chapter  VIII
33 Pages

MARRIAGE

MARRIAGE is enjoined on every Musalman, and celibacy was condemned by the Prophet, but it is often enforced by poverty or other causes. The proportions of the married and unmarried among Musalmans differ from those of the Hindus. Among Musalmans ' the proportion of the unmarried is larger and that of the married and widowed smaller. Of every 100 males 53 are unmarried, 43 married, and 4 widowed, while of the same number of females 38 are unmarried, 47 married, and 15 widowed. The difference is most notable amongst the young of both sexes. Under the age of 5 the proportion of Muhammadan girls who are married is not much more than a quarter of the corresponding figure for Hindus, and between 5 and 10 it is only a half, It is not till the age period 15-20 that i:.n equality between the proportions is reached, while above that age the relative number of females who are married is greater amongst Muhammadans than amongst Hindus. The Muhammadans have fewer widows at all ages, but the difference is most marked in the prime of life. This is owing to the fact that women who lose their first husbands while still capable of bearing children have less difficulty than their Hindu sisters in marrying a second time. A prejudice against widow marriage exists, however, amongst many classes of Muhammadans, especially those who are descended from local converts' .1