Bride Burning Beasts
“Saga-gamana” or Going to Heaven Together. When the husband died, the wife was burnt alive along with the body of the dead husband. When the wife died before the husband, the husband did not go to heaven with the wife. Some so-called upper cast Hindus practiced Sagagamana or Suttee in the old days.
Habits die hard. Burning brides is still practiced in India. Not for the purpose of going to heaven together. It is to vent anger on the bride for not bringing more dowries from her parents. The ancestors of Indian Muslims were mainly Hindus. The religion may be different now but the culture by and large remains the same. One of them is the dowry-system. In this respect, there is no difference between a Hindu and a Muslim. There are, of course, Hindus and Muslims who abhor dowry system.
In Islam, it is the bridegroom that should pay dowry (mahr) to the bride. To meet Islamic dictum and placate Allah, the bridegroom does pay a token amount to the bride as mahr. Having done it, some Indian Muslim bridegrooms albeit their parents insist on getting dowry, and get it, from the brides’ parents. They claim that Quran or Hadiths do not specifically forbid getting dowry from brides. They thus hope to fool Allah.
Muslim preachers, who vociferously give fatwas (rulings) on petty matters, become suddenly deaf and dumb and refuse to declare the oppressive practice of wrenching dowries from brides as Haram. No doubt they have their own reasons for their conduct. This encourages the avaricious families of the bridegrooms to oppress the brides, even after the wedding, to force their parents to part with more money. If the families of the brides do not yield or they do not have anymore to pay, the groom and his people would go even to such an extent as to burn the bride alive.
The pictures here show a girl and her dastardly husband, who burnt her to death. She failed to bring more and more dowry from her mother. The girl's name is Fatima - Fatimunissa Ashrafi, a Unani doctor. The beast’s name is S. Khajapeer. In her dying declaration, Fathima gave full information. Her mother’s statement corroborated it. For more details, see Frontine dated August 27, 1999, pp 68.
In Malaysia, Indian Muslims do not go about burning brides. But insisting directly or indirectly and getting dowry from the brides is not unknown. If not a house or a car, TV sets, radiograms or other items will do. Jewelry is, of course, wajib a must. Changing hands of cash and kind worth M$ 30,000.00 was one of the stories I heard. After the marriage, the bridegroom’s father and mother went to perform Haj rituals at a cost of M$ 20,000.00. They thus had the satisfaction of ‘clearing’ all their sins and making a net profit of M$ 10,000.00 from the deal – namely, the sale of their son.
These thick-skinned characters, who are devoid of any human decency, may be Muslims but their ancestral paraya mentality sticks, and stinks. There is no civil law to prevent dowry from bride to bridegroom. There are no Muslim preachers Muslim enough to declare such dowry as haram. In point of fact, they are the very preachers, who present themselves at such occasions, and say doa (pleadings to Allah, the All Knowing).