When the family attended Friday prayers at the mosque a week after the reception, they were publicly insulted for hosting a ‘vulgar’ wedding.

Kerala mosque boycotts family for letting women pose for pics and sing at wedding From left: Danish Riyaz, groom Abdul Hai, bride Naswa and Danish's wife Fathima
news Controversy Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 15:42

What’s a wedding without some song, dance and pouting for photographs? Well, for the men of the Aloor Mosque committee in Palakkad’s Thrithala village, this idea of fun is not just unacceptable, it also deserves a boycott. Especially if the women at the wedding dare to have some fun.

In January this year, the mosque committee punished Danish Riyaz and his family for hosting a wedding reception where women sang and posed for photographs, a practice they claim went against their mosque rules.

A boycott was placed on the family for the following reasons:

a) Women were allowed to climb on to the dais and pose for photographs. The ladies at the wedding were also allowed to speak over the microphone to bless the newly weds.

b) A two piece orchestra was arranged to entertain the guests with music.

c) Children were allowed to dance on the stage.

Interestingly, the reception which triggered this boycott was held on December 28, 2018 in Edappal in Malappuram district, 13 km away from Aloor.  

“This was my brother’s wedding party. I knew that our Mahallu (mosque) has some traditional rules which is not followed in most other parts of Kerala, including in our neighbouring village. It was to avoid any conflict with the Aloor Committee that we shifted the wedding reception to Viva Palace in Edappal, Malappuram, which is nowhere close to Aloor or the mosque,” Danish wrote in a Facebook post.

Despite shifting the wedding to a different district altogether, the family could not evade the ire of the mosque and were publicly insulted by the authorities.

“The next week, when we went for Friday prayers, the chief Khatheeb took to the mic to publicly insult us. He called it a vulgar wedding and said the mosque will no longer cooperate with my family in any matter,” Danish told TNM.

The groom, Danish’s brother, was also summoned by the committee and informed about the punishment.

The committee members have stopped collecting a monthly fee of Rs 100, for the upkeep of the mosque, from Danish’s family. This fund is usually collected from every Muslim household by Mosque committee members. Further, the family has also been disallowed from entertaining the Ustads of the mosque for lunch, a practice held every three months.

To end the boycott, Danish has taken full responsibility of the wedding reception, stating that his family was not aware of the arrangements made for the celebrations and hence, must be exempted from it.

“I respect and accept the boycott and will follow any remedial procedures to make amends,” he wrote in his Facebook post.

Danish’s brother, too, had written a letter to the committee conveying the same and requesting them to lift the boycott. However, there has been no response from the mosque committee yet, he said.

“It has been 45 days since we sent the letter and we have not heard from them. I have now, through my Facebook post, appealed to the Chief Minister, our MLA VT Balram and the State Human Rights Commission, to speak with the committee and help my family. This message has been heard and the police too had visited my house to ask us to contact them if we face any problems,” Danish added.

Meanwhile, a committee member of the Aloor Mosque Azeez told TNM that there is no ban on the family as such.

“We have stopped cooperating with them temporarily. Since 2010, we have followed a stringent rule where we don’t allow weddings to have musical programmes, dance, alcohol etc. We had informed everyone about this. We had also informed this family before their wedding. Even if they go to another district and celebrate their wedding this rule stays,” he said.

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