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Marriage FAQ

Marriage

1) Ruling of the civil marriage ceremony

Praise be to Allaah.

 

Marriage in Islam has essential “pillars” and conditions; if they are fulfilled then it is a valid marriage. The “pillars” are the proposal and acceptance. The proposal is where the woman’s wali (guardian) says: I give So and so (or my daughter or my sister) to you in marriage. Acceptance is when the man says: I accept marriage to So and so. 

The conditions of marriage include: Naming the bride and groom, their consent, the contract being done by the wali or his deputy, and the presence of two Muslim witnesses of good character, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no marriage except with a wali (guardian).” Narrated by Abu Dawood (2085), al-Tirmidhi (1101), Ibn Majaah (1881), from the hadeeth of Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. 

It was also narrated by al-Bayhaqi from the hadeeth of ‘Imraan and ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with them) with the wording: “There is no marriage except with a wali and two witnesses of good character.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ no. 7557. 

Some scholars are of the view that if the marriage is announced, then there is no need for two witnesses to the marriage contract. 

With regard to civil marriage that is done in a court that implements man-made laws, if what is meant is documenting the marriage and recording it, then this is something that is required, so as to protect people’s rights and prevent tampering with marriage. But if the conditions of marriage are not met or it involves anything that is contrary to sharee’ah with regard to divorce and so on, then it is not permissible to do it, unless documentation of the marriage cannot be done otherwise, or if the person has no choice but to do it. In that case he can do the correct marriage contract according to sharee’ah in an Islamic centre, then do the civil marriage in the court, but he should resolve to refer to sharee’ah law in the event of any dispute, and to disavow himself of the false rituals that accompany the marriage contract in some countries. The Muslims who live in western countries should strive to have their marriages recorded officially in Islamic centres, with no need to go to the civil marriage office. 

And Allaah knows best.



2) Conditions for a valid marriage contract

All praise is due to Allaah.

 

A marriage contract is valid in Islam if the following conditions are met, even if the marriage does not take place in a court, or in the presence of a Judge or the Imaam of the masjid. In addition, it does not need to be written.

 

The waliy (guardian) of the girl has accepted the proposal by saying, for example, "I marry you my daughter", and the one who proposed has replied, for example, by " I accept," or "I am satisfied" (i.e. with his acceptance). This takes place in the presence of two witnesses The woman is legally eligible to marry the man according to Islamic shari'ah (that is she is not a Mahram of the proposer [those to whom the proposer is forbidden to marry. etc.])

 

And Allah knows best.



3) Conditions of the Wali

 

Praise be to Allaah.

There are three pillars or conditions for the marriage contract in Islam:

Both parties should be free of any obstacles that might prevent the marriage from being valid, such as their being mahrams of one another (i.e., close relatives who are permanently forbidden to marry), whether this relationship is through blood ties or through breastfeeding (radaa’) etc., or where the man is a kaafir (non-Muslim) and the woman is a Muslim, and so on.

There should be an offer or proposal (eejaab) from the walee or the person who is acting in his place, who should say to the groom “I marry so-and-so to you” or similar words.

There should be an expression of acceptance (qabool) on the part of the groom or whoever is acting in his place, who should say, “I accept,” or similar words.

The conditions of a proper nikaah (marriage contract) are as follows:

Both the bride and groom should be clearly identified, whether by stating their names or describing them, etc.

Both the bride and groom should be pleased with one another, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No previously-married woman (widow or divorcee) may be married until she has been asked about her wishes (i.e., she should state clearly her wishes), and no virgin should be married until her permission has been asked (i.e., until she has agreed either in words or by remaining silent).” They asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, how is her permission given (because she will feel very shy)?” He said: “By her silence.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 4741)

The one who does the contract on the woman’s behalf should be her walee, as Allaah addressed the walees with regard to marriage (interpretation of the meaning): “And marry those among you who are single…” [al-Noor 24:32] and because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who marries without the permission of her walee, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 1021 and others; it is a saheeh hadeeth)

