Dowry in the Quran
4:15:44 2024-05-30 106

I seek refuge in ALLAH, from Satan the rejected

in the name of ALLAH, Most Gracious and Most Merciful

 The word Dowry. What is its Quranic meaning implied and applied and give an example there of?

Let us study the following verses from the Quran which will, Allah willing, enable us to understand what Allah wants us to learn of the word 'Dowry.' [4:4]

You shall give the women their due dowries, equitably. If they willingly forfeit anything, then you may accept it; it is rightfully yours.

Mutual Attraction And Dowry Required [4:24]

Also prohibited are the women who are already married, unless they flee their disbelieving husbands who are at war with you. These are ALLAH's commandments to you. All other categories are permitted for you in marriage, so long as you pay them their due dowries. You shall maintain your morality, by not committing adultery. Thus, whoever you like among them, you shall pay them the dowry decreed for them. You commit no error by mutually agreeing to any adjustments to the dowry. ALLAH is Omniscient, Most Wise. [4:25]

Those among you who cannot afford to marry free believing women, may marry believing slave women. ALLAH knows best about our belief, and you are equal to one another, as far as belief is concerned. You shall obtain permission from their guardians before you marry them, and pay them their due dowry equitably. They shall maintain moral behavior, by not committing adultery, or having secret lovers. Once they are freed through marriage, if they commit adultery, their punishment shall be half of that for the free women. Marrying a slave shall be a last resort for those unable to wait. To be patient is better for you. ALLAH is Forgiver, Most Merciful. [5:5]

Today, all good food is made lawful for you. The food of the people of the scripture is lawful for you. Also, you may marry the chaste women among the believers, as well as the chaste women among the followers of previous scripture, provided you pay them their due dowries. You shall maintain chastity, not committing adultery, nor taking secret lovers. Anyone who rejects faith, all his work will be in vain, and in the Hereafter he will be with the losers. [33:50]

O prophet, we made lawful for you your wives to whom you have paid their due dowry, or what you already have, as granted to you by ALLAH. Also lawful for you in marriage are the daughters of your father's brothers, the daughters of your father's sisters, the daughters of your mother's brothers, the daughters of your mother's sisters, who have emigrated with you. Also, if a believing woman gave herself to the prophet - by forfeiting the dowry - the prophet may marry her without a dowry, if he so wishes. However, her forfeiting of the dowry applies only to the prophet, and not to the other believers. We have already decreed their rights in regard to their spouses or what they already have. This is to spare you any embarrassment. ALLAH is Forgiver, Most Merciful. [60:10]

O you who believe, when believing women (abandon the enemy and) ask for asylum with you, you shall test them. ALLAH is fully aware of their belief. Once you establish that they are believers, you shall not return them to the disbelievers. They are not lawful to remain married to them, nor shall the disbelievers be allowed to marry them. Give back the dowries that the disbelievers have paid. You commit no error by marrying them, so long as you pay them their due dowries. Do not keep disbelieving wives (if they wish to join the enemy). You may ask them for the dowry you had paid, and they may ask for what they paid. This is ALLAH's rule; He rules among you. ALLAH is Omniscient, Most Wise.

From the above we learn that:

dowry is a pre-requisite for a marriage,
is to be paid by husband to his wife,
should be equitable,
the husband and wife can mutually make any adjustment to the dowry,
forfeiting of the dowry does not apply to believers.

Although I do not find in the Quran any support for payment of dowry in cash only, I do not think that dowry could be something which does not have a monetary value thereto. It cannot be love, honesty, being faithful, etc. which are anyway traits of righteous people. This conclusion can be drawn from the verses which deal with giving back / forfeiting dowry in certain circumstances. Dowry could thus be paid in kind as well but it should be something which has a monetary value.
What is an equitable dowry is what one has to assess for himself. It depends on case to case. The rich as he can and the poor as he can. This should not be abused for Allah hold us responsible for our innermost intention. When we are committing our deeds with an intention to please Him, He will guide us to do the right thing.
Although one may get a feeling that there is an escape to dowry in view of verse 4:4 - You shall give the women their due dowries, equitably. If they willingly forfeit anything, then you may accept it; it is rightfully yours., it is actually not so. Let us see some other verses in this regard. [2:229]

Divorce may be retracted twice. The divorced woman shall be allowed to live in the same home amicably, or leave it amicably. It is not lawful for the husband to take back anything he had given her. However, the couple may fear that they may transgress ALLAH's law. If there is fear that they may transgress ALLAH's law, they commit no error if the wife willingly gives back whatever she chooses. These are ALLAH's laws; do not transgress them. Those who transgress ALLAH's laws are the unjust.

Protection for Women [4:20-21]

If you wish to marry another wife, in place of your present wife, and you had given any of them a great deal, you shall not take back anything you had given her. Would you take it fraudulently, maliciously, and sinfully? How could you take it back, after you have been intimate with each other, and they had taken from you a solemn pledge?


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