Institution of Simple Marriage
Marriage of thousands of poor and needy girls gets delayed. This subjects them to physical , mental and psychological trauma, thereby damaging our social fabric. This also leads to immorality and waywardness. Besides, it makes fairer sex vulenerable to exploitation and scandalous practices. In order to sensitize our community JKYF sought opinion of the organizations sensitive to the issue and practically contributing in this area. These includes Humsafar Marriage Counseling Cell, Better Life Society, Islamic Marriage Trust, Shamma Foundation and Idara Fallah-u-Daarain. We are reproducing the responses hereunder.

Mr N. A. Gazali in conversation with 'JKYF'

Q: What inspired you for simple marriage concept?

A:The teachings of Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him).

Q: How many marriages have you facilitated/conducted till date?

A: About 128 Nikah ceremonies.

Q: It has been observed that well-off people most often adhere to the practice of simple marriages than the weaker sections of society who still follow the traditional way of so many customs & extravagance. Do you agree?

A: This is true and proven fact. It may be because of illiteracy and lack of knowledge about the Islamic way of Nikah that the common people do not follow the simple marriage code.

Q: What is the impact of simple Nikah concept on social and family life?

A: Thanks to Almighty. Turning to Islamic way of marriages, people do not get trapped into debts and the two families (of bride and groom) are connected whole heartedly and not out of greed or for material benefits. Almost all marriages facilitated by us have been successful, by the grace of Almighty Allah (SWT).

Q: What is your appeal and message to the religious leaders, scholars, social workers, organizations and common people?

A: Various social evils related to marriage like dowry, extravagance, immorality and other customs are on alarming rise in our State, particularly in the Valley. We should understand our responsibilities and work individually and collectively to bring an end to these evils. Religious leaders, scholars, social workers, organizations and conscious citizens have a special role to play. Let us sink all differences and work for full implementation of Islamic values so that all sections of society get benefitted from the true and time tested Islamic teachings.

(Mr. N A Gazali is the Chairman of J&K Islamic Marriage Trust Bemina)

Secretary Idara Falah-u-Daarain in conversation with 'JKYF'

Q: What inspired you for facilitating simple & Islamic way of marriage?

A: The teachings of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) and Islamic concept of the society.

Q: How many marriages have you facilitated / conducted till date?

A: More than 500.

Q: It has been observed that well-off people most often adhere to the practice of simple marriages than the weaker sections of society who still follow the traditional way of so many customs & extravagance. Do you agree?

A: It is a fact that those with limited resources constantly indulge in customs & extravagance, associated with marriage & try to be in material competition with rich sections of the society. Thankfully, the affluent class in our society has developed some sense and still stay within limits. The trend of simple and Islamic way of marriage has set in and we ensure simplicity and austerity in the marriages performed by us and thanks to Almighty, a lot of success has been achieved in this regard.

Q: What is the impact of simple Nikah concept on social and family life?

A: Thanks to Almighty. The trend has started in this regard but a lot needs to be done with a positive impact on the mindset of common people.

Q: What is your message to the religious leaders, scholars, social workers, organizations and common people?

A: I believe that simplicity and austerity observed while performing nikaah and marriage in not impossible. It needs proper implementation of the program by religious leaders, scholars, social workers and responsible citizens at individual and collective levels. Also, a message needs to be passed on to the common masses so that we soon see an end to this social evil.

(Idara Falah-u-Daarain is in social and educational service for the past several years in Baramulla Town which has earned it a rare fame.)

Mr. Gh Nabi Shaida in conversation with 'JKYF'

Q: With what purpose was Shama Foundation(SF) launched?

A: It was launched on 9th July 2007, with 3 main objectives:
(i). Provide all possible help and support for needy females suffering from cancer.
(ii). Provide financial support to conduct marriage of poor destitute girls.
(iii). Provide scholarship of Rs 1000 per month to poor & orphan girl students for higher studies

Q: What steps does SF takes regarding the marriage of needy/ deserving girls?

A: SHAMA Foundation has been trying its best to provide all possible financial support to solemnize marriage in a single way.

Q: A large number of girls have crossed the age for marriage. How do you view this delicate/ sensitive issue?

A: It is a serious & sensitive issue which should be taken seriously & dealt with immediately.

Q: Being experienced & renowned journalist & social worker, what solution do you suggest for this problem?

A: I emphasize upon constituting committees at every village/mohalla level. Moreover, the affluent & well off, while solemnizing their marriages, should not forget poor needy girls & they should provide financial support & help to them.

(Mr Gh Nabi Shaida is the Editor in chief of Daily "Wadi Ki Awaz" & Founder SHAMA Foundation)

Dr. Tariq Ahmad in conversation with 'JKYF'

Q: What inspired you for facilitating simple & Islamic way of marriage?

A: A seminar on "Concept of Nikah in Islam" conducted by J & K Yateem Foundation at B.Ed College Srinagar in 2008 and pamphlets about the nikaah/marriage written by Dr. Israr Ahmad, inspired and motivated us for this cause.

Q: How many marriages have you facilitated/conducted till date?

A: Since 2009, we have conducted 7 marriages including that of two of my own sisters. On many occasions, we at least facilitated that reception of Baraat be kept a simple affair with smaller number of invitees.

Q: It has been observed that well-off people most often adhere to the practice of simple marriages than the weaker sections of society who still follow the traditional way of so many customs & extravagance. Do you agree?

