Islamabad: A newly constructed wedding hall in Pakistan’s remote city of Bahawalpur, in Southern Punjab, has drawn public attention by offering 50 per cent discount for those celebrating a second marriage.
The offer by Al Farooq Wedding Hall — though taken lightly in the beginning by the locals — has now becoming the talk of the city.
At the same time, the management of the wedding hall have also been accused of breaking up families by encouraging second marriages.
But owner Mohammad Farooq disagrees, saying his offer is only for men whose first wives willingly let them marry for the second time.
Farooq, 35, has been in the restaurant business for 10 ten years.
He told Gulf News on Saturday that, so far, three “second marriages” had taken place at his wedding hall and “everything went quite well”.
We usually charge Rs800 (Dh19) per guest but we cut it to half in accordance with our offer of 50 per cent.
“One marries for the first time with a lot of celebrations — music, dance, public gathering and fun — but the second marriage usually takes place secretly, at a friend’s house or in the court. I want to break that tradition and therefore encourage the second-timers to enjoy the same fun along with ambience and quality food,” he said.
Al Farooq Wedding hall not only offers 50 per cent on second marriage, it raises its discount offer to 75 per cent for the third marriage and free wedding for the fourth time.
However, with great discount offers, the conditions for the second, third and four marriages are so strict that very few can avail themselves of them.
For instance, the man looking to hold a valima or marriage party at the wedding hall for the second time is required to bring his first wife at the time of booking the hall.
“Bringing the first wife at the time of booking the order is mandatory as we don’t want to ruin the life of the first wife,” said Farooq, adding the second timer is required to convince his first wife come what may or the venue would not entertain his order.
Farooq who himself is married with three kids, said he has no intention to break up families and the offer is valid only for those couples who willingly let the man marry again.
To a question, he said, unfortunately, second or third marriages were looked down upon in society but, in Islam, one could marry up to four wives.
When asked if he too was interested in marrying for the second time, he said seeing the increasing trend he too was thinking of tying the knot again.