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Wed 14 Mar 2012 11:35 AM

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Lavish weddings "waste of money" - Oman Grand Mufti

"Godlier" to give money to poor instead, says head of religious institution

Lavish weddings "waste of money" - Oman Grand Mufti
“Costly weddings are a waste of money. It is godlier to give the money to the poor instead." (AFP/Getty Images - image for illustrative purposes only)

Oman’s Grand Mufti has urged couples in the Gulf state not to spend lavish amounts of money on weddings but give to the money to charity instead.

Speaking in an interview with Oman Television, Sheikh Ahmed Al Khalili said extravagant weddings made less fortunate couples feel uncomfortable, the Times of Oman reported.

“Costly weddings are a waste of money. It is godlier to give the money to the poor instead of splashing it out for just one day. We also need to think of those who cannot afford such extravaganza; they are made to feel poor when they are asked to attend,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

“I know that there are different levels of income for different people and one may think that they can afford it. However, we must refrain from going over the roof and think of those who are less fortunate,” he added.

The trend of lavish weddings in Oman, typically held over several days, began in the 1980s but the high cost involved has encouraged many Omani men to marry foreign women, who are perceived less likely to demand high dowries or expensive weddings.

Omani weddings can cost up to OMR30,000 (US$78,000) while dowries reach up to OMR15,000, forcing many couples to start their married life in debt, Reuters reported in June amid protests in the country calling for better jobs and working conditions.

Oman’s Shura Council in May proposed the creation of a Marriage Support Fund, which in addition to offering loans would also include social counseling and advice to young couples.

“The Shura members were unanimous in their view that there was a need to respond to the requirements of a large segment of the society,” Marhoun Bin Masoud Al Ghaithi, deputy chairman of the Health and Social Affairs Committee, said in a statement to Oman state news agency.

“It includes social counselling, advisory on protecting the society against alien phenomena and assistance on economic management of households."

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Mick 8 years ago

I love Oman....more and more due to the opinions of people like this.
Such a realistic, humble, non-shallow and down to earth country.

AC1 8 years ago

Agreed 100% on that basis.