Youth Voices

Married to the Quran

By Murtaza Ali Rizvi
Lahore Grammar School  

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In a report titled ‘Married to the Quran’ in the Pakistani weekly newspaper ‘The Friday Times’ (Jan 17-23, 2003 issue), it was said:

“According to Khabrain, a large number of feudal in Sindh had married their daughters to the Quran. The ceremony took place after the girl of the family was asked to take a bath, after which a Quran was put before her as the men folk apologized to her for the ritual which would condemn the girl to get married but to read the Quran every day. In Sindh, MPA Shabbir Shah’s sister, ex-minister Murad Shah’s sister and two daughters, three daughters of Mir Awwal Shah of Matiari, daughters and sisters of Sardar Dadan and Nur Khan of the Lund tribe, nieces of Sardar Ghulam of Mahar tribe, and the daughters of the Pir of Bharchundi Sharif, were all married to the Quran to prevent their share of the land going to them and thus avoid redistribution of land.”

This is obviously an abusive and unIslamic practice. This has nothing to do with religion and is all about power, control and greed. Women are not valued enough to consider how their entire lives, dreams and hopes are ruined by a ‘tradition’ that is inhumane and beyond any rational explanation. Under the guise of devoting their lives to the Quran, these women’s lives are obliterated and wiped out. By trying to legitimize this barbaric behaviour the Quran and Islam are being abused. It definitely does not become an acceptable practice by giving it a religious twist. This is no different than the Jâhilîyah practices of burying the girl alive, that Islam fought against from day one.

Obviously this is not a recent practice and has been going on for a very long time. Surprisingly,  the men recognize that it is not right hence they apologize to the woman before ruining her life.  Mothers and other women of the family who allow this to continue are accomplices to this crime as well. To imagine that a father, brother, mother or sister allows this to carry on is beyond comprehension. Obviously the society in which this practice continues is silent and equally to be blamed.

Islam does NOT encourage detaching entirely from the world so how can this practice be claimed permissible? The names listed above are not those of uneducated people, but men who hold high positions of authority. It is ridiculously unjust how the lives of these women are ruined.

Islam does NOT give men limitless power to abuse women when they are given the status of ‘Head of the Household’.  As ‘Head of the Household’, it does not allow them to legitimize their abuses.  It angers me how women buy into such stupidity and allow it to continue.