Reason for giving Mahr
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
one of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
One of my friends asked me What is the reason behind giving mahar?. Can you please explain with Allah's sayings & Rasulullah's hadith?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Reason for giving Mahr
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Giving the mahr or dowry to the bride is a command of Allah unto the believers in the Holy Quran.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 4:And give their dowries willingly to women (as an obligation). But if they, of their own accord, remit a portion of the dowry, you may enjoy it with pleasure.
Allah and His Messenger (saws) have not made known the specific wisdom behind this commandment of giving mahr; but it is always good to determine the wisdom, so that the believers may follow the commandment with earnestness and commitment.
The scholars have stated that the main reason behind the giving of mahr to the bride is to protect the right of the woman, so that the man would at least have the fear that he stands to loose financially if he takes the marriage contract as a play or joke; whereby he marries one day and divorces the next day at will! The marriage contract is a very serious thing in Islam, and when a man and woman marry, their intention should always be to stay married in peace, love, and harmony for life. The commandment of giving mahr is to sanctify the marriage, and a deterrent against easy divorce if initiated by the man. If the divorce is initiated by the woman, she will have to pay back the dowry to the man. It is also a gesture of goodwill and generosity before the partners go into marriage.
The nations or cultures that do not practice the system of mahr, have had to make laws in modern times as a detterent to easy divorce, which Islam made almost 1400 years ago to protect the rights of the woman. In the USA, they have had to make a law in recent times that the woman would get half of the mens wealth, if he divorced her for any reason. Because the law is made by man himself, it has its flaws and there is a movement now to change or alter this law to make it more lenient to the man. That is because some women have taken advantage of this law and married rich men, and then soon divorced them and taken possession of half their wealth, and now the men are crying for protection and using lawyers to draw up a pre-nuptial agreement to fix the amount in case of a divorce; which oftentimes creates ill-will and distrust amongst the partners, even before they go into marriage.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,