes? In the end we can easily blame the culprit but what about the innocent eyes which were subjected to those hellish scenes? Will they blame and forget like we do?

There is also a trend that is being followed in these marriages. While Punjabis mostly prefer Canada, Muslims prefer Saudi. My dad used to critisize these Saudi obsessed Muslims. He graduated from AMU but then he didn’t take the flight to gulf after that. His argument was that they waste their technological skills in working in the Gulf as most of the companies are not production based. My uncle has an interesting incident to narrate. While interviewing people for a technical job a shekh preferred a diploma holder over a bachelor degree holder just because diploma was a degree he was hearing for the first time! So basically Gulf has nothing to offer in terms of professionalism so what would the grooms there offer? :)

 

This article has been coauthored my Sharique and Bushra. 

About Sharique

Sharique studied at IIT Chennai and currently works for a major consultancy firm. Sharique blogs at Serendipity and lives in a city in North India.
This entry was posted in Humor/Satire, Mid-East, Society. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Married to a Saudi!

  1. Pingback: Ah, Hyderabad at Serendipity

  2. Saif says:

    Salam Alaekum.

    As some who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, and is in the country as of this moment, I can assure you that I know more about the people here – their society, traditions, and morals, than the authors of this post and their families combined.

    Firstly, the story is about two women who were married to Omanis, and not Saudis. Hence, the title is inappropriate.

    Secondly, the actions of a few, and believe me they’re very few, should not be used to make generalizations about an entire country and its people.

    Mut’ah marriages are allowed in Shi’ee fiqh. Most marriages as the one described in your post are mut’ah marriages, carried out by corrupt ‘brokers’ in India (who’ve made it into a regular business) who cater to the requests of their rich (and usually old) Arab clients. These clients usually come from Arab countries such as the UAE and Oman, and others that have a significant shi’ee/ibadi population.

    The greatest share of the blame goes to the fathers of these women/girls. And calling their mentality ‘orthodox’ shows that either you’re not familiar with meanings and implications of the adjective, or you have absolutely no idea about what prompts these fathers to go for such marriages in the first place.

    Regardless of all that, you’re absolutely right that such marriages have no place in the Sharia, and are in fact forms of zina.

    The solution to this problem, like several others that Indian Muslims face today, is educating our masses on the basics of Islam.

    I hope you agree.

  3. Sharique says:

    Wale kum assalam

    As some who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, and is in the country as of this moment, I can assure you that I know more about the people here – their society, traditions, and morals, than the authors of this post and their families combined.

    I completely agree. I have never need to saudi because my family never took the escape route of rendering their skilled labour to the uneducated rich sheikhs.

    So you mean to say that such marriages are only confined to UAE or Oman? I know the title and the post are not in conformity but then ‘saudi’ is generally used for the whole of gulf. Just like south india for a north indian refers to the whole of TN, Kerala, AP and Karnataka.

     

    you have absolutely no idea about what prompts these fathers to go for such marriages in the first place.

    Perhaps you missed this “Fathers marry off their daughters in hope for a brighter future and lavish living, a freedom from abject poverty that most of these families are subjected to”

    Regarding the use of word orthodox, this is the dictionary meaning – Adhering to what is commonly accepted, customary, or traditional. So when I label those fathers as orthodox i mean that they just accept what others do without having concern for their daughter. They sell off their daughters for money! so what other adjective i use for them? scoundrel?  The biggest burden this world carries, old orthodox men!

  4. Saif says:

    Sharique Sahab,

    never took the escape route of rendering their skilled labour to the uneducated rich sheikhs.

    That’s quite a generalization! It really isn’t my intention to start an argument about this, but I’d like you to know that I know lots of people who didn’t move to Saudi Arabia for the money, but for the opportunity to perform hajjs and umrahs regularly. Also, most kafeels/’sheikhs’ here are educated people. And lastly, most people who look for jobs in the gulf do it due to financially compelling circumstances. You’d do yourself a favor if you stopped judging people and their actions so easily.

    So you mean to say that such marriages are only confined to UAE or Oman?

