Culture and customary practices in marriage.

Question:

Assalmualikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,  my question is that , in the african  culture,  and these are muslims that I am speaking about. Unless for the nikkah to happen between  the bride  and groom, the aunts and uncles demands money from the groom , whether  he’s from the same country  as theirs or from a different country. And this is there key policy  for the nikkah to happened , that’s if the money is paid ,and if it isn’t paid ,then the bride  and groom can’t get married. This is separate  from the mahr and the walimah. Is this permissible  in the sunnah and quraan , that this is the requirement for a man and woman to get married with the policy  of money   according to these people in this situation  ? . Jazakallah khair

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Unfortunately in many countries there are various customs when it comes to marriage and Nikaah. All such customs are irrelevant and baseless in the eyes of Shari’ah, and must be avoided. It will not be permissible for the relatives of the bride or groom to stipulate such monetary demands. Only the Mahr (dowry) will be obligatory upon the husband.

By following the Sunnah of the Prophet in Nikaah and marriage, one will gain the blessings of Allah and Barakah.

Consider the following Hadith,

قَالَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الخَطَّابِ: أَلاَ لاَ تُغَالُوا صَدُقَةَ النِّسَاءِ، فَإِنَّهَا لَوْ كَانَتْ مَكْرُمَةً فِي الدُّنْيَا، أَوْ تَقْوَى عِنْدَ اللهِ لَكَانَ أَوْلاَكُمْ بِهَا نَبِيُّ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، مَا عَلِمْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ نَكَحَ شَيْئًا مِنْ نِسَائِهِ وَلاَ أَنْكَحَ شَيْئًا مِنْ بَنَاتِهِ عَلَى أَكْثَرَ مِنْ ثِنْتَيْ عَشْرَةَ أُوقِيَّةً.

Umar ibn al-Khattab (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) would have been more worthy of it than you….” (Sunan Tirmidhi, 1114)

In another Hadith,

قالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” خَيْرُ الصَّدَاقِ أَيْسَرُهُ

The Prophet Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam said, “The best of mahrs is the easiest (most affordable).” (al-Bayhaqi 14332)

Similarly it is also preferable to stipulate that amount of Mahr upon which the daughter of The Prophet (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam), Fatima Radiallahu Anha was married. This Mahr is commonly referred to as Mahr Fatimi. This amount of Mahr is approximately 1469.60 grams of silver (approx.TT$5230)

A woman may ask for something other than currency, gold/silver as her Mahr, e.g. furniture or accommodation etc. if its value is equivalent or more than the minimum amount of Mahr.

The dowry is the right of the bride by which she is honoured and formally entered into the Nikah. It is exclusively the woman’s right to stipulate the amount of Mahr.

The minimum amount for dowry is ten Dirhams (30.6 grams of silver, approx. TT$115) and there is no maximum limit. Thus, the bride and groom may mutually agree upon whatever sum they desire. However, it is inappropriate to fix a large sum as dowry, especially when the groom is not financially capable of paying the amount.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Arshad Ali

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net