There is a tradition in muslim marriage known as “Mehr”, a compulsory payment by the groom to the bride at the time of marriage.
This Malayali muslim bride, Sahla Nechiyil went against the tradition to demand just 50 books where she had every right to demand gold, jewellery or cash as ‘Mehr,’ who hails from Kerala’s Malappuram district.
Sahla told Indian Express, ” I wanted to show the Malappuram Muslims that a wedding can take place without obsessing over the amount of gold transacted between both parties,” giving a hard hitting social message to the gold obsessed Muslim community in her region.
Sahla is a political science post graduate from Hyderabad university, who is now married to Anees Nadodi, who supported her decision. “Mehr is the right of the women, not the generosity of the man,” he added.
Sahla handed Anees the list of the books she wanted and her husband went hunting for them, travelling from Kerala to Bangalore, to fulfill his wife’s desires, despite disapproval from both the families.
“They could not argue for long, because we were not doing anything against the religious texts,” said Sahla. Her book list included Islamic feminist literature, feminist literature, fiction and politics.
“The religious texts allow us to live according to our wish, yet these girls fear to speak up or decide for themselves,” she said. “Ani (Anees) had to struggle a little looking for the books I demanded. Making your husband struggle a little is the idea of mehr, anyway,” she added.