Witnesses in Hindu Marriage
In the Hindu marriages there is no necessity of any witness. By chanting the Vedic mantras, the bride separates herself from her parents’ family forever, going to her husbands’ family she prays to God that she may never be separated from her husband and his family. In Hindu marriages, the Gods are invoked and propitiated by means of Vedic mantras. The Gods are requested to grace the occasion by their auspicious presence and become witnesses. By filling water in the Kumbh (pitcher) God Varuna is propitiated.(1)
Hinduism includes many sorts of polytheistic acts and rituals during the marriage ceremony. Seven steps around the sacred fire is the most important Hindu tradition in marriage. It is strange that Hinduism makes Ishvar the witness to the marriage. There is no doubt that Allah is Witness to everything, nothing hides from Him. However, the contract of marriage in some cases leads to conflict and dispute which requires the witness of the people to end the dispute if it happens. But how can you refer to Ishvar in the case of dispute? And how can you benefit from the testimony of Ishvar in settling such disputes?
Islam believes in marriage the necessity of Ijab (offer) and Qubul (acceptance) or consent of both parties. Also, two witnesses are necessary during the contract of marriage. Jurists of Islam have ruled that marriage requires registration because it helps eliminating many problems that may appear after the marriage.
Fire Worship in Hindu Marriage
In the last part of the ceremony, the bridegroom ties a sacred thread or a gold necklace around the bride’s neck with three knots and accepts her hand in marriage (panigrahanam) and then they take seven steps (saptapadi) together, uttering vows of friendship, loyalty and righteousness.(2)
The groom and the bride go round the fire four times. In the first three rounds the bride leads and in the fourth the bridegroom leads.
Furthermore, the sacred fire is lit and the priests chant mantras offering oblations to various gods to make the marriage a success and bless the couple.
I think the worship of fire at the time of Hindu marriage is amongst the remains of ancient Zoroastrian custom in Hinduism, especially if we take into our account that the Aryans are not originally from Indian people. Rather, they were from Iran and invaded India expelling the original Indians to the forests and hills in the southern India.(3)
Worship of fire is amongst the traditions of the Zoroastrian and Magi.
However, marriage in Islam is conducted according to Islamic faith, in a pure monotheistic atmosphere, far from any kind of polytheism or idolatry. Eventually, this purity results in blessings and good impacts on marriage and on the married couples and whole family as well.
Some Lustful Mantrs of Marriage
In order to clarify the facts and distinguish between good and evil, it is worth to mention here some hymns that are chanted at the time of marriage contract, which contain a lot of indecent words. This is not a secret or hidden thing; it is a visible matter during the marriage contracts in India.
Atharvaveda, 14/2/38 and 39 say:
तां पूषञ्छिवतमामेरयस्व यस्यां बीजं मनुष्या वपन्ति
या न ऊरू उशती विक्षयाति यस्यामुशन्तः प्रहरेम शेपः| 38
आरोहोरुमुप धत्स्व हस्तं परि ष्वजस्व जायां सुमनस्यमानः |39
O Men, you are the strengthener. You inspire into this lady well-wisher of you and your family, the spirit of procreating children. The woman is such an entity in whom the men sow semen-seed, who desiring progeny spreads her thigh towards her husband, and in whom the husband like you and us thrust the organ with the desire of children.38
O husband! Come on the thigh, lean on the hand and lay down hugging your wife with pleasure.39 [Translation Acharya Vaidya Nath Shastri, Published by Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha]
It is noteworthy that these hymns are recited at the time of marriage in the presence of guests including; men, women and children. Fortunately, now most of the people do not understand Sanskrit, the language of Vedas and they are unaware of what is recited to them.
In fact, these hymns contain sexually explicit language that makes an ordinary man ashamed. The nature of divine revelation defies such method and style. In addition to that, these hymns were chosen by the Hindu priests to be recited on the people in the public marriage ceremony.
Perhaps, these lapses in Hindu culture turned many people away from Hinduism and the natives of the Indian sub-continent became interested in Islam, fascinated by the purity of Islamic message.
I invite Hindu brethren to rethink about their beliefs and faith which may be based on merely myth and distorted scriptures that will cause a calamity in this world and the Hereafter.
(1) Oswami Giridharilal Shastri, Marriage-Ceremony, p. 4.
(3) Dr. Gastavali Ban, Urdu translation, By Syed `Ali Bilgrami, Steem Press, Hyderabad, India, 1943, p.10.