Couple gets married with 101 books as mahr in Bogra

The newlyweds plan to build a family library at home with these books

Newlyweds Nikhil Naushad and Shantana Khatun became the talk of the town at Bogra's Dhunat upazila after they decided upon 101 books as mahr – an obligation, in the form of money or possessions paid by the groom, to the bride at the time of Islamic marriage – for their marriage.

The bride Shantana wishes to build a family library with those books.

They got married around 7pm on Friday evening at Nikhil’s maternal grandmother's house in the Chikashi union of the upazila.

A nose pin, a ring, and 70 books worth Tk11,000 were given immediately on Friday. 

The remaining 31 books will be paid in phases. 

Nikhil’s father, Shantana’s mother and their relatives were present at the wedding ceremony. 

Neighbouring villagers, however, flocked to see the wedding after hearing the news of such an uncommon marriage.

Nikhil Naushad, 33, former leader of Bogra Govt Azizul Haque College Socialist Front, is the youngest of three sons and two daughters, and he graduated from the same college with a degree in BSS.

Shantana of Sonatala upazila of Bogra used to study a grade behind Nikhil’s. She is the younger of two sisters. With her master's degree in English, she is currently a teacher under the MPO of Chelopara Dakhil Madrasha in Bogra city.

The two fell in love through writing poetry during their days in college.

Recently Nikhil and Shantana decided to get married and as mahr for their marriage, the bride demanded 101 books worth Tk2,02,000 with the condition that the maximum price of each book would be Tk2,000.

Both the families accepted their decision.

Last Thursday, Nikhil and Shantana visited various shops in the city and bought 70 books, a ring and a nose pin at the cost of Tk11,000.

They decided to buy 31 more books out of the remaining money. 

Earlier, the marriage was registered in the office of the civil judge named Abdul Hannan. 

Samsul Islam, father of Nikhil Naushad, said that soon they will rent a house in the Khandar area of the city as it will be convenient for Shantana’s job. 

“Her mother has eight bighas of land which she will hand over to her two daughters, which is also likely why they are moving to the city,” he added.

Nikhil told reporters that Shantana only wanted 101 books as mahr and hopefully, her case will inspire others toward dowryless marriages.

Shantana Khatun said that she was in awe of Naushad's poetry and just thought it would be best to ask for books after deciding to get married. 

To them, the weight and honor of books are more than money and the rest of the books will be bought later by themselves. They plan to build a family library at home with these books.

Kazi Helalur Rahman of Chikashi union of Dhunat upazila said that the couple was first brought to him for marriage but he did not register the marriage as there was no book as mahr in his presence but only the ring and nose ring. 

Kazi Abdul Hannan of Gosaibari Union said that he registered the marriage by mentioning 101 books for the price of Tk2,02,000 for the mahr due to the availability of the registry book.

He added that in his nearly 40 years of experience, there was no case of giving books as mahr. He then asked for everyone's prayers toward the newlyweds.