Pajhwok Afghan News

Huge amount of Toyana makes post-marriage life disastrous

BAMYAN (Pajhwok): The culture of demanding high amount of Toyana — the amount of money demanded by the bride’s family from groom for marriage — is common in parts of Afghanistan and this tradition resulted in dangerous consequences after marriage.

Mehdi, 25, from central Bamyan province went to Iran after one month of his marriage to earn money and return the amount he borrowed for his marriage said his wife demanded divorce as a result of his stay in Iran and being away from her.

It is pertinent to mention that currently, Toyana up to 100,000 afs is demanded from the groom family in different parts of Afghanistan.

Victims of high extravagant Toyana

Mehdi, 25, from Bamyan province told Pajhwok Afghan News he was engaged to one of the girls in his locality five years ago and his in-laws demanded 100,000 afs in Toyana.

He said: “Daily my father-in-law sent message to our house and demanded to marry her daughter or divorce her so he could engaged her to another person.”

Mehdi, who is farmer, said that it was not an easy task to pay 100,000 afs, and that is why their engagement took five years, but he could not prepare the fixed amount of money and had to borrow money from one of his relatives to get married.

“After marriage the lender everyday asked for the money and for this reason after two months of marriage I left home and went to Iran for work.”

Currently he is working in a plastic making factory in Iran said: “From one side the work I am doing is very hard and tough, and on the other side, my wife telephoned every day that if I don’t return home, she will get a divorce.”

He said he taught that after marriage, he would have peaceful life but economic problems changed his life’s direction and was now concerned about his future.

He had no clue that with the small amount of wages and grave economic problems in his life how would he pay the amount he borrowed.

Mohammad Hamid, 42, assumed name, from the Khairkhana locality of capital Kabul, is still unmarried said 10 years ago he proposed a girl which he liked but his family demanded high amount of Toyana.

He has a hindquarter and is vendor said: “The girl that I liked was from Paktia, her family demanded 100,000 afs, gold worth 500,000 and an extravagant reception function which was out of my reach and I am still unmarried.”

He complained about the exorbitant expenses of weddings and asked the families and to hold their weddings simply and did not to follow unsavory practices that destroy the lives of young people.

This comes that some girls also complained against this tradition and said their future was uncertain.

Kalsum, 25, from Nimroz province, said she was engaged five years ago but due to the fact that her family demanded 500,000 from the groom family she was still at her father’s house and her future was uncertain.

She said: “The Toyana amount was 500,000 afs which my fiancé could not pay so he went Iran for work, in his first attempt he was deported but he tried again and went to Tehran, he worked there hard and felt sick, the amount he had earned went for his treatment and he returned empty hand.”

Kalsum was now going through difficult situation and said: “My fiancé was working in Iran and the Iranian police took him away from work and he is currently imprisoned in the Iranian camp, he only called once and said that he is in the camp and I don’t hear from him anymore.”

Sabera, 25, assumed name, from Jawzjan province capital Shiberghan, said: “I myself became a victim of extravagant and back-breaking Toyana because there was a week left for my wedding, all the preparations for the wedding were made, even the hotel had been booked and the invitation cards had been distributed to the people, but my fiancé’s family did not arrange the money and my father canceled the wedding and it has been four years since that day.”

Sabera with her welled up eyes said: “I had 500,000 afs as my Toyana, my fiancé had been working in Turkey for three years, he just came back to perform our wedding, he gave 350,000 afs to my father and 50,000 afs remained from the Toyana, my father postponed my wedding because of the 50,000 afs which was not paid. Now my fiancé don’t talk with me, God knows what will happen after going to my husband’s house.”

Hanifa, 25, another girl from Ghor province, who met similar fate as Kalsum said: “My fiancé has an independent business but currently situation for business was not good, we are engaged from the past three years, the Toyana amount is 100,000 afs and so far he paid 400,000afs and the remaining amount is payable.”

She added: “Several times my father-in-law talked to my father to reduce the Toyana amount, but my father doesn’t accept it at all, I am very worried and spend every day and night in tension that how long our marriage will take.”

Charging Toyana an illegal act and against Sharia Law: Experts

Masouda Karokhi, one of the women rights activists, told Pajhwok Afghan News, Toyana have many negative consequences and most of youth with economic problems did not agree to get married due to high Toyana.

Hailing from Herat province, she said: “In Herat a 14-year old child is sent to Iran to work and earn money to arrange Toyana, in Herat some family charged up to 800,000 afs Toyana.”

She said in Herat some people give their daughters to already married people because well-off people get second wife and they pay up to 1200,000 afs Toyana

Masouda termed high Toyana an illicit act and said: “A poor man remained engaged up to six years to arrange Toyana amount, after marriage the husband has to leave his family and go to a foreign country for work, another negative impact is the violent behavior of in-laws with the bride after marriage.”

In order to address this problem there is need for spreading awareness among people and until people don’t say no to this culture and distance themselves it could not be addressed.

Religious Scholar Prf. Dr. Noorullah Kawsari told Pajhwok Afghan News Toyna did not exist in Islam, there is only the Mehar concept in Islam.

“Toyna is an illegal and against the Sharia payment that the father of bride receive, the father should arrange something from his own pocket to his daughter and anything under the name of Toyana was prohibited in Sharia Law.”

He said: “In Sharia Law, Mehar is determined to be paid to a bride, either in one installment or in two installments. Allah Almighty has only made Mehar compulsory, otherwise it is illegal to take Toyana and the reason for corruption in the society is these exorbitant Toyana.”

Mawlavi Samaruddin, one of the Jawzjan religious scholars, said: “The prophet (PBUH) said the best Nikkah is the one which is simple and required less spending, Islam is not against wedding reception but it refrain people from extravagant expenses and taking Toyana is against Sharia Law.”

In ceremony titled ‘Mehar is the right of bride and taking Toyana is not permitted in Sharia Law’ is spread by the Hajj and Religious Affairs Ministry amid promoting awareness among people.

It said: “Today, people consider women as a source of money and give them to someone who has a lot of money; they don’t consider religious aspect, morals and age.”

Mawlavi Saifuddin Motasim, head of the Jawzjan Information and Cultural Affairs Department, said according to the Department of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice religious scholars are tasked to promote awareness regarding Toyana in Mosques and wedding ceremonies.


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