As we all know, the deep root of the curse named ‘Dowry an Un Islamic Practice’ planted in the roots of our society. This practice prevailed in the Hindus living in the sub continent and now it is a common practice. and people do not shy away from practicing it. In Islamic jurisprudence, a woman has a share in inheritance and money which her husband or father owns. But this practice was shunned by the Hindus since they do not give their daughters their due right in their father’s property. Thus arose the practice of dowry.
At the time of her marriage, the daughter was given bounties to live a comfortable right, and after her marriage she no longer had any right on her father’s property. ‘Mehr’ is the right of a woman, which the husband is obliged to pay. It can be any amount of money which the wife deems satisfactory. In Islamic law, it is essential in a legal nikkah.
Islam does not put burden on the bride’s family and they are not required to pay Dowry an Un Islamic Practice. In our society it is falsely assumed that that the groom and his family is naturally superior than the other party and thus they believe that they deserve the dowry. There are so many cases in which the groom’s family also demanded a list of dowry items. This puts the bride and her family in financial difficulty which in not justifiable.
“And give to the woman (whom you marry) their mehr with a good heart, but if they, of their own pleasure, remit anu 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
Let me give you an example, which fits perfectly in this situation. Hazrat Ali (R.A) asked the hand of Hazrat Fatima, daughter of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), in marriage. Prophet (S.A.W) asked Hazrat Ali if he had anything to offer as ‘Mehr’. Hazrat Ali sold the saddle of his horse and by that money daily household items were purchased. This shows that the husband bore the expenses of the purchases made, not the bride or her family.
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) also reportedly said that the best Nikkah is the one in which the least amount of expenses are made.
We should learn by the “Uswa-Hasina’ and strive to end this common practice that haunts many parents, who have daughters to marry off. It is unjust and unfair that one party bears the expenses that help the couple start a new life.
Nikkah is a binding contract and it is senseless to put this much amount of burden on the shoulders of the bride and her family. The best way to do this would be if every individual loathes this customs, and those who can afford to give ‘Jahaiz’ should openly condemn it and put a stop to this act. This way eventually this custom will die out and we shall truly follow the Islamic practices of a nikkah.
As we know, as soon as the marriage contract is valid, the dowry from husband to wife must be paid. because this is one of the rights of a wife. However, there are situations that may cause the wife to be entitled to only half of the dowry or even to no dowry an Un Islamic Practice at all. The wife is entitled to only half of the dowry if she is divorced before the marriage is completed.
“And if you divorce them before you have touched them and you have already specified for them an obligation, then [give] half of what you specified – unless they forego the right or the one in whose hand is the marriage contract foregoes it.” Surah al-Baqarah: 237
The verse above has stated that if the type and value of the dowry have been clearly stated during the nikkah and then she is divorced before the marriage is completed, the husband is pleased to pay only half the dowry. However, if the type and value of the Dowry an Un Islamic Practice have not been stated during the nikkah, the husband is obliged to give the wife an appropriate dowry.
According to Imam Shafi and Imam Malik, if the wife is divorced before the marriage is completed, the husband is pleased to pay only half the dowry whether or not the type and value of the dowry have been stated during the nikkah. The wife is not entitled to the dowry if the divorce is through withdrawal by the request of the wife and the marriage has not been completed.
The Dowry an Un Islamic Practice is one of the wife’s rights that and is sincerely given by the husband to the wife, without expectations, as an expression of his love and responsibility. It is intended to please the wife, so that she feels appreciated and more willing to begin a new life with the husband.