Dower

Dower is a consideration of the contract of marriage. It is essential to the validity of a marriage. The Holy Quraan says: “O Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)! Surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries”. (33:50) Another verse says: “And there is no blame on you to marry them whom you give them their dowries”. (60:10)

Dower is an essential part of marriage but it is not invalid if it is not paid or contracted before marriage. The Holy Quraan says: “There is no blame on you if you divorce women when you have not touched them, or appointed for them a dower.” (2:23) The Holy Quraan also says: “And your women – give their dowries as a gift, but they of themselves be pleased to give up to you a portion of it, them eat it with enjoyment and pleasure.” (4:4) Islam has prescribed dower as a great check for free use of husband’s oppression.

Amount of Dower

The Holy Quraan has laid down no hard and fast rule about the amount of dower. It is to be adjudged according to the social position of the parties, their wealth, their personal qualifications, and conditions of the human society. The Holy Quraan says: “One wealthy according to his means and one straitened in circumstances according to his means”. (2:236)

The dower of Sayyidah Umm-e-Habibah (radi Allahu anha) in marriage with the Glorious Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was fixed at 4000 Dirhams. Dowry of Holy Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) daughters was nearly 500 Dirhams for each. Dowry may be increased or decreased after marriage by mutual agreement. (4:24)

The Jurists divided dowry into two portions: one payable o demand called Mehr-e-Mu’ajjal, and another payable at death or dissolution of marriage by divorce called Mehr-e-Muajjal. Where no dower has been fixed, it is to be adjudged according to the amount settled in one’s family and the condition of the husband. After consummation, the wife becomes entitled to full dower, and before consummation only half, or a mere present in case of separation before consummation.

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