Lucknow, April 24 (IANS) – Shabnam, the 26-year-old bride, said “Qubool hai” (I accept) to groom Abdul Kalaam in front of a web camera Friday.
While Shabnam was sitting in a cybercafe in Lucknow’s walled city, Kalaam positioned himself before a webcam thousands of miles away in Makkah in Saudi Arabia.
And it was not as if the two had struck a chord while accidentally browsing the net.
Shabnam’s brother Hazrat Ali said his mother and elder brother had finalised the nuptials with Kalaam, who hails from Tamil Nadu. “The marriage was arranged by us and my sister and Kalaam have never met before. She will soon join her husband.”
The conservative Muslim family arranged the Internet marriage as the groom was unable to get leave to come to India for the nuptials. “We thought of an Internet nikaah as Kalaam was not able to get leave.”
Kalaam being a computer engineer only made things easier. “In fact, the suggestion for the Internet wedding came from Kalaam,” said Ali.
The nuptials were not without the usual gathering of family members and celebrations.
At least 40 relatives of the Ali family were huddled up in the cybercafe owned by P.N. Misra to witness the unique ritual that was followed by a small celebration and feast at home. Kalaam too was joined by a few friends in Makkah.
The nikaah also had the blessings of the religious heads. Ali said the family had sought the approval of the Ulema before formalising the union.
Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, the Naib Imam of Lucknow’s Idgah, told IANS: “A nikaah on the Internet is absolutely valid as it fulfils every provision laid out in the shariat.”
The Maulana, who is a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), said: “Basically what Islam requires is the presence of at least two witnesses at the time of nikaah and in as this was conveniently possible even with the web camera, then why not?”
© 2004 IANS India Private Limited, New Delhi. Posted on Religioscope with permission. — Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) is India’s first multinational and multilingual wire service.Website: www.ians.in.