What Short Video Nikahnama Teaches Us

Sharmeen Obaid a well known activist started a seven month campaign “Aghai”  with an initiative of releasing 14 animated short clips/ videos under the banner of SOC films. These clips will explain and clarify the legislation that affect women and give an overview of how the legal provisions granted to them may be applied and will be narrated in Urdu by Aamina Sheikh and other regional languages.

Sharmeen Obaid under her Aghai Campaign shared a 3 minutes video “Know your Nikahnama” to introduce and make women familiar of the legal document, that sooner or later will be signed by them. It is true that often the rights of women are clip out from the document and hence depriving the women to claim her rights in court if things don’t work out later in marital life.

In the video the clause 18-19 is also explained: the right of woman to divorce which is different from Khula. Sara Malkani, a High Court lawyer reveals, “To include your right to divorce is extremely crucial because in the event that you want to dissolve your marriage, it will streamline the whole process. The split will take less time and most importantly, you won’t have to give up your mehr.

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In the video step by step, the sections are explained and informed to be checked necessarily. Moreover at the end the video includes information/ numbers of various helplines, counselling services, and legal support services available to people who may have questions about their nikahnama.

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One of the most important section perhaps for women is clause 17, that allows women and men to lay down any conditions that doesn’t go against Shariah (Islamic law/norms/teaching) and the law of the land. It can differ depending on person and extends from monthly maintenance and even a breakdown of household chores  to whether the woman will continue working after marriage. This area is often left blank due to lack of knowledge or simply clipped off without permission.

Whereas, in other news the council for Islamic Ideology (CII) clarified that no such Nikahnama (marriage certificate) draft is being considered that allows wuives to divorce their husbands after a local English newspaper published quoting CII chairman Qibla Ayaz. He also added that the 50 year old draft nikahnama will be replaced with equal rights of men and women ending their marriages.

CII spokesman mentioned that they are only working on a Talaqnama and Nikahnama with simplified language and will probably add clauses in the light of Sunnah and Quran.

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