Naila Shamal of Mardan, Khyber Pakthunkhwa.
Jabeen Adil, Gulf Today
A real book lover is willing to make sacrifices. He or she could give up partying, spending time surfing the Internet, or even going to the movies. The bibliophile could also sacrifice gabfests with friends. Nothing could be more comforting than curling up with a book for hours without anyone disturbing. As J.K. Rowling, the famed author of the Harry Potter series, says, "I do believe that something very magical can happen when you read a good book."
Some, however, go to unusual lengths. In Pakistan, a young bride, Naila Shamal, from the northeastern city of Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, asked her husband for books worth Rs100,000 (Dhs2,343) as her haq mehr instead of gold and money.
Haq mehr is the financial gain which the wife is entitled to receive from her husband by virtue of marriage contract.
Only the woman has right over her haq mehr, and paying it is a legal obligation under Islamic law and customs.
In a viral video on Twitter, Shamal can be seen dressed in a bridal outfit as she delivers an important message. "As you all know, I have demanded books worth Rs100,000 for haq mehr," she says. "One reason for this is that due to rising inflation in our country, we cannot afford expensive gifts. On the other hand, it is also important to eliminate wrong customs from our society," she adds.
Shumaila then says that most women demand money and jewellery as haq mehr but she decided to settle for books because “if as a writer I myself do not value books, how can I expect ordinary people to value them? This was the real reason I asked for books for my haq mehr — we need to value books ourselves so we can ask others to do so as well."
The idea was well appreciated on social media.
The video went viral on Twitter, as it garnered more than 30,000 views and was retweeted many times.
A Twitter user named Mona Farooq Ahmed said, "A bride Naila Shamal in Mardan KPK, Pakistan demanded books in haq mehr, worth 100k. The bride and the groom both are writers. How much do you love books?" she had captioned the video.
“It’s a progressive thought. The couple is lucky enough to have each other and they will definitely enjoy writing in each other’s company. More power to them,” another user wrote.
"That's something we don't often see in our culture. That's great thinking," wrote yet another tweeter.
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