    That would be streching my statement a little too far. My point was that it is mainly practised by people who consider mut’ah to be a halal form of marriage.

    Perhaps you missed this “Fathers marry off their daughters in hope for a brighter future and lavish living, a freedom from abject poverty that most of these families are subjected to

  5. Sharique says:

    Saif,

    I have based my opinion on the basis of feedbacks received from people there. I know I might be generalizing but then you are also bent upon trying to prove that gulf is good! Lets analyze financially, what after oil? what about quality education? do they have any world class university? They don’t and that’s the bitter truth. Even though these countries might be financially well off, thanks to petro dollars, but I don’t see this luxury to last long. How many production companies are there in Gulf? Raw materials are exported from these countries to west and then brought back after value addition and sold at high cost. Do you call this independence?

    Even on religious lines there is a huge degradation. I would love to settle down in Saudi Arabia because of the ease of doing Haj or Umrah but would never if I have build my professional career. The organization of impotent Islamic countries (OIC) is a glaring example of their total failure to champion for the cause of muslims around the world. I am sorry to say but you are pro-Saudi just because you have lived all your life there.

    BTW I was unaware of the fact that majority of sheikhs are actually educated. (not just primary but i mean professional).

  6. Saif says:

    Sharique,

    I know I might be generalizing but then you are also bent upon trying to prove that gulf is good!

    What!!!?!?!?!! What makes you think so? When was I “bent upon trying to prove that gulf is good!”????

    Dude, it’s really tough discussing things with you. Firstly, I find you very adamant about your views; but more importantly, you assume things about me without having any basis to do so. If there’s one thing I take pride in, it’s the fact that I like to see things for what they are, and not how I want them to be. Saudi Arabia, like every other country on earth, has its plus points as well as minus points.

    I was merely trying to point out that the minus point your post was talking about was not something that is popular in Saudi Arabia. That was it. I don’t know what made you think that I was trying to rid Saudi Arabia of all its minus points.

    Lets analyze financially, what after oil? what about quality education? do they have any world class university? They don’t and that’s the bitter truth. Even though these countries might be financially well off, thanks to petro dollars, but I don’t see this luxury to last long.

    How is any of this relevant to the topic we were discussing? It was all about ghaer-shar’ee marriages in India, and not the future of Saudi Arabia.

    Also, you seem to be unaware of certain changes that have taken place in recent years. There are few world-class schools and universities in the gulf region. And by world-class I mean institutions that provide world-class education, and not necessarily ones that have established themselves over a period of time.

    Also, UAE has lowered its economy’s oil dependency to as low as 30-35%. Other states are also planning to achieve something similar.

    Again, the point is not to paint a happy picture of the country, or try to deny its shortcomings; it is to make you realize that even though some of the conclusions you’ve made are correct in my opinion, you haven’t researched your statements and facts before posting. I criticize the policies and the policy makers of these states in the strongest of terms; but I try my best not to accuse them, or their people, of stuff they’re not guilty of. And I expect you to do the same, and that’s what this whole thing is about.

    How many production companies are there in Gulf? Raw materials are exported from these countries to west and then brought back after value addition and sold at high cost.

    Please provide proof.

    Do you call this independence?

    When did I ever call it that?

    Even on religious lines there is a huge degradation.

    Like?

    I would love to settle down in Saudi Arabia because of the ease of doing Haj or Umrah but would never if I have build my professional career.

    That doesn’t mean you have to make sly comments about those who opt otherwise.

    The organization of impotent Islamic countries (OIC) is a glaring example of their total failure to champion for the cause of muslims around the world.

    OIC is not a gulf establishment. It consists of all Islamic countries. It’s pretty much like the UN. Big show; less work.

    I am sorry to say but you are pro-Saudi just because you have lived all your life there.

    Bhai meray, that really is very judgemental on your part. I have merely pointed out that the ghaer-shar’ee marriages we were talking about are not commonplace in Saudi Arabia, and you’ve streched the implications of that statement to make a zillion assumptions about me and my stance on Saudi Arabia.

