Dowry is something which is quite common in some parts of the world, but on the other hand some parts of the world look down upon the concept of dowry. Over time people have changed their opinion on the issue of dowry and such a case has come up right here in Saudi Arabia.A Saudi man, who was the father of the bride, challenged the local dowry practices in the country, by asking the groom for a dowry of only SAR 2. The man stated that he does not think dowry is important in marriage. The man, Abdul Hakeem Ahmad Haddad, stated that all he wants from his future son-in-law is to take care of his daughter, and to provide for her.
Abdul Hakeem believes that this is the way that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) has preached to us, and this is the way that all of us should follow. The man, who is now retired from the Aviation forces, has stated that spinsterhood in the country would finish, if all Saudi families took the same approach to the issue of Dowry.The father of the bride stated again in his interview to the media that his one and only concern is the wellbeing and safety of his daughter and her future. The decision which has been made by the father is unique for people in Saudi Arabia, as well as the other Arab and gulf countries. In these countries the groom must offer a heavy dowry to the family of the bride.
Our religion, Islam tells us that the payment of dowry was introduced to be a symbol or token of compassion and genuine intentions of the groom and his family. One of the countries who pride themselves over having liberal women’s rights, Tunisia, also have the dowry system, but it is simply symbolic and the dowry usually is below $1 USD.There are however many Arab countries in which some ostentatious practices have caused the standard of dowry to rapidly increase to a greatly inflated level. It is reported that in Saudi Arabia the average dowry for a middle class family marriage is around SAR 30000 or $ 8000, and the dowry for the rich and wealthy goes well into the hundreds of thousands of riyals or dollars.
The already high cost of weddings due to the dowry, is further inflated by ridiculously expensive wedding dresses, extravagant receptions and dinner banquets with more food than can be possible consumed by all the guests that have been invited.
In the neighboring country of Bahrain, the situation of dowry is more or less the same; however the costs of marriage are higher in the other Gulf countries. The majority of Gulf nations that are faced with ridiculously high marriage costs have instead opted to marry women from other countries. These countries include Egypt, Jordan, India, Syria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand, where the exchange rate and the rate of dowry is considerably lower than their home country or the neighboring countries.
Source: Gulf News
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