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Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:55 pm
by alternative-reality
Hi guys first time poster

I proposed to a girl who comes from a Dawoodi bohra background.

Family’s were quite happy but then her parents want me to do a Dawoodi bohra nikkah. This involves misaq and the rituals

In all honesty i don’t believe in a holy priesthood and feel uncomfortable taking an oath.

But whenever I ask for the oath and what it entails I’m given very sketchy answers. I have no idea what I’m saying or aggreing to.

When I ask for a written copy apparently there is no written copy and when I ask for literature on their religious beliefs there is none?

They also seem very fixed and adamant on me doing the Dawoodi bohra rituals but this is difficult when I don’t know what they are.

I don’t think they are classed as progesssive Dawoodi bohras. They are the ones that believe in the preisthood/spiritual leader.

I don’t understand. Can anyone shed any light.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:42 am
by dal-chaval-palidu
That oath (misaq) is quite stern. Search for it on this website or somebody may have the whole text and they can put it here.

That maybe one reason you are getting sketchy answers.

Many bohras (yours truly included) have given/taken it even while being ambivalent about some of its clauses.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:52 am
by New
Have you considered that you may have to go through khatna assuming you have not been circumscised. This just beginning of the uphill battle. The family of the girl holds the key.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:42 am
by ajamali
To be brutally honest, the oath entails only as much as you want it to entail. Theoretically speaking you are signing off your life and your assets to the Syedna but since this is not enforceable, you get to keep both if you so desire!
To be perfectly cynical: take the oath and the nikah. It will legitimize your children in the eyes of the community and it will ease the life of your in-laws. After the wedding, you and your wife can determine the degree of your involvement with the clergy and the community.
As far as the marriage rituals, they are rather superficial and not so onerous as say Hindu rituals, there will be plenty of people to help you.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:10 pm
by Shams
Hi,

First of all, congratulations on your upcoming wedding and a married life. I would echo what other members said, that the oath is a formality (an unnecessary one!). That being said, it calls into question how principled of a stand you want to make. If you dont intend on following through with the "oath", that calls into question about how you are to follow through on any other oaths at the doorstep of your new life. If your parents in law know this and still want you to go through with the formality, it also calls into question the validity of their oath. I am always in favor of doing whatever makes you happy and makes your life easier. If you truly want to have no hassles going ahead, I'd suggest you sit down with your parents in law and your to be wife and discuss is detail what other "formalities" marrying their daughter entails. Will you be obliged to pay obeisance to the priesthood? Will your kids go to a bori madrasa? Will your wedding happen according to how you envision it or how the priesthood wants it to be and so on. An open discussion will be tough right now but will be very helpful to set your relationship on the right path. I would encourage giving your wife complete religious freedom to observe her beliefs as she likes it but set ground rules on how much you are liable to follow them.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:11 pm
by dal-chaval-palidu
Shams wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:10 pm
Hi,

First of all, congratulations on your upcoming wedding and a married life. I would echo what other members said, that the oath is a formality (an unnecessary one!). That being said, it calls into question how principled of a stand you want to make. If you dont intend on following through with the "oath", that calls into question about how you are to follow through on any other oaths at the doorstep of your new life. If your parents in law know this and still want you to go through with the formality, it also calls into question the validity of their oath. I am always in favor of doing whatever makes you happy and makes your life easier. If you truly want to have no hassles going ahead, I'd suggest you sit down with your parents in law and your to be wife and discuss is detail what other "formalities" marrying their daughter entails. Will you be obliged to pay obeisance to the priesthood? Will your kids go to a bori madrasa? Will your wedding happen according to how you envision it or how the priesthood wants it to be and so on. An open discussion will be tough right now but will be very helpful to set your relationship on the right path. I would encourage giving your wife complete religious freedom to observe her beliefs as she likes it but set ground rules on how much you are liable to follow them.
Just an additional note of caution. Differences in religious beliefs is one possible source of conflict in a marriage. And how much you, (God willing) your future children, and your wife adhere to specific (Bohra) customs can also cause potential friction.

So best to have a frank discussion beforehand. Best Wishes, and I hope that it all works out.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:56 pm
by alternative-reality
Do i sign this at the nikkah??

We, the undersigned (girls full name) and (boys full name) undertake on our getting married to strictly adhere to the laws, rules, customs, traditions and culture of Dawat-e-Hadiyah and in all matters of religion, particularly matrimonial action, divorce, custody of children, maintenance and inheritance we agree to be governed by Islamic law as is interpreted by al-Dai al-Mutlaq. And further, God forbid, in the event of our divorce or separation or death of any one of us, or both, our children shall be raised as per the directions of al-Dai al-Mutlaq.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:36 pm
by ajamali
alternative-reality wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:56 pm
Do i sign this at the nikkah??

