Mahr – Dowry

Mahr – Dowry

Once a nikah 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.

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.

A person stipulated R20, R100, R1000, 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 wajib to fulfil the entire mahr. Furthermore, if none of the above transpired between them, and the man divorced her, it will be wajib 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 wajib. And if the husband divorces her prior to them being in privacy and seclusion, it will be wajib to fulfil half the stipulated mahr.

If one of them was ill, keeping a fast of Ramadan, in the ihram 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 wajib. 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 Ramadan, instead it was a qada, 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 wajib on the husband to fulfil the full amount.

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.

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 wajib.

If no mention whatsoever of the mahr was made at the time of the nikah, or the nikah 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 Shari‘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 wajib on the man to give this to the woman. He will be sinning if he does not do so.

When giving this set of clothing, only four items are wajib 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 wajib to give any other clothing.

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 wajib 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.

At the time of the nikah no mahr was stipulated. However, after the nikah, 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.