Wa alaykum assalam warahmtullah wabarakatuh
In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving.
All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon His Prophet Muhammad.
In Islam, marriage contract is a solemn one. It is not a sale contract where one gives money in return for a commodity. If it were so, a husband would be entitled to sell his wife, as was practiced in some parts of Europe before.
It is not a compensation for sexual pleasure either, because, on the one hand, the wife also has a share in this pleasure. On the other hand, there are cases where a wife is entitled to full or half of the mahr, even if the marriage was not consummated. A woman divorced before the consummation of marriage is entitled to half of the agreed upon mahr as prescribed by the Quranic injunction “But if you divorce them before you have touched them [in intimacy], and you have already determined for them an obligatory dowry, then [give them] half of what you have already determined, unless they grant remission [of it], or the one in whose hand is the marriage contract grants remission [of it].” [2:237]
Moreover, if the husband dies before the consummation of marriage, his wife become entitled to her entire mahr.
Mahr is neither a pillar no a condition for the validity of the marriage contract, though it is an obligatory consequence as one of the wife’s rights. Mahr serves to prove man’s seriousness and readiness for the solemn marital relationship.
It is also a kind of rightful gift as expressed in the Quranic verse that reads “Moreover, give the women [whom you marry] their rightful marriage present, unconditionally.” [4:4]
Besides, it provides a financial support for the wife and her family in their premarital preparations.
Only ignorance of the objectives of Shari`ah laws and rulings drives to such misconceptions and wrong conclusions.
Almighty Allah knows best.
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