Wulwar is the money taken by the head of the bride’s family, it is done at negotiation and finalized before the marriage. By the decision of jirga, the parents of the groom agree to pay a handsome amount of cash to the parents or guardians of the bride before marriage.
In every society, marriage is an important, crucial as well as a beautiful part of one’s life. Pakistan and Afghanistan have diverse culture ethnicity, race and languages. Therefore, both countries have different customs of marriage due to their diversity. When someone utters the word marriage it sounds good and the word denotes happiness.
In Pakistan and Afghanistan as a child is born parents start to dream about their child’s marriage. They dream this out of both their happiness as well as out of their cultural pressure. Due to our own made societal customs, it becomes very difficult for parents to fulfil their duty happily. Therefore, this beautiful important aspect of life automatically turns into a curse which puts them under pressure and anxiety.
Wulwar is part of these customs that still prevail in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. It is a great evil. It is a kind of discrimination against boys who are waiting for their marriages and are not able to pay a cash Wulwar and buy a bride for themselves.
How surprising and disgusting it is that the girl’s parents defined the value of the groom based on the payment of their respective Wulwar. People come to believe that there is no way out. This is a dilemma and even taboo, though contemporary civilized and well-educated families begin to save up money for their sons Wulwar.
Wulwar even prevails in contemporary well educated civilized pakhtoon families, and they think there is no way out. As much internally people don’t like it and don’t want to do it but due to social and cultural pressure, it has to be done. It is also a matter of honour for someone’s daughter.
If they go against the custom and do marriages without Wulwar then the people come to think that the girl is worthless. The owner of someone’s daughter is directly proportional to the amount of cash which would be paid by the groom.
Wulwar is an example of greed and selfishness and also a curse on society especially for those males who are hand-to-mouth and belong to the lower middle class. Marriage is a crucial part of someone’s life that everyone has to go through.
But the problem is our social customs made it difficult and people won’t be able to fulfil this very natural and important aspect of life. Therefore, consequences result in psychological stress which may have harmful effects on the whole of society.
Muslims have their own specific customs, and obviously, this sometimes denies Islam. Similarly, marriage customs in Pakhtuns every now and then deny Islamic teaching. There are customs which are performed for the prosperity and respect of partners in society. But at the same time, these customs have created complications for couples who want to marry. It is too upsetting that these customs have no connection with religion and the weight of expenses is on the groom’s family. This has lowered the number of marriages.
The objectives of the research are as follows;
- To verify how much the existing Wulwar system is affecting our society?
- To find out how much people like this system and how much they are against it.
- To look into whether the Wulwar is a privilege for the girl’s family.
The sample of the research will be consisting of twenty males. The sampling technique will be used in the research is simple random sampling to reduce the errors.
After designing questionnaires, pilot testing will be done to check their precision. It shows good reliability. The simple random sampling technique will be chosen to collect data. Data will be collected from different areas of Quetta city as Quetta has people residing in it from different pakthoon areas as well as from Afghanistan. Respondent males including both married and single. Moreover, respondents will be from different professions, educational levels, age groups and different classes.
Marriage is an important phase in one’s life, which shouldn’t be taken for granted. Marriage shouldn’t be dependent on money as following wulwar custom poor people won’t be able to get married due to money being the hurdle.
Marriage and family institutions occupy a very pivotal position in the Islamic legal system. Marriage in Islam is essentially a righteous act and an act of devotion (Muhammad Tahir Mansoori, 2009).
The Prophet is reported to have said: “The marriage which is most greatly blessed is the one which is the lightest in burden [expense]. However, if people are well catered for, without extravagance and show, there is no problem with that either” (Bayhaqi).
The social structure and ideological formation of Pakhtuns are almost completely dominated by Islam throughout the course of social and religious life as Pukhtuns strictly abide by Islamic law (Shari’ah) along with their own code of life known as Pakhtunwali (Arab Naz, 2012:63).
Paktoon-populated areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan have different customs regarding marriage that have a great impact on family and society. Marriage provides happiness and a great connection between the two individuals as well as between both families, however, at the same time, Wulwar becomes an obstacle for the males who wish to marry.
In this research discussion on one of the main pakhtoon customs “Wulwar,’’ a tradition of buying a bride for money is studied. There are no criteria for wulwar in Islam. To some extent, the purpose of wulwar is to help poor families at the time of marriage. But at the same, it doesn’t mean if the men or their family are not able to pay he won’t get married.
- Mansoori, M. T. (2009). Family Law in Islam. Islamabad: IRI.
- Naz, A. (2012). The relational analysis of Pukhtun social organization (Pukhtoonwali) and women’s Islamic rights relegation in Malakand Division, KPK Pakistan. International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 63-73.