Dower Among Muslim Marriage
Dower, It is commonly known as "Mehr
"in Muslims, it remains a basic and
fundamental part of marriage among Muslims. It is totally different from the
concept of dowry as dowry is illegal in the eye of constitution and so is the
case of Shariya law of India. The dower, so called Mehr is enshrined in Quran
and remains part of contract between the families of groom and bride and it
become obligation for groom to pay dower to her bride.
Marriage is considered as a sacred union between the male and female, however is
no scope of same sex marriage in the Islamic law, the same sex marriage or gay
marriage is totally forbidden. Recently, The Apex court of India is hearing case
over same sex marriage but not only Muslims Personal law board but BCI also
oppose the idea of same sex marriage. So, their is no consideration of Mehr in
case of gay marriage.
Dower pays a role to protect the rights of women and make them financially sound
and independant to take decision in every walk of life and it is compulsory to
pay it otherwise it can be enforceable by the court. The amount of dower varies
from case to case based on the financial and social conditions of the groom.
It is negotiable between the two parties i.e, groom and bride and it can be paid
in any form such as money, property or any kind of valuable assets. It is
important to note that In Islamic law, Dower is not a transactional payment for
the bride's hand in marriage but it remains a symbol of commitment and respect
towards the bride.
It is further need to be clear that Dowry is illegal in India law and Islamic
law also don't have any exception for it ,dower in Islam is not similar to dowry
neither it is preventing the practice of dowry which is a widespread custom in
many cultures, where the groom's family need to pay money and expensive gifts to
It is a exploitative and harmful practice for women and leads to cause domestic
abuse. However, Dower is essential part of the Islamic law and it is considered
as honoring and respect towards women and making her financially more
powerful.It also become a source to take the will of women and ensure women's
say on marriage Contract.
In the eye of Islam payment of dower has become a essential condition. If as
bride fail to pay, the bride can approach the court and enforce the dower. In
case of death of husband, the legal representative of husband (groom) are bound
to pay the dower to bride and failure to pay dower can lead to legal
consequences for the groom or his legal representative. Not only Mehr, here
husband is also entitled to pay maintenance for her wife.
In Shah Bano Begum v. Union of India 1978,
Mohammad Ahmed Khan had alredy payed the dower amount which was about Rupees
3000 by way of dower. The supreme court held the dower is a mark of respect
towards her wife. However, he was held liable to pay maintenance to her wife
under section 125 of cr.PC.
Significance of Dower/Mahr in Muslim marriage.
Mahr pays several significance in Muslim marriage.
- Firstly, As we have already discussed above, it provide financial
security to the wife and make her independent. It ensures that wife is not
deprive from property in case divorce death of her husband. The dower become
the exclusive property of wife and she can use it as she wants. The payment
of dower also signifies the husband's commitment to the marriage and his
willingness to provide for his bride.
- Secondly, Dower (Mahr) protect the women from hasty decision of divorce
by husband's side. The payment of Mahr make it hard for husband to divorce
his wife impulsively as he will always consider the financial implications
to pay Mahr.
- Thirdly, The payment of dower makes more healthy and stong relationship
between husband and wife. The groom's obligation towards payment of Dower to
her wife and assurance to wife about dower make trust and respect in their
Aspects of marriage in Muslim marriages
There are many aspects of dower in Muslims marriage as following:
- Firstly, The amount of dower in not fixed and it can be negotiable
between wife and husband depends on circumstances and social and financial
condition of husband.
- Secondly, The payments of the dower can be payed as money, property or
in the form of assets based on the agreement between the two parties.
- Thirdly, there are certain conditions in Islamic law, dower need to be
fulfilled such condition such as undue influence of third party and it
should be agreement without due influence of their party.
- Fourthly, In case of divorce the payment of dower become due and need to
be payed by the husband. The wife have right to receive the dower and it can
be enforceable by court.
Conclusion, it is very important for Muslim to understand the essencial of
dower, especially who entering in the contract of marriage soon after. Dower is
one of the crucial element of the Muslim marriage and it makes a wife more
financial stable. It is a barrier for husband from hasty divorce and mark a
healthy and respectful relationship between bride and groom.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Sarfraz Ahmed, Student of LLB of University of Jammu
Authentication No: MY312379892656-3-0523
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