Traditions Made Way When She Chose Books Over Gold

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We live in a society which believe that its hard to break existing stereotypes. Just because my previous generations did it,i must surely follow it has been the ideology for most of us. Well,when the time demanded,a girl from Kerala has broken one such stereotype.

A post graduate in political science from the Hyderabad University, Sahla Nechiyil,has broken one such deep rooted custom thereby sending a social message to all the “gold-obsessed” Muslims in Malappuram(Kerala).

During the marriage ceremonies,Muslim community follows a custom called Mehr. It is a mandatory payment in the form of money or possessions paid or promised to be paid by the groom to the bride at the time of marriage. Groom is not supposed to refuse the demands raised by the bride.

People often asked for gold ornaments as Mehr but what Sahla Nechiyil demanded was only books. She asked her groom to give here 50 books.Arguments followed this demand,but they couldn’t last long as the couple who got married by august 11 weren’t doing anything against their religious texts.


Quoting “Mehr as the right of a bride and not generosity of the man” Anees Nadodi supported the stand of Sahla,and went to Bangalore with the list of 50 books. Anees had to put a great struggle to get all the books his girl demanded. Infact mehr is all about making one’s husband struggle a little for his wife.

Anees With The Books
Anees With The Books

“I raised this demand as mehr because of two reasons.One, because according to the religious texts, a girl can demand anything she wants and the groom cannot disagree. And second, because I wanted to show the Malappuram Muslims that a wedding can take place without obsessing over the amount of gold transacted between both parties,” says Sahla.


According to the custom,a bride can ask for anything as mehr,based on her interests. But after many years,the voice of Muslim women slowly faded away and the Mehr became the voice of elders in the bride’s family and not the bride.

“The religious views permits mehr as the right of every bride. Its just that girls are afraid to raise their voice.”says Sahla. The couple has indeed became the first ever Muslim couple to not have any gold or monetary transactions as mehr.

This bold move from sahla is something today’s generation must learn from. The love of families to gold,needs to curb down as the time and lifestyles are changing. Let this gold obsession move away from our life styles and practices. Lets strengthen the relationships with love and not with gold/money.

PS-We dont advocate to break any religious customs.The point is that the same customs can be advocated peacefully without the demand or use of much gold.