By Monique Gilmore
Griffith University business student Naseema Mustapha has featured on the panel of SBS show Insight to discuss dowry customs in cultural weddings.
Naseema talked about her own dowry experiences around her 2017 Gold Coast wedding to husband Mohamed.
“We are Muslim and although we come from different cultural backgrounds we follow the Islamic tradition which overrides our cultural one,” she said.
“The dowry negotiation is between the bride and the groom; the family does not particularly get involved.
“Whatever the bride requests the groom obliges to. At the same time the bride is advised to ask for something he can afford.”
Naseema has asked Mohamed to choose one single goat in his home country of Sierra Leone and for him to pray and then slaughter the goat.
“He will cook the food and feed the poor– and that is our dowry.”
Currently studying a degree in International Tourism and Hotel Management, Naseema plans to join Mohamed on his trip to deliver a much-needed gift to a poor community.
“Naseema knows it is a troubled country with many years of war and a lot of suffering. There are a lot of very poor people living there,” Mohamed said.
“Being both a social worker and humanitarian, she wanted the dowry to go towards helping people, and I will ensure it goes to the ones who need it the most.”
While on the popular television program Naseema also touched on how widespread the dowry tradition is in today’s Australian society.
“It is a condition of the ceremony for every Muslim who gets married. Everyone I know who has a Nikah (marriage contract) does a dowry but it varies tremendously,” she said.
Naseema was among the winners of the Queensland Multicultural Awards 2016 when she was successful in the Outstanding Volunteer category.