My Life Social work

Start your own bridal project.

Hi Everyone!

Hope you are facing this resurgence of the Corona virus nicely. I’ve found the best way is to stay away from crowded places, and get busy with social work. It is so satisfying, keeps you fully engaged in a useful activity, and Keeps you away from viruses! Many of you have asked me, how you can help in marriage of girls of underprivileged families. In this post, I’ll help you to start.

Your greatest advantage is the intention to help. Please keep it restricted to helping the really underprivileged persons in your community. Start small. Last year, I started it here. Now I’m working on the 52nd one!

Many times we add a few new three piece suits, as casual clothes are also important in both seasons.

Start right:

Be clear, that it is not to promote the jehaiz or dowry syndrome. It is the man’s job to provide for the girl. The parents of the girl are already giving their daughter. In my bridal project there are a few things that the parents would like to gift their daughter, on her departure from home. Just to ease her life in the new home. As the lives of our underprivileged persons are already very tough, they have no savings, and this is where our help comes in.

A recommender:

Since this project is not easy, takes a lot of effort on the part of donors and myself, I have to ensure it goes to the right person. A detailed process takes place to find out the authenticity of the receiver. So, I need a recommender, who will help me with all details. Someone who knows the person personally, and knows that the case is genuine. She provides me all details of cnic card pics, the back ground, and coordinates the meeting. If I find out that the person has just met the person and sent her to me, then I will not go ahead. This is a serious business, as most of my donor’s zakat money is being used for it, and that is why it has to be authentic information. A detailed scrutiny is also done of the one who recommends the case.

I am mostly approached on Instagram by the recommender. Usually, it is for a maid’s daughter, or I ask my staff if they know a deserving person in their village, then I’ll send through them. We have sent our stuff to Khanewal, Muzaffarabad, Peshawar, Karachi and Lahore also.

Mainly, I want each of us to help our own communities. If we do like this then the whole country’s people will get looked after.

What bridal project includes:

We give the basics, mostly the first three items, (and the next ones only if we have them):

  1. 1 plastic dinner set (usually for six, with 72 items in it.)
  2. A kitchen set comprising of:
    • One Tea set: with 6 tea mugs or tea cups.
    • A water set: 6 glasses and 1 jug.
    • A cutlery set for 6 each: knives, forks, spoons, tea spoons, & large spoons for serving.
    • 3 cooking pots,
    • 3 cooking spoons.
    • 1 Frying pan.
    • 1 each: Chakla and bailen for making roties.
    • Tawa.
    • Salt and pepper containers.
    • Sieve.
    • Tray.
    • Kitchen Knife.
  3. 9 – 12 dresses. (Some are new, others are slightly worn, but in excellent condition.) These are presented in properly.
  4. Accessories: handbags, shoes, artificial jewelry, bangles, make up etc.  
  5. Quilt.
  6. Bed sheets.
  7. Rs.5000 or 10,000 for food for the wedding function. Note: (My mentor Mahjabeen says, ‘the girls’ family is not to be burdened with this, and the boy’s family should just take a beverage and leave with the bride.) This is exactly, how she married her own son.  In Islam it is the boys’ family who is to give a meal to the guests, which they can do on arrival back home, or next day. This will only happen, when we of the affluent families become examples for others.

So, when we help the poor, we need to educate them too.

Why I insist on handing over the items myself:

It is mainly to meet them, and give them with grace and respect. Also to make sure it isn’t a run-away marriage.  The project is to ease the burden on parents. So, one hands the things to the parents. (I have also handed over to the bride-to-be in rare cases where the girl is an orphan. ) I meet the parent or parents, to explain about the rights of their daughter. (I’m sure plenty has been given already about her duties!) If parents do not stand by their daughter, who else will? So, they need to take care of their daughter and make sure the contract is fair to her.

My talk with parents:

They need to know that the nikah namah is the most powerful document, and needs to be filled out with care, and consent. Preferably a few days before the event, the paper needs to be brought home by the family, and shared between both the boys’ and girls’ elders and the couple.

  1. In the nikah nama or the marriage contract, I suggest, to ask for a good Haq Meher for the girl.  It should be a good and acceptable amount, which is also not a burden on the young man. It needs to be enough for the man to not take this relationship lightly. Also to think twice before he plans to terminate the relationship.
  2. Especially, talk about the right of divorce for the girl, in the marriage contract, must be facilitated. If a right is given by Allah in a surah of Holy Quran, why should humans remove it from her by putting crosses on the related sections on the contract?  
  3. I candidly tell the parents that some of the clothes may have been already worn a few times, but are almost new. I also explain to them that the ‘new’ clothes hanging in most boutiques and clothes outlets are also worn at least once or twice. (I’ve known providers who would attend a dinner or two and then give these to boutiques. I also, know boutiques in Europe where the salesgirls are asked to wear these to model for the buyers occasionally.) So, it isn’t unusual.
  4. At the same time, to apologize for any shortcomings in advance.
  5. Ask the parents to pray for my donors without whom, none of this was possible.
  6. These are for parent’s satisfaction, not to satisfy the needs of greedy people. I tell them, never to get involved with greedy people.

How to start a bridal project:

  1. Know that it is the most exciting and thrilling activity. Just pass the word round your social media, or friends. Collect clothes and accessories. Make sure these are in a presentable shape and form.
  2. You need around Rs.10,000 for the dinner set and kitchen set items for one marriage.
  3. Meanwhile choose the person for donation carefully.
  4. Inform your elders and other family members who usually give zakat or want to donate any funds.
  5. Keep a record of all finances. Keep receipts of all transactions. Note and record all activities.
  6. Be sure to have a regular source of income of your own, in case, there are no donations, then you can easily pitch in. Keep aside your own zakat and sadqa for the purpose or a percentage of your income.

Time line:

Our first project was done within 48 hours! It just happened so fast and we were able to help a widow in marriage of her two daughters in a far off and remote area in the North, near Muzaffarabad. ? I can’t tell you the happiness one feels.

Once the stuff arrives and you have put it into a presentable shape, then one just wants it to be given. Give it asap.

Stay blessed & protected, my dear Readers. ? I really love you all.

#dowry, #bridalproject, #shireengheba

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