We, the undersigned (girls full name) and (boys full name) undertake on our getting married to strictly adhere to the laws, rules, customs, traditions and culture of Dawat-e-Hadiyah and in all matters of religion, particularly matrimonial action, divorce, custody of children, maintenance and inheritance we agree to be governed by Islamic law as is interpreted by al-Dai al-Mutlaq. And further, God forbid, in the event of our divorce or separation or death of any one of us, or both, our children shall be raised as per the directions of al-Dai al-Mutlaq.
I have never heard of anyone having to sign such a thing... I think someone is feeding you some alternative facts....

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:26 am
by dal-chaval-palidu
I have never signed anything like this, nor have I heard anybody sign something like this.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:25 am
by Shams
alternative-reality wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:56 pm
Do i sign this at the nikkah??

We, the undersigned (girls full name) and (boys full name) undertake on our getting married to strictly adhere to the laws, rules, customs, traditions and culture of Dawat-e-Hadiyah and in all matters of religion, particularly matrimonial action, divorce, custody of children, maintenance and inheritance we agree to be governed by Islamic law as is interpreted by al-Dai al-Mutlaq. And further, God forbid, in the event of our divorce or separation or death of any one of us, or both, our children shall be raised as per the directions of al-Dai al-Mutlaq.
I'm surprised no one else here knows about this. This is an actual document they make you and your wife sign a few days before the actual nikah is supposed to take place. Bud, who is doing the nikah, where are you located? I would strongly suggest you try and wiggle out of signing this document. Its the opposite of a pre-nup, where you are willingly placing your neck in the guillotine. No matter the amount of trust you have in your to be wife, especially someone who is not a bori, this is unfair deal for you. You are walking on thin ground, tread carefully. Saam Daam Dand Bhed are your options

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:27 am
by Shams
dal-chaval-palidu wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:26 am
I have never signed anything like this, nor have I heard anybody sign something like this.
Brother DCP, never signed? How many times did you get married? :D :D Sorry couldnt resist.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:58 am
by yfm
If you can't be your self before marriage, wish you all the best after marriage. You can lie and be an imposter to whole world EXCEPT yourself. That is faith.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:28 am
by Udaipuri
Brother "alternative-reality", as your handle aptly suggests, religion is an alternative reality. Don't believe a word of these naysayers. The only faith you'll ever need - in the context of marriage - is the one between you and your girl. The love and trust between you two is the only thing that matters. All these religious rituals and requirements are hurdles placed by the enemies of love. Take the misaq and sign the nikah form, these are mere formalities and do not mean much in real life. The misaq will tell you to swear by the Imam which even the mullah giving you the misaq doesn't know if he exists or not. And the niqah form is basically telling you that your life is in the hands of a Dai who can't put a decent, logical sentence together. What a laugh!!! Do one thing, sign the nikah form, then tear it into tiny pieces and mail them to the Dai. That's what it is worth. In case your marriage runs into trouble, god forbid, let your basic humanity guide the two of you to resolve the matter. If not, there are courts and laws of the land. You do not need a bloody Dai and his corrupt system. I would do whatever it takes to get my girl, and would not feel guilty about anything. Be brave and go for it.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:27 pm
by Ozdundee
4 options

1. Sign get over it and throw the paper in a bin. It has no legal weight. Cannot be enforced. It is all mind games.

2. Fight it On principle grounds until they back off

3. Marry via other religious institutions

4. Stay in Bohra or do as they do.
alternative-reality wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:56 pm
Do i sign this at the nikkah??

We, the undersigned (girls full name) and (boys full name) undertake on our getting married to strictly adhere to the laws, rules, customs, traditions and culture of Dawat-e-Hadiyah and in all matters of religion, particularly matrimonial action, divorce, custody of children, maintenance and inheritance we agree to be governed by Islamic law as is interpreted by al-Dai al-Mutlaq. And further, God forbid, in the event of our divorce or separation or death of any one of us, or both, our children shall be raised as per the directions of al-Dai al-Mutlaq.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:22 pm
by ajamali
Ozdundee wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:27 pm
4 options

1. Sign get over it and throw the paper in a bin. It has no legal weight. Cannot be enforced. It is all mind games.

2. Fight it On principle grounds until they back off

3. Marry via other religious institutions

4. Stay in Bohra or do as they do.
alternative-reality wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:56 pm
Do i sign this at the nikkah??

