A new year comes forth with new fodder for the ‘wired’ generation sitting behind computer screens going “ALL CAPS” on a keyboard and tapping away at Smartphone screens. This year’s first celebrity “scandal” does not seem like one to begin with but if the crème de la crème of the social media hemisphere has decided upon making it one then so be it, In the spirit of Democracy.
Yasra Rizvi is an accomplished theatre and television actress who has been a mainstay of the biggest Television dramas in the past 5 years along with a lauded appearance in the critically acclaimed feature film “MANTO” a semi-biographical venture upon one of subcontinent’s most controversial yet revered figure in Urdu Literature, Saadat Hassan Manto.
Yasra recently tied the knot with Abdul Hadi in an auspicious ceremony attended by her peers and well wishers, the pictures (Released on the Internet) have the happy couple sharing a good time fully involved in the celebrations seeming inseparable, content and in love.
There was just a slight issue, society had a bone to pick with the newlyweds and their happiness, Yasra is 34 years old and allegedly her husband is 10 years younger to her providing a much needed excuse to the social media platoon, challenging the supposedly “Taboo” union.
People have hurled insults and criticism at the couple for going against societal “norms” and partaking in an unusual alliance which goes against the majority’s self-conjured belief system.
Age difference and an Islamic wedding condition called “Haq Meher” have been the topics of debate and scrutiny in the social media platforms blazing up unneeded heat over the otherwise private affair.
Haq Meher is a mandatory religious condition in Islam which may include payment, in the form of money or possessions paid or promised to pay by the groom, or by groom’s father, to the bride at the time of marriage that legally becomes her property with intent to safeguard her financially, spiritually and morally in the future.
The actress decided her Meher to not be something material rather a religious obligation which her husband must abide by (Offering the Fajar prayers dutifully) to which her husband agreed.
According to a statement released on her official facebook page, “Dear Pakistanis I respect your views and if you had a chance to read my actual status i wrote that it is Umm Sulaym where i got my inspiration. The lady settled for conversion to Islam as her mehr and this happened during the times of Prophet Mohammad p.b.u.h. Certainly kalma is not said for man but only for Allah yet a woman settled for it to be her mehr because it was a time of polytheism and her being a muslim woman a muslim man as her husband meant falaah which is far more valuable to her than any material security. I believe we live in similar times. Most of our actions do not reflect our religion and above all namaz which differentiates us from the non believers is becoming harder by the day for most to offer due to distractions, laziness, shaky faith etc. Hence i decided to ask my husband to promise “paabandi e namaz e fajr” as mehr. The namaz is still for Allah. I am just more secure with someone who offers it and inspires me too. It is my humble effort to bring piety in my marriage and i have obtained fatwa after my own research since i am a reader of the translation of Quran. As for publicity I am already plenty famous and in my 5 year TV career I have remained rather stunt free. Also my husband doesn’t work right now he is finishing his MBA thesis so frankly he can’t even afford to pay a dime as my mehr.”
The “Enlightened” lot of the country demonizes her for being ‘Too Old’ and the Religious bigots of the country portray themselves to be the foremost authority in matters pertaining to religion ready to play Judge, Jury and Executioner at a moment’s notice.
Our advice to Yasrah and Hadi would be to deal with it as Taylor Swift might and “Shake It Off” (We know the example may not be very appealing to some but we too act upon it and don’t care).
We wish the Happy couple a lot of luck and good wishes in their future, “Doodho Nahao Phoolo Phalo.”