The marriage contract must be witnessed, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no marriage contract except with a walee and two witnesses.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7558)

It is also important that the marriage be announced, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Announce marriages.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad; classed as hasan in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1027)

The conditions of the walee are as follows:

He should be of sound mind

He should be an adult

He should be free (not a slave)

He should be of the same religion as the bride. A kaafir cannot be the walee of a Muslim, male or female, and a Muslim cannot be the walee of a kaafir, male or female, but a kaafir can be the walee of a kaafir woman for marriage purposes, even if they are of different religions. An apostate (one who has left Islam) cannot be a walee for anybody.

He should be of good character (‘adaalah – includes piety, attitude, conduct, etc.), as opposed to being corrupt. This is a condition laid down by some scholars, although some of them regard the outward appearance of good character as being sufficient, and some say that it is enough if he is judged as being able to pay proper attention to the interests of the woman for whom he is acting as walee in the matter of her marriage.

He should be male, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No woman may conduct the marriage contract of another woman, and no woman can conduct the marriage contract on behalf of her own self, because the zaaniyah (fornicatress, adulteress) is the one who arranges things on her own behalf.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 1782; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7298)

He should be wise and mature (rushd), which means being able to understand matters of compatibility and the interests of marriage.

The fuqahaa’ put possible walees in a certain order, and a walee who is more closely-related should not be ignored unless there is no such person or the relatives do not meet the specified conditions. A woman’s walee is her father, then whoever her father may have appointed before his death, then her paternal grandfather or great-grandfather, then her son, then her grandfathers sons or grandsons, then her brother through both parents (full brother), then her brother through her father, then the sons of her brother through both parents, then the sons of her brother through her father, then her uncle (her father’s brother through both parents), then her father’s brother through the father, then the sons of her father’s brother though both parents, then the sons of her father’s brother through the father, then whoever is more closely related, and so on – as is the case with inheritance. The Muslim leader (or his deputy, such as a qaadi or judge) is the walee for any woman who does not have a walee of her own.

And Allaah knows best. 

 



4) How should an Islamic wedding be?

Praise be to Allaah.

With regard to having a wedding party in the Islamic manner, you have to keep away from the things which are forbidden in sharee’ah but which many people do not pay attention to during celebrations, such as the following: 

With regard to the woman: going to a male, non-mahram hairdresser to have her hair done; or adorning herself in ways that are haraam, such as thinning the eyebrows by plucking them, or wearing tattoos, or wearing hair extensions, or other kinds of haraam things, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who plucks eyebrows and the one who has that done, the one who adds hair extensions and the one who asks to have that done; imitating the kuffaar in their dress, because usually the wedding dress shows many of the woman's charms and her body, in such a way that the dress is very revealing - we seek refuge with Allaah – and also a great deal of money is wasted on the dress. 

Among the haraam actions that have to do with the man are: shaving his beard for the wedding night, which is done on the grounds that this makes him look more handsome, but this is something which is haraam according to sharee’ah; letting one's clothes hang below the ankle (isbaal). 

There follows a list of haraam things which both men and women should avoid in the wedding party: 

1- Mixing of men with women, and things that are involved in that, such as greeting and shaking hands with one another, and men and women dancing together, because all of that is haraam and is a very serious matter.

2- Taking pictures, whether men do that amongst themselves or women do that amongst themselves.

3- Drinking alcohol or eating pork.

4- Letting the husband come in to where the women are in order to take his wife.

5- Women wearing revealing, tight or short clothes amongst themselves, because this is haraam – so how about wearing such things in front of men?

6- People should avoid spending extravagantly or going to extremes in showing off in wedding parties, because that may wipe out the blessing.

7- The husband and wife exchanging rings and thus imitating the kuffaar, thinking that this will increase the husband’s love for his wife and vice versa. 

