Special Reports

Mass marriage ceremony in refugee camps

New Delhi: Riot-affected people in and around Muzaffarnagar who were lodged in camps were very happy to find that Jamiat Ulama-e Hind (JUH)’s general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madni solemnised a group marriage of 157 young couples, who were living in refugee camps, on 7 October at a function held in Shahpur’s Madrasa Gulzar Muhammadi in the presence of thousands of people. On behalf of JUH Maulana Madni gave every couple a complete set of dowry items to meet their immediate needs. Moreover, he also offered a cheque of Rs 15,000 to each girl as a gift. He assured them that in future also JUH will always stand by them in all possible ways.

After the communal riots that had erupted on 7-8 September in a vast area in the districts of Muzaffarnagar, Shamli and Baghpat. An important problem for people who had taken shelter in refugee camps was how to re-start their lives. Another problem for them was that after losing everything that they had put together with their hard work of years, for their daughters, now they had no means to get them married off. JUH got in touch with the hapless parents and prepared a list of couples from each camp for arranging their group marriage, bearing all expenses and bringing happiness in their lives. After solemnising their marriage, Maulana Madni prayed for their blissful married life and said that this occasion of happiness may perhaps put a little balm on their wounds. Feeling the pains of people leading a hard and difficult life in camps, he said that it is a great pity that even 65 years after independence, the condition of Muslims is so bad that they are compelled to become homeless and live in camps helplessly.

Referring to past history, he said that they are the progenies of those because of whose struggle and sacrifices the country got rid of the tyranny of the British colonial masters but instead of getting rewards, enemies of the country are planning to compel them to leave their country. He warned these communal elements to bear in mind that as long as Jamiat Ulama is there, they will, insha Allah, never succeed in their unholy objectives.

He said that the occasion of marriage is a happy moment in everybody’s life but in spite of being a joyous occasion it cannot completely heal the wound that is quite fresh. He added that it is a matter of great misfortune that parents have to bid farewell to their daughters while living helplessly in camps but undoubtedly a moment of happiness will work as a balm on their wounds too. He said that parents should thank Allah that in this state of helplessness He has provided them with the opportunity of bidding farewell to their daughters with respect and honour. He urged the young couples to lead their life in accordance with Prophet (pbuh)’s teachings and respect the rights of their spouses.

After prayers, he said while talking to mediapersons that this government is fully responsible for the way communal elements have destroyed the lives of poor Muslims. He said that the first priority was that all the uprooted people should go back to their homes and for this they were contacting the administration as well as senior and sane people of the local Jat community. He said that a state of communal divide in the country will never be accepted when Muslims should live on one side of a line and Hindus on the other, because this is a conspiracy to create another country in the same country and Jamiat will never allow it to succeed.

JUH’s Maulana Hakimuddin Qasmi said about this programme that several thousand people participated in the group marriage and all arrangements for their lunch were made by Jamiat Ulama. In addition to lunch etc, necessary things that were given to them for starting their life anew included a copy of the Qur’an, prayer mat, a big trunk, bed, black and green blanket, hold-all, quilt, cushion/mattress, mosquito net, towel, cotton carpet, woollen sheets, seven suits each for boys and girls, bed-sheets, soap, shampoo, anti-mosquito cream/lotion, tooth-powder, comb, mat, lota, set of plates, steel and plastic buckets, a set of steel plates, a glass set, steel and plastic jugs, donga, tea and service spoons, a big bag, rosary etc. in addition to, as stated above, Rs 15000 in cash to each bride.

Maulana Arshad Madni, head of the other group of JUH also solemnised a similar mass marriage ceremony at a relief camp a few days earlier.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 October 2013 on page no. 13

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