Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Man is supposed to pay the dowry to his wife as it is one of her genuine rights.
2- The woman is not supposed to pay the dowry to her husband but she is permitted to help him with a sum of money in case he is financially straitened.
Responding to the question, Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, Professor of Jurisprudence and Its Principles at the International Islamic University, Malaysia, states:
I shall pray to Allah to make it easy for those who intend to marry.
As far as the dowry (mahr) is concerned, it should come from the man’s side. It is an obligation upon him that he has to pay to the woman. And this dowry is a full right of the woman which totally belongs to her and not to anybody else.
Dowry is considered one of the main conditions for the validity of the marriage contract. It must be paid either at the beginning of the marriage or within the marriage. And nobody should waive it without the consent of the woman.
Therefore, the man has to pay the dowry to the woman, and it is up to them to agree on the time of the payment.
However, there is no harm on the part of the girl if she assists the man willing to marry her with a sum of money if he has difficulty getting money to pay the dowry.
I shall point out that the dowry could be in kind as well as in cash. The dowry should be paid because Allah Almighty says: “And give unto the women, (whom ye marry) free gift of their marriage portions; but if they of their own accord remit unto you a part thereof, then ye are welcome to absorb it (in your wealth)” (An-Nisaa’ 4:4)
The payment of the dowry is not a prerequisite for the marriage. That is, the marriage can take place without the payment of the mahr on the spot, as it can be paid later on. But there must be an agreement on the payment of the dowry.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.