Mahr – Dowry Part 1


Beliefs & Practices, Part 4-Nikah (Marriage) in Islam / Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

1. Once a  nikâh  is performed, it will be valid irrespective of whether mention of any mahr  was made or not. Despite it being valid, one will have to give the      mahr . In fact, if a person makes the condition that he will not give any       mahr  and that he is marrying the woman without any  mahr , he will still have to give the  mahr .

2. The minimum  mahr  is 10  dirhams  and there is no limit to the maximum amount of mahr . The woman can stipulate as much as she wishes. However, it is not good to stipulate a very high figure. If a person gives an amount less than 10     dirhams  or its equivalent, he will have to give the balance as well because        mahr  cannot be an amount less than the minimum. If the husband divorces his wife (in this case) even before she can come and live with him, he will have to give half of the minimum.

3. A person stipulated Rs 20, Rs 100, Rs 1000, or any other amount according to his financial position. The woman thereafter came and lived with him. He also had sexual intercourse with this wife of his. Alternately, he did not have intercourse with her, but he and his wife were able to meet in privacy where no one or nothing stopped them or prevented them from engaging in sexual intercourse. In both these cases, it will be  wajib  on the person to fulfil the full amount of the stipulated     mahr . If none of the above transpired between them, and one of them passed away, it will still be   wâjib  to fulfil the entire  mahr . Furthermore, if none of the above transpired between them, and the man divorced her, it will be   wâjib  on him to fulfil half the stipulated  mahr .

In short, if the husband and wife meet in privacy, as mentioned above or one of them passes away, the entire  mahr  becomes  wâjib . And if the husband divorces her prior to them being in privacy and seclusion, it will be       wâjib  to fulfil half the stipulated  mahr .

4. If one of them was ill, keeping a fast of  Ramadân , in the  ihrâm  of  hajj , the woman was in her   hayd  or there was someone who was peeping at them or intruding on their privacy, and they met in private or seclusion in any of the above situations, then this privacy or seclusion of their’s is not considered. If they meet each other in any of the above situations or circumstances, the total amount of         mahr  will   not  become   wâjib . If the husband divorces her, it will be her right to receive half the total  mahr . However, if the fast was not a fast of   Ramadân , instead it was a  qadâ, nadhr , or   nafl  fast, and this was being kept by one of them, then in such a case if they happened to meet in privacy and seclusion, the wife will have the right of  receiving the full amount of the  mahr . It will be  wâjib  on the husband to fulfil the full amount.

5. The husband is impotent, however, both of them met in privacy and seclusion. The wife will still receive the full  mahr . Similarly, if the husband is a hermaphrodite and they meet in privacy and seclusion and thereafter he divorces her, she will receive the full  mahr .

6. The husband and wife met in privacy and seclusion but the wife is so young that she is incapable of sexual intercourse. Alternately, the husband is so young that he is incapable of sexual intercourse. If they meet in privacy and seclusion in such a case, the full  mahr  will  not  be  wâjib .

7. If no mention whatsoever of the   mahr  was made at the time of the  nikâh , or the nikâh  was performed on the condition that the woman will not receive any     mahr , and thereafter one of them passed away or they met in privacy – that is regarded as a valid privacy in the  Sharî‘ah  – even then the  mahr  will have to be fulfilled. However, in such a case, the  mahrul mithl  will have to be paid.

In the above case, if the husband divorced his wife prior to being in seclusion with her, she will have no right to receive any  mahr . Instead, she will only receive a set of clothing. It is  wâjib  on the man to give this to the woman. He will be sinning if he does not do so.

8. When giving this set of clothing, only four items are     wâjib  on the man  :   a dress, a scarf, a pants, and a sheet which can cover her body from head to toe. Apart from these items it is not  wâjib  to give any other clothing.

9. The clothing that the man gives should be according to his financial position. If the man is poor, he should give cotton clothing. If he is of a middle class, he should give silk that is of an inferior quality. If he is very rich, he should give silk clothing that is of a very high quality. However, it should be borne in mind that in all these circumstances the clothing that is given should not be more than half the        mahrul mithl  in value. At the same time, it should not be less than 5  dirhams  in value.

In other words, it is not  wâjib  on the man to give clothing which is very expensive and which exceeds half the  mahrul mithl  in value. However, it is permissible for him to give clothing that is more than the stipulated amount provided that he gives it happily and out of his own will.

10. At the time of the   nikâh  no  mahr  was stipulated. However, after the  nikâh , the husband and wife agreed upon a specific amount as   mahr . In such a case,   mahrul mithl  will not have to be given. Instead, the amount that they had agreed upon will have to be given. But if the husband divorced his wife prior to their meeting in privacy and seclusion, she will not have any right of receiving any      mahr . Instead, she will only receive the clothing that had been mentioned previously.

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