The UP government’s decision on marriage registration has witnessed some protest from Muslim clerics across the state, including those at the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband, who called it “unfair” to deprive people of government benefits if they did not register their marriages. “When the nikahnama is already a contract, the state government is forcefully imposing another registration of marriage for Muslims.
The clerics had made nikahnama compulsory long back but the government considered registering marriages only now. The clause stating inability of Muslim couples to get government benefits without a marriage registration is totally biased. Mandatory registration of marriage interferes with our religious freedom,” said Maulana Shahbudin Razvi in his letter.
According to cleric, the nikahnama is a detailed agreement and it contains names and addresses of the bride and groom, the Qazi (who solemnizes marriages) and the two witnesses. It also has details of the date, time and venue of the wedding, along with the names of at least five persons who have attended the ceremony. The contract is also a promise made by the groom to his bride that he will take care of her and also includes information about the mehr (divorce alimony). Bareilly city, Qazi, Maulana Asjad Raza Qadri, also appealed to the state government to not make registration compulsory. “Muslim couples have been following Islamic tradition of the nikahnama and the marriage registration is not necessary.
It should be left to the couples to decide whether they want to register their marriage,” he said. Mufti Mohammed Salim Noori, spokesperson of Dargah Aala Hazrat, said, “Marriages are already mentioned in the records of a Qazi and hence another registration should only be optional.” UP cabinet gave its nod for compulsory marriage registration on Tuesday last in the wake of a 2006 Supreme Court verdict which had asked the Centre and state governments to draft rules making registrations compulsory, irrespective of religion and caste.
The former Samajwadi Party government had also tried to pass a similar proposal but backtracked following stiff opposition. The BJP government claimed that the decision is aimed at protecting interests of women belonging to all castes and communities. Rules for registration of marriages have been implemented across the country barring UP and Nagaland. (UNI)