Sati actually means a pious woman.... i.e. Pati-Vrata Nari 

Some people are give fake translations from atharva veda by saying that, 3. A virtuous woman is one who dies on the funeral pyre of her dead husband and avails the privilege of serving her husband in the other world. (Atharva Veda 18-3-1)

Here is fact

Atharva veda - 18-3-1
Eeyam Naari Patilokam Vranana ni padyatt oop tva matarya pretam
dharmam puranmanupalyanti tasyai prajam dravidam ceh dehi

yeh naari patikul ke hith ki abhilasha karti hui swadharm ka nirvah karne hetu aayi hai. Dharma mei neerat iss naari ke liye sansaar mei putra, pautradi tatha dhan-sampada pradan kare.

The meaning of this shloka is that once a husband dies, his wife is considered as the owner of his family and wealth. No one it states that a wife should be burnt of a husband's pyre !!
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uddisharva naaryabhi jeevlokam gatasumetmup shesh ehi
hastagrabhasya didhishostvedam patyurjanitvambhi sam babhoot

Oh woman, ur husband has already died and now u must give up the attachment. Leave his body and now walk towards the worldly affairs , i.e. ur family. Your beloved ones i.e. ur children and ur grandchildren will protect u after the demise of ur husband. Stay near them only.

This shows that a woman should give up the attachment she had with the body of her husband, who is now dead and she would stay under the protection of her children, who're a part of her family.
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apyasham yuvatim neeyamanaam jeevaam mretebhaya parineeyamaanaam
andhen yat tamsa pravartaseet prakto apachimanayam datenaam

We've seen the young woman who was following the funeral of her dead husband towards the graveyard, she turned back towards her home. This woman was deeply disturbed by the darkness of the grief. 

this shloka shows that women used to take part in the final rites of her husband. All these shlokas show that there is no mention of sati pratha in atharva veda, and on the contrary, they support the life of the wife after her husband's demise.

However, when the muslim invaders started looting India... they, killed millions of innocent Hindus. looted their homes, shops and temples.. These  Muslim invaders used to kidnap Hindu woman to rape  and keep them in their harem....and to save their honour, the women preferred to be killed. Often the Hindu rulers, died with their army, and their women committed Sati, to save their honour....

These lusty invaders, never even spared the corpses of dead hindu women to satisfy their lust and hence, the Hindu women preferred to burn their bodies, rather than let these muslim invaders get their corpses. Hence, this practice was started and later on unfortunately, it was attached to religion.... by some ignorant people and became mandatory.

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