22 February, 2008

A Strange Love Story

Today's Al Khaleej newspaper carried this strange story of a father who demanded memorization of the Holy Book Quran as a dowry for his daughter. Reading this story kind of made me happy after reading two depressing posts by A Lost Dot & i*maginate a couple of days ago.

The details of the story are that the guy who asked for the hand of the girl is 25 years old, an engineer by profession, wich means he is quite well off. Now this guy involved some elders to try to convince the girl's father & after the negotiations, the father reduced his asking price by two third & still insisted that the guy memorize at least 10 chapters of the Holy Book, which he has already started. Those who understand arabic can read it here.

What you guys think of this? Honestly, this made me happy that there are still people in this country who have not embraced money worship as their main religion. It is heartening to read such stories in an age where the average Emarati wedding costs 300k & which has led many couples to the debt trap. The end result is the 46% divorce rate we have today & I think one of the main reason behind this is the sizeable amount of people's salary going towards servicing their debt.


Proud Emirati said...

Well, I don't think that they will be happy about this story.

Proud Emirati said...

I think a story that would amuse them would be something like: "An Emirati female break all the culture barriers and decide to marry her south Asian colleague against her family wills". (no offense to south Asians)

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

So.. the guy now has a crazy father-in-law? Should I have a daughter, I will demand that her future husband memorize and recite Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.

Brn said...

proud emirati,

Who exactly are the "they" that will not like this story?

I agree completely that it is great to hear this. This is another great story about marriage (IMHO).

DUBAI JAZZ said...

I really like this story.
Contrary to the taunting comment above, I think the father in law is the smartest person on earth. He doesn't want someone to drop a bundle of money and take his daughter away. He doesn't want to follow unhealthy social patterns of extravagant weddings and getting oneself in debt.

In fact, I believe this action was drawn from the Hadith:
"اذا اتاكم من ترضون دينه و خلقه فزوجوه....."
"Should a person whose morals and religious piety are acceptable to you propose to marry your daughter, then you should agree…"
Religious piety here doesn't mean fundamentalism or fanaticism by the way, it is something complementary to the human morals. (Perfecting of one's soul and all that)
He didn't say "whose car model" or "bank account" ..etc…

The demand on the father's part for the guy to memorize the Qura'n (or third of it eventually), is not meant to be a daunting exercise or an experiment to show how much this guy loves his daughter (similar to asking of him to do a trek to the South Pole or something)… To Muslims, memorizing the Qura'n is a soul-transforming experience; you read stories about the earlier prophets (Mosses, Jesus, Jacob, Ishmael ..etc..), then you read chapters full of true and intrinsic wisdom, then there are the indoctrinations, then there are prayers, and then there are the amazingly composed metaphors from life and from science (even the modern science) that will make you stop, think, contemplate…. and transform….

Proud Emirati said...

Brn responses like the ones Dubai entrepreneur posted is what I expect !!

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

dubai jazz

I have 2/3rd of the quran memorized. It hardly makes me a religious or pious person.

Frances Gunnison said...

I agree with Dubai Guy. There are some truly devout people here in the UAE; it's nice to read about them for a change. In my opinion, there is way too much emphasis put on that which is external in today's world, everywhere. And aren't money troubles a big factor in the break-up of marriages?

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Dubai Entrepreneur;
Sure, not necessarily. There are orientalists or Arab Christian linguistic scholars who memorize the Qura'n by heart.

But they hardly constitute 0.001 % of the Hafatha all over the world.

ali900 said...

i think its like FORCING him to read and learn the quran - wont go for everyones experience. you have to accept it and take it in, in your own time and be WILLING for it - dont let anyone force you into it.

not everyone has the same experience. some people read it for a greater understanding but others read it and dont change at all - it varies person to person. i think this article is more funny and a joke really cause im going through a similar situation :P

hemlock said...

if my dad had made such a demand on some dude my initial reaction wouldve been like "is he insane?"
but on another level it's great not everyone is driven by consumerism and some people still have their hearts in the right place.
kinda weird though. cant imagine what it would be like to be married to someone who knows the quran by heart :)
(the tragedy of muslims today)

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Hemlock, I think it'd be rather nice. :-)

Anonymous said...