Finally, both partners should know that the more the teachings of Islam are followed in the wedding party, the more blessed their marriage will be, the more love and harmony there will be between them, and the less problems they will encounter in their married life. For if the married life is based from the outset on haraam things which go against the commands of Allaah, how can they expect the marriage to be successful after that? There have been many marriages in which there were things that went against the commands of Allaah, and they did not last. Fear Allaah with regard to this party and keep it free of things that are forbidden in Islam. May Allaah bless you both. We ask Allaah to give you and your husband strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. 

And Allaah knows best.



5) The Walima (Wedding Feast/Wedding)

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The Arabic word Walima (marriage banquet) is derived from the root word Walam, which literally means to gather and assemble. The Arabs used it for a meal or feast where people were invited and gathered. Later, the term became exclusive for the wedding banquet. 

The Arabs used different terms for the various feasts they enjoyed. For example: al-I’zar on the occasion of a child’s circumcision, al-Khurs for a marriage not ending in divorce, al-Wakira on building a new home, al-Naqi’ah when a traveller returns home, al-Aqiqah on the seventh day after childbirth, al-Ma’duba for a general meal without any specific reason, etc. (See: Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, 9/300 & Ibn Qudamah, al-Mugni, 7/1)

The marriage feast (walima) is a Sunnah of our beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). It is an outward expression of gratitude and pleasure and a great means of publicising the marriage, which has been greatly encouraged. 

Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) saw a yellow mark on Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (Allah be pleased with) and said: “What’s this?” He replied: “I have married a woman with the dowry being gold to the weight of a date-stone.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “May Allah bless you (in your marriage), perform a Walima, even if it is only with a goat.” (Sahih al-Bukhari,no. 4872)

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) himself provided a Walima after many of his marriages. He provided meat and bread on the occasion of his marriage with Zaynab bint Jahsh (Allah be pleased with her), Hays (a type of sweat-dish cooked with dates, cheese & butter) on the occasion of his marriage with Safiyya (Allah be pleased with her) and barley on another occasion. (See: Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)

Thus, it is a Sunnah and strongly recommended to have a Walima. Ibn Qudamah, the great Hanbali Imam, states in his renowned al-Mugni:

“There is no difference of opinion between the scholars, in that Walima is a prescribed Sunnah at the time of marriage, for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) ordered it and himself practiced it…..It is not necessary (wajib) in the opinion of most of the scholars.” (al-Mugni, 7/1-2)

The time of Walima

The scholars have disagreed as to the correct time of this Walima. There are many opinions. For example:

1) At the time of the marriage contract,

2) After the marriage contract and before consummation of marriage,

3) At the time of the wedding procession (bride leaving for her husband’s house). (Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, 9/287)

However, the majority of the scholars (jumhur) are of the opinion that Walima is a meal that is prepared after the marriage has been consummated. This was the practice of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), as explicitly mentioned in one narration.

Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that he was a boy of ten when the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) migrated to Madina. (He added): “My mother and aunts used to urge me to serve the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) regularly, thus I served him for ten years. When the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) passed away, I was twenty years old, and I knew about the order of Hijab more than anyone else, when it was revealed. It was revealed for the first time when the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) had consummated his marriage with Zainab bint Jahsh (Allah be pleased with her). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) in the morning was a bridegroom, and he invited the people to a banquet. So they came, ate, and then all left except a few who remained with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) for a long time….. (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4871)

Sayyiduna Anas (Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) consummated his marriage with a woman (Zainab), so he sent me to invite people for a meal.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4875)

The great Hadith master (hafidh), Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“The Hadith of Anas (quoted above) is clear in determining that Walima is considered to be after the consummation of marriage.” (Fath al-Bari, 9/199. Also see: I’la al-Sunan, vol. 10, p. 11)

It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“The marriage banquet (walima) is a Sunna and there is great reward in it. And it is carried out when the marriage is consummated.” (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 5/343)

Having said this, scholars mention that there is also scope in following the other opinions, thus if one had a Walima before consummation, it is hoped that one will gain the reward of Sunnah, Insha Allah.

How many days?

