Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (as) set us free of the customs relating to weddings and funeral ceremonies etc., with which our society was burdened. Whereas we refrain from such customs and spend on such occasions out of what Allah has provided us, we also have to bear in mind that there is a portion of our society that cannot afford to fulfil even the basic requirements on such occasions.
It was because of the needs of such people that Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) launched a fund in his Friday sermon of 21st February 2003, which was later called the Maryam Shadi Fund. The amounts received under this head are used to help deserving parents in marrying off their daughters.
Announcing this fund Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (rh) said: "As an expression of gratitude, I would also like to say something about my mother. She had great sympathy for the poor…and she used to arrange for the dowry of poor girls…In her memory…and in order to bring blessings upon her soul…I announce that those whose daughters are about to be married and they need assistance…they should, without hesitation, write to me. They shall be adequately provided for and they will, to a considerable extent, be able to meet the expenses of dowry. Even if I personally do not possess the means, Allah’s Jama‘at, by His grace, is rich and has enough money. Hence this assistance shall be provided through any fund of the Jama‘at and such people will be able to send their daughters to their homes in a befitting manner." (Al-Fazl International, March 28 – April 03, 2003)