    I’m neither pro-Saudi nor anti-Saudi. Ofcourse I have a strong emotional attachment with the country, but that doesn’t mean that I’m blind to all the sucky things that happen here, or to the not-so-sucky things either.

    Your post seemed to suggest several things about Saudi society that were based on stereotypes and generalizations. I merely pointed it out, and you’re trying to make it look like I was trying to prove Saudi Arabia to be the best country in the whole world.

    Anyways, I’ve said what I had to say – it’s upto you to take it or leave it.

    Good day. :)

  7. raj says:

    Sharique,

    Interestingly enough these kind of heinous acts of marrying young girls to old men was rather rampant in brahmin community in the 19th century and early 20th century in what is now Andhra Pradesh (for sure, dont know if true in other areas). It was supposedly because of the lure of money given out as ‘kanyasulkam’ (dowry given to the girl’s family by the groom’s family). It had gone to such crazy levels that many social reformers worked hard to get rid of it (there is a very famous drama by the name ‘kanyasulkam’ highlighting this issue, a old telugu movie by the same name as well).

    One contrast in their approach is that it didnt seem like they resorted to religious arguments to support their case… like Gita 1.1.1 forbids it,or Veda x.y.z bans it, etc. I am not saying it is a good/bad thing…. just noting something interesting about an approach that was effective in eradicating that social evil in a very orthodox community (cant get more orthodox than brahmins in 19th century).

    Whenever there is some social evil or personal crime involving muslims is in the news, there is this major “issue of denials” and “surprises” by many muslims that “sharia law doesnt support it” or “how come they didnt live by sharia law”, etc etc. Surprise, Surprise!! Most of the people (not just muslims) dont really abide by *all* the teachings/edicts of whatever the religion they proclaim to be followers of.

    A big emphasis seems to be placed in ‘absolving islamic edicts/teachings/books etc from taking the blame’…. much energy being wasted in the wrong direction… and framing it in the context of religious laws, i.e., something most people dont care much about. If they did, we wouldnt have all these corruption, crime, social evils etc. They are all *banned* by all religions, explicitly or implicitly.

    This criticism is not specifically on your post, but on invoking religious arguments, with little impact, on what are essentially moral/ethical issues.

    The arguments against many crimes do not lose their moral/ethical force even if they are not couched in religious terms as Sharia 1.1.1 or Bible 1.1.1 or Gita 1.1.1 or whatever else 1.1.1. May be framing the debate in moral arguments instead of “live by this law in this religious book, or get punished” would bring about a better change. Might take longer, and probably needs more energy to maintain the change, but will be a more peaceful change from within than the one ‘imposed’ from outside.

    Will also involve more people interested in bringing about change rather than seeing it as a “some community not living by their books” issue. or even worse, “their books allow all these crimes” kind of misinformation. Worse yet, people that oppose change to remove these social evils (because it suits them financially, or they are just bigoted/ignorant etc.) will always frame the debate in religious terms… any civil law made to change these is seen as interference in “religious matters” (e.g., when british rulers banned Sati in India)… that kind of debate is on “their turf”. The way to get around that is to frame the debate on a different plane without invoking religious arguments and relying on the inherent moral force. It may be tempting to utilize religious arguments in support for change but that constrains and hampers the discourse, and usually ends up in “who knows sharia/bible/gita/whatever better” rather than which argument is inherently morally/ethically stronger. We need a change of strategy to counter the social evils and taking it ‘head on’ trying to draw support from religion isnt really helping the cause, at least in these times.

  8. Sharique says:

    Raj,
    I appreciate your suggestion. In fact in my post I first argued on moral lines and how such practices are heinous crimes against humanity. The whole of first para is devoted to such arguments. And those arguments were further comprehended by Quranic guidelines in the second para (its for people who would have argued against my post).

    I do understand that religious scriptures in the present day world cannot bring about the change just because people don’t respect them..they are far away from religion. But I have this strong feeling that a judicious mix of religion and moral criticism would serve the purpose, both for pious and non-pious men/women. Isn’t it?

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