A: I fully agree with you. I think it is because of the fact that due to lack of knowledge, the weaker sections of the society indulge in this affair in order to keep pace with the material world and the competition with fellow humans and also to avoid earning "bad name", taunting comments and being looked as inferior in the society. For this they even sell or mortgage their property, get trapped in bank loans.

Q: What is the impact of simple Nikah concept on social and family life?

A: This initiative is gaining momentum. This practice is proving to be a great success both at family and social levels. This has inspired lot of young people both men and women. The hard earned money does not get wasted in the extravagance. Very recently the Nikah ceremony of one of my own sisters was solemnized in Jamia Masjid Soibugh with simplicity, austerity and as per Islamic code. There was no extravagance and wastage of money. As a result, I could send my parents to Haj, with the same money that would have got wasted on extravagance.

Q: What is your appeal and message to the religious leaders, scholars, social workers, organizations and common people?

A: I humbly request the general public to follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) in letter and spirit in every walk of life and also with regards to the Nikah and marriage. It is the need of the hour that religious leaders, scholars, social workers, organizations, well-off and affluent sections of the community encourage simple and Islamic way of marriage; thereby setting practical example for inspiring others to do the same, as has been set by renowned religious scholar Dr. Israr while solemnizing the marriage of his daughters.

(Dr. Tariq Ahmad Malik is Chairman "Better Life Society" Soibugh, Budgam)

Setting up of Orphanage
A Compulsion
Setting up of orphanages is not desirable but a compulsion. If left unattended and uncared, the orphans and destitute children could be on streets and become liabilities. JKYF sought opinion of managements of prominent orphanages to clear certain misgivings, which includes J&K Yateem Khana , J&K Yateem Trust, Help Foundation , FETO, People Educational Trust Baramulla, Idara Fallah u Daarain Baramulla, Al- Mehmood Children Home, Jawharnagar Sriangar. We are reproducing their responses hereunder:-

Gh Mohiuddin in conversation with 'JKYF'

Q: What was the purpose of establishing the orphanage?

A: Peoples Educational Trust (PET) was established with many aims and objectives. Establishing children homes is one of the basic motives. Such children homes should provide care and quality education, academic as well as religious & moral, to the orphans, poor and destitute. This will help in their better upbringing and make them responsible and respectable citizens in the society.

Q: Do you think the purpose for which orphanages were established is getting fulfilled?

A.Thanks to Almighty Allah. I think our efforts are bearing fruit, particularly in the two children homes that we have established at Sopore & Baramulla.

Q: In your opinion, what should be the responsibility of people towards the orphans, poor and destitute?

A: Thanks to Almighty. People are contributing and donating a lot in every way. There are both weak and rich sections in the society. Well-off people are being tested and judged by Almighty for their wealth and weaker sections like wise for their poverty. Rich should develop the responsible attitude of helping generously the fellow weaker sections.

(Gh. Mohiuddin Rather is the Chairman of Peoples Educational Trust Baghi-Islam Baramulla.)

Mr. Ab Rashid Hanjoora in conversation with 'JKYF'

Q: With what purpose did you set up an orphanage?

A: Because of the present prevailing uncertain/ unfavorable circumstances, there has been consistently a considerable increase in the number of orphans, with each passing day. Most of the orphans lack resources at home for their complete physical and mental development, particularly affecting their education. So we have established an orphanage to provide education as well as a favorable environment for proper physical & mental nourishment of this neglected section. We wish that these children also become responsible, conscious, skillful and respected citizens, like their peers.

Q: Do you think the very purpose of establishing orphanages is getting fulfilled?

A: By all means. Especially with the provision of a favorable environment and best possible facilities available at orphanages and above all, the efforts of experienced, skilled, honest & hardworking managing teams of the orphanages.

Q: What should be the responsibilities of people towards the orphans?

A: There has been an alarming increase in the number of orphans and unfortunately they lack resources to get facilities what other children who are not orphans, poor, destitute get. Besides that, there is no definite system for welfare & monitoring of such children. So, people should give utmost attention to their welfare, otherwise such children, if neglected & not cared for, can be damaging and harmful for the society in future. It is not humanly possible to admit & support thousands of orphans at these orphanages. So it is the responsibility of people to arrange for welfare, nourishment and education of such children at community level itself. A favorable atmosphere should be created for education, welfare and marriage of orphans, with the active participation of general public. Well off & affluent in the society can support such children individually, that every child gets a well monitored care and achieves a safe and secure future.

(Ab Rashid Hanjoora is the Founder of J&K Islamic Relief & Research Trust (IRRT) Dar-ul-Ahsan runs under IRRT)

Mrs. Nighat Shafi in conversation with 'JKYF'

Q: With what idea was your orphanage established?

A: Every member of the society has certain responsibilities towards it. This sense of responsibility inspired us to work for social issues at non government level, so came up "SHEHJAAR Foundation".

Q: Do you find the purpose getting fulfilled?

taking an uncertain & unfavorable turn after 1988, there was an alarming rise in the number of orphans, widows & disabled. In this perspective, we established an orphanage where we admitted & supported children from Baramulla & Kupwara in order to secure the future of orphan, poor & destitute children. All praises to Almighty that the pass outs from the orphanage are doing well in different fields, which is being duly acknowledged. Our main aim was to provide welfare to such children at a crucial stage & I think we have been very much successful in this endeavor.

Q: From your experience, what do you think should be the responsibility of people towards orphans?

A: It seems that the situation has improved considerably now. The society should take this issue seriously. The orphans should be provided full support to grow up in their domestic/family environment itself, thus paving way for their overall development, like other children.

(Mrs. Nighat Shafi is the Chairperson of HELP Foundation).