In Islam, there is no concept of dowry. But still it is practiced in Muslim societies. People confuse dowry with Mahr. Dowry is not English translation of Mahr. Mahr is the gift to bride from groom. At time of marriage groom gives money or anything called Mahr as a token to bear all expenses of his wife willingly. Whereas, in real life, groom side takes money, gifts even property from bridal side which is not accepted in Islam.
According to a tradition in Bukhari,
‘Every marriage without Mahr is null and void’.
The Holy Qur’an instructs the believers:
“And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr or dower with a good heart, but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allah has made it lawful).” (Surah An-Nisa: 4)
Mahr is paid only to wife to honor her and give respect to her. Mahr (Dowry) is obligatory on man and it should be necessarily given to his wife in order to honor her and give her respect and also to show her that he(husband) has serious desire to marry her and to protect her. 🙂