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03 July 2012

Muslim family remarries widowed daughter-in-law

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By Suchandana Gupta

Bhopal: This could remind one of the 2006 Bollywood film, 'Baabul' where a wealthy businessman Balraj Kapoor (played by Amitabh Bachchan) and his wife Shobhna (performed by Hema Malini) get their widowed daughter-in-law Malvika (played by Rani Mukherjee) remarried after their son's demise.

In the congested New Anand Nagar area in Jabalpur city, 320 km from here, `Baabul' transformed to real life when an elderly Muslim couple Mohammad Anwar Ahmed Khan and his wife Mumtaz Begum got their 25-year-old widowed daughter-in-law Suraiyya remarried so she could be happy again.

The 'nikaah' was conducted according to Islamic laws and attended by Mohammad Anwar's family, Suraiyya's parents while a massive `baarat' accompanied the groom Javed Iqbal. ``The marriage was on Thursday but the reception for 1200 guests was hosted by us on Saturday evening,'' said Haji Asrar Ahmad Khan, brother of Mohammad Anwar Ahmed Khan.
"After my son died in a road accident, I saw my daughter-in-law as a daughter. We decided she was to live like one of my own daughters. Suraiyya was married to my son Azmat Khan six years ago and we were like any other happy family,'' recalled mother-in-law Mumtaz Begum.

"But we lost our son in a road accident two years ago. He was crushed to death by a dumper truck. The incident left Suraiyya shattered and heart-broken. We couldn't bear to see that girl live the life of a widow. She looked after us like a daughter. Then it crossed our mind what if anything untoward happened to us? Where will this girl go and widowed at such a young age, how will she like through her life?''

Father-in-law Mohammad Anwar Ahmad Khan is a retired school teacher who argued that if Suraiyya was his daughter, he would have gotten her remarried no matter what the rules said. ``But here I got a lot of support as there is a provision in the Islamic laws for widow remarriage,'' he recalled. ``Suraiyya wasn't agreeing to marry after Azmat's death as she was still emotionally attached to the past.'' Mohammad Anwar approached with the proposal of her remarriage to Javed Iqbal, a resident of Nagrath Chowk area. Iqbal's father Dost Mohammad is a family friend. Suraiyya's father Nizammuddin was asked to make her agree to the remarriage.

"We believe it was the Almighty's will that we came across such a suitable family,'' Haji Asrar Ahmad Khan told TOI. The `nikaah' was complete in four hours. Then we threw a grand reception in the city's Sadbhavna Bhavan where the dinner menu consisted of the traditional biryani, chicken and a whole range of sweets. The wedding was as grand as any first wedding, we did not do anything low-key because we sincerely want Suraiyya to find happiness again.''

(Courtesy: The Times of India)

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