The Hanafi jurists (fuqaha) are of the opinion that, a banquet up to two days will be considered to be a Walima, after which it will no longer be considered a Walima.

It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“There is nothing wrong in inviting people the next day after consummation or the day after. After that, marriage and Walima celebrations will come to an end.” (5/343)

It has also been reported from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) that he stated: “Walima on the first day is confirmed (haq), and on the second day, it is good (ma’ruf), and on the third day, it is showing off.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 3738)

Although scholars mention that if there is a need, such as not being able to invite everybody on one day, then it will not be wrong to invite them on separate days.

Who should be invited?

Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) states: “The worst food is that of a wedding banquet (walima) to which only the rich are invited whilst the poor are not invited. And he who refuses an invitation (to a banquet) disobeys Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him & give him peace).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4882)

It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“It is recommended to invite neighbours, relatives and friends.” (5/343)

Thus, one should invite family-members, relatives, friends, associates, scholars and pious people and others. It is wrong to invite only rich people or those who are regarded to be from the upper-class.


Accepting a Walima invitation

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “If one of you is invited to a wedding banquet (walima), then he must accept the invitation.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4878)

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Accept this (marriage) invitation if you are invited to it.” And Abd Allah ibn Umar used to accept the invitation whether to a wedding banquet or to any other feast, even when he was fasting. (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4884)

Due to the above and other narrations, many scholars regard the acceptance of a Walima invitation to be binding, and one will be sinful for refusing it.

The great Hadith and Sahfi’i scholar, Imam al-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) has mentioned various opinions of the scholars in this regard:

1) It is personally obligatory (fard ayn), except if there is an excuse,

2) It is a general obligation (fard kifaya)

3) It is recommended (mandub) (See: Nawawi, al-Minhaj, Sharh Sahih Muslim, 1080)

In the Hanafi Madhhab, the preferred opinion is that, accepting a Walima invitation is an emphatic Sunnah (sunnah al-Mu’akkada), and accepting other invitations is recommended (mandub). This is in normal cases, for if there is a valid reason, one will be excused from not attending.

Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“The (hanafi) scholars have differed as to the ruling of accepting a Walima invitation. Some have stated that it is necessary (wajib), in that it is impermissible to refuse. However the majority of the scholars mention that it is a Sunnah. It is better to accept it if it is a Walima invitation, otherwise (on other occasions) one has a choice to accept it, and to accept it would be better, because it creates joy and happiness in the heart of a Muslim. 

When one accepts the invitation and attends the party, one has fulfilled the responsibility, regardless of whether one ate or otherwise, although it is better to eat if one is not fasting……It is stated in al-Ikhtiyar: “A Walima is an established Sunna. The one who does not accept it would be sinful, for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him& give him peace) said: “He who refuses an invitation (to a banquet) disobeys Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him & give him peace).” If one is fasting, then one should attend and make Dua, and if not, then one should eat and make Dua. However, if one neither eats nor attends, then one will be sinful….

This indicates that accepting a Walima invitation is Sunnah al-Mu’akkada, contrary to meals and invitations on other occasions. Some commentators of al-Hidaya have declared that it is close to being a Wajib.” (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr, 6/349)

In light of Ibn Abidin’s explanation, it becomes clear that accepting a Walima invitation is Sunnah al-Mu’akkada, and one must accept it. Refusing to attend will be offensive if not sinful, provided one does not have an excuse, and also that one was specifically invited to the Walima.

Simplicity

Finally, it should be remembered that, the simpler the Walima (and the marriage ceremony as a whole) is kept, the better it will be. At times, people spend thousands upon thousands in feeding people, a sum which can be used for other indispensable needs of the Muslims. And if the intention behind spending such an amount is to show-off, then this will be regarded a grave sin. 

The idea here is to feed people with sincerity and simplicity. If one feeds people with the simplest of meals but it is from the heart, that is far better (and the food is also more enjoyable) than feeding them quality food, where the intention is not so sincere. 

Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “The most blessed marriage (nikah) is the one with the least expenses.” (al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman & Mishkat al-Masabih). 

And Allah knows best



6) Birth Control & Contraception

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

First of all, it should be known that, one of the main aims of marriage in Islam is procreation. Islam encourages its followers to reproduce in large numbers in order to increase the size of the Ummah of our Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace).

Allah Most High says in the Qur’an:

“So now hold intercourse with your wives and seek (the children) what Allah has ordained for you.” ( Surah al-Baqarah, V: 187)

In a Hadith recorded by Imam Abu Dawud, Imam an-Nasa'i and others, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Marry women who are loving and reproduce in abundance, for I shall outnumber the other nations by you.”

It is clear from the above, that Shariah encourages its followers to abstain from practicing birth control, especially, when it is given a formal, organized and general approach. Therefore, one should refrain from practicing contraception unless necessary.

As far as the Shar’i ruling is concerned, there are two categories of birth control and the ruling of each is different. The ruling of each category is as follows: 

1) Permanent Irreversible Contraception

This type of contraception is carried out when the couple decide never to have a baby. It is done with a sterilization operation carried out either on the man (Vasectomy) or the woman (Tubectomy) and renders the couple incapable of ever having children.

The ruling with regards to this is that, it is unlawful (Haram) to carry out such operations. There are many Narrations of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and clear texts of the Fuqaha (Jurists) which determine this.

The Companion, Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) said:

“We use engage in Jihad in the company of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and our wives did not accompany us. We said: O Prophet of Allah! Shall we not castrate ourselves? He forbade us from doing so.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

The great Hanafi Jurist, Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) says: 

“Castration of humans is Haram.” (Radd al-Muhtar).

Imam al-Ayni (Allah have mercy on him) says:

“Castration (and sterilization, m) is prohibited with the consensus of all the scholars.” (Umdat al-Qari)

However, in cases of extreme necessity, Irreversible contraception will become permissible. For example, a woman’s life is in danger or repeated pregnancies gravely damage her health, etc. This however, should be advised by a Muslim qualified doctor.

2) Temporary Reversible Contraception

There are many methods by which reversible contraception can be performed. Coitus interruptus (Withdrawal method), the pill, using of the condom, i.u.d, spermicidal, just to mention a few.

The ruling on reversible contraception is that, it is somewhat disliked (makruh tanzihan) if practiced without any reason. If there is a genuine reason, then it will be totally permissible with the permission of the wife. Some of the reasons (for the permissibility of reversible contraception), which the Fuqaha mention, are:

a) Physical state of the woman,

b) Weakness and illness,

c) The couple are on a distant journey,

d) The couple’s relations are unstable and divorce is likely,

e) Spacing out children in order to give them adequate care and attention,

If contraception is practiced due to a reason contrary to the teachings of Shariah, then it will not be permissible. Some of these reasons are:

a) Fear of poverty and not being able to provide,

b) For the fashion of keeping small families and imitating the Kuffar,

c) Being ashamed of having a girl,

There are many narrations from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) which signify the permissibility of reversible contraception, but at the same time indicate it to be undesirable.

Sayyiduna Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) says: “We used to practice Coitus interruptus (Withdrawal method) while the Qur’an was being revealed. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) knew of this and did not prohibit us.” (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim )

This has more or less been mentioned by the scholars in their books. (See Imam Nawawi in his commentary of Sahih Muslim, Mulla Ali al-Qari in al-Mirqat, Ibn Abidin in his Radd al-Muhtar and others.

For more details, please refer to my book on this subject titled Birth Control and Abortion (Revised Edition), available from the Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK.

And Allah Knows Best 

 

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam 



7) Dowry (Mahr)

 

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,


The dowry (mahr) is the right of the wife/bride by which she is honoured and formally entered into wedlock (nikah). Allah Most High says:

“Give them (women) their dowers.” (Surah al-Nisa, 24)

The minimum amount for dowry is ten Dirhams (30.618 grams of silver) and there is no maximum limit. Thus, the bride and groom may mutually agree upon whatever sum they desire. However, it is wrong and disliked to fix a large sum as dowry, especially when the groom is not financially capable of paying the amount.

Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) said: “Do not stipulate excessive amounts as dowry for women. If (doing so) was a token of honour in this world or a source of piety by Allah, then the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would have been more worthy of it than you….” (Sunan Tirmidhi, no 1114)

The groom is not obliged to pay anything in addition to the marriage payment or dowry (mahr) to the bride. It is unlawful for the bride’s family to demand something other than the dowry (for the bride) and considered to be a form of bribery (rishwah).

Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“If the bride’s family demand a return (m: other than the dowry) for giving her in marriage, the husband has a right to re-claim it, as this is bribery (rishwah).” (See: Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr, 3/56)

Thus, you do not have to agree to pay the bride excessive amounts as dowry or gift, neither is it wrong to refuse paying high dowries. The bride’s family cannot demand anything besides the dowry (which must be for the bride) from you, and if you did give something, you may take it back.

As regards to the condition of paying a large sum in case of divorce, if this amount is part of the dowry, then upon divorce you will be obliged to pay it.

The jurists (fuqaha) mention that dowry is of two types: immediate (mu’ajjal) and deferred (ghayr mu’ajjal). The wife has a right to demand the immediate dowry whenever she desires, but she cannot demand the deferred dowry before the date of maturity. 

The wife may defer some amount of the dowry (mahr) to the husband’s death or divorce, in which case, upon death or divorce, she will receive the amount stipulated.

Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“…As it occurs in some towns that a portion of the dowry is immediate, a portion deferred to divorce or death and a portion to be paid in installments. If he was to divorce her, the portion deferred to divorce will become immediate, but not the portion to be paid in installments. That will be received on its appropriate time whether after or prior to divorce.” (Radd al-Muhtar, 3/144)

In light of the above, it is not wrong for the bride to request a sum as part of dowry in the event of a divorce, for it is considered to be a deferred payment of the dowry. Yes, to stipulate an excessive amount would be considered blameworthy, as mentioned earlier.

However, you are completely at liberty in agreeing or disagreeing with this amount as dowry. It is not even wrong or blameworthy to refuse such conditions, rather the opposite if the figure is quite high.

In conclusion, marriage payment (mahr) is something that is mutually agreed upon by the groom and bride. It can all be immediate or some amount may be deferred to death or divorce. It is something that you and the bride will have to mutually agree upon, and no one party can enforce a sum on the other. The bride’s family cannot demand anything other than her dowry, for that is unlawful, sinful and a form of bribery.

 

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam 

 

There are many young Muslims who would rather get married than have to go clubbing and meet girls, however the demands from society are not helping them. The soaring rates for dowry and weddings etc is too much for the average young graduate at 23 who'd have to save up for 4/5 years to pay it off. At least. Marriage has become a put-off for men and they have found it easier to get girlfriends or marry non-Muslim women and this, in turn, is leaving many young Muslim women unmarried and vulnerable to temptations. Unreasonable demanding women and their families will be questioned about this by Allah on The Day, as they are not helping their brothers and sisters guard their chastities and fulfil half their religion, which is leading to a more corrupt society. One must be reasonable when asking for material things, as material things do not last and you will not take them with you to the grave. The Prophet saw recommended simple dowries to help brothers get married. Wealthy brothers may pay large dowries and less well off brothers should only spend within their means and not get into any type of debt when getting married, for marriage will then become more of a burden than a source of peace and happiness. We know culture plays a large part in our Muslim societies, but unfortunately cultural rules are over ruling the Islamic ones. Let a man spend money from his heart, not because he is forced to pay a sum he cannot afford. Marriage fulfils the emotional, physical and mental needs as well as many others. When you have the time please go through the videos we posted on the site, as Bilal Danoun explains this wonderfully mashallah and encourages the young to get married as soon as they are able to.