We, the undersigned (girls full name) and (boys full name) undertake on our getting married to strictly adhere to the laws, rules, customs, traditions and culture of Dawat-e-Hadiyah and in all matters of religion, particularly matrimonial action, divorce, custody of children, maintenance and inheritance we agree to be governed by Islamic law as is interpreted by al-Dai al-Mutlaq. And further, God forbid, in the event of our divorce or separation or death of any one of us, or both, our children shall be raised as per the directions of al-Dai al-Mutlaq.
I do not think you should sign this. It’s one thing to take a verbal oath, quite another to put your signature on an agreement to give your future children away to the care of someone who is not you!

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:36 am
by LFT
I have married a non-bohra muslim girl. It was not easy for her but we did it. Misaq is a pain and quite unnecessary but you will not be able to proceed without it. However, once its done and you can just say the words without meaning it then no one will bother you after that. Think of it just as a ritual - most of it is pretty silly anyways. While the nikah rituals are different from other muslims, the essence of the Nikah is exactly the same with the same basic requirements that need to be fulfilled. In Islam, Nikah is a contract between a man and a woman with specific conditions which are the same for all Muslims. In Pakistan, Bohras use the same Nikah form for registration as all Muslims.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:11 pm
by Shams
Certain well versed people have commented here to sign the document and disregard it after. This is poor advice as :
1. Its easier said than done. Even if the groom was to do this, I could not see any scenario in which the family members of a groom would be ok with this, assuming he is close to his parents and family. Imagine this, you're the father of a groom and the girls family wants complete rights to what happens to the kids in case the marriage falls apart, a very bitter pill to swallow!
2. Nikahnama is an actual legal document folks! From what I came to know recently, these vultures want only the girls family as witnesses on the nikah document, which gets translated and stamped by your local govt office and kept as a legal record of marriage. Now, I'm not completely sure about how this particular document ties into the nikahnama but the advice I would give to the groom is research into that and get legal counsel to ascertain this is not legally binding, instead of speculate and false hope. Doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:22 pm
by Newbee
dal-chaval-palidu wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:26 am
I have never signed anything like this, nor have I heard anybody sign something like this.
Bhai dcp, I am a bohra married to a non-bohra muslim man. We definitely had to sign this document get the signatures witnessed by two witnesses in the presence of a notary. I was informed by the notary that the document does not really hold any weight if push came to shove. Perhaps this document would only apply if one was marrying outside the community.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:02 pm
by Newbee
Alternative-reality - yes it may be difficult for you partaking in the misaaq and so on. You could just go through the motions and not really mean any of it as other posters on the forum have commented. It wasn’t easy for my spouse to do this but in the long run, for me, it’s made some things easier. I think a discussion needs to be had with your future wife. Is she a practicing bohra and does she want to continue attending bohra functions once you are married (in which case you would most certainly need to undergo misaaq and have a bohra nikaah for the community to recognise your marriage). Would she and her family expect you to practice/partake in bohra religion and customs and if they did would you be willing to? If you had any children would they be expected to be brought up as bohras by the girl and her family?

From my experience, from similar cases including my own, most people do the misaaq and nikaah and go on their merry way. Some have maintained full ties to the community, some part ties and others have left the community altogether. To be honest, you will just learn to work things through with your spouse. There may be sacrifices to be made and some points of conflict on both sides but logical reasoning, compromise, love and respect should help overcome some of the hurdles. Obviously if sacrifice and compromise cannot be made, then that could result in disagreements. All the best. Feel free to PM if you want any more information about my experience.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:50 am
by dal-chaval-palidu
Newbee wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:22 pm
dal-chaval-palidu wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:26 am
I have never signed anything like this, nor have I heard anybody sign something like this.
Bhai dcp, I am a bohra married to a non-bohra muslim man. We definitely had to sign this document get the signatures witnessed by two witnesses in the presence of a notary. I was informed by the notary that the document does not really hold any weight if push came to shove. Perhaps this document would only apply if one was marrying outside the community.
Thank you ben.

May be my parents or some elder asked me to sign and I just did it. I don't even remember it.

Re: Marrying a Bohra

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:05 am
by Shams
I couldn't help but marinate on this topic a little more and question the reason they would want you to sign such a document. Only one reason come to mind, maintaining status quo. Think of this, in every child custody battle the prime reason any one of the parent gets full custody of the child is if that parent is maintaining status quo, which is living the same lifestyle, consistent social and financial interests and similar religious beliefs. The court almost always goes in the favor of the more religious parent, so in case if a marriage goes sour because of religious differences, it becomes easy for them to project to the court that the other parent has left previously agreed upon status quo to an alternative lifestyle which will not be a consistent upbringing for the children. Continuing this train of thought further, this seems to be the reason why sons of SMS got full custody of the children despite usual court ruling in favor of the mother. Can anyone here with legal experience chime in on this?