Proud Emiratai: I guess it is true every where. Negative & gossip nature stories grab attention of people the most. But positive stories rarely get the same attention. Just look at this story, how many newspapers published it? :-)

dubai entrepreneur: I think it will be a complete waste of time. I don't think there is another book which can be memorized the way Quran is done, and reciting of Quran is an art in itself. People who hardly can understand or speak arabic, yet they recite it better than most native arabs. why go far, just look at the past winners of Dubai Quran Award. if this is not a miracle, I don't know what else is? :-)

brn: Thanks for sharing that story sir :-)

Dubai Jazz: I fully agree with what you said. It is not an ordinary book, the words are by the reator, not the creation. I once read the comments of an athiest from America who was so mesmerized by the recitation of Quran while travelling in Yemen that he wrote in his book that it is impossible that this religion preaches violence. If hearing it can bring you inner peace, how can you resort to violence against innocent people?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts :-)

Frances Gunnison: Thanks for supporting my point. Yes indeed, I cant comment about others but money, rather easy money has brought so many negative changes to this society.

ali900: You are in a similar situation? What has your would be father in law demanded from you? Memorization of the whole book? :-)

Hemlock: Yes indeed, tragedy of us muslims. In most muslim societies, people who have memorized Quran rarely get the attention & credit they deserve, except for the month of Ramadan when their "services" are used for taraweeh prayers. Quran is not a book for Ramadan & reading is not for gaining good deeds, rather the real purpose is implementing its teachings in our everyday life. Unfortunately, many of us read it as a form of business transaction with our Creator.

hemlock said...

DJ: lol. umm. im just saying id be really "awed"... because... err... i dunno, it would just be weird.
we tend to put religion and all things associated with it on a pedestal... and leave them there :)

DG: in our culture, there is so much "reverence" associated with the religion, that it's taught as being not for the lay-person, but the "blessed" ones, who devote their lives for the "cause".

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

dubai guy,

just because people can mindlessly regurgitate the quran without speaking the language doesn't mean it's a miracle. Saying that is just silly.

Faith is powerful enough to make people do things that they would otherwise not consider themselves capable of.

Having said that, I was being sarcastic about Wealth of Nations.

I think I am stepping on sensitive territory here, so I will withdraw from this discussion.

Anonymous said...

Hemlock: There is no such concept of devoting or dedicating your life for the religion in Islam. In fact, Islam discourages this practice of shunning the world like some religions, instead it places greater focus on how you interact with the people & environment around you. The Creator may forgive us through His mercy if we neglect our duties towards him but He will not forgive unless the person whom we have wronged forgives us.

Dubai entrepreneur: I respect your point & I think I have a right to expect the same from you too. If you don't believe in something, it doesn't mean that you should degrade it or mock the person who believes in that. :-)

But yes I agree with you, the sensible thing would be to stop this discussion here :-)

i*maginate said...

Dubai Guy: amongst those whose comments you've responded to, you exclusively address *Brn, as "sir".

Brn said...


I'm that only one who is higher ranked ;)

rosh said...

"....but He will not forgive unless the person whom we have wronged forgives us."

DG - this truly, is humbling & truthful. It's not quite hard to do, really..... perhaps mortals should remind themselves, every now and then :)

i*maginate said...

yes, brn - that is, of course, the eggsblanashin ;-)

Since you decided to up & leave, please direct us to your leaving do - will there be some luvly jubbly catering from Golden Sheep? They have the yummiest food! It's the first right after the roundabout on that dodgy bridge, right?

Anonymous said...

i*maginate: Well, the respect I have for people related to the academic field can only be matched with the respect I have for my parents. Thats why I addressed Brn as Sir :-)

Rosh: Life should be a constant reminder of why we are in this world & how we are supposed to lead our lives. I am glad that you agree with my point of view :-)

GO! Smell the flowers said...

Wise words DubaiGuy an dthanks for sharing this and your viewpoints..this thread has made for interesting reading as us flowers take our heads out of the sand...

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