Dowry in Islam

"If I don’t kill her today; tomorrow she will kill me financially or some one else will burn her for the sake of dowry,"

rationalizes the would be father of an unborn female child, at the time of deciding a premature end for her. Such is the evil of dowry, rampantly prevailing in Indian society. A study has revealed that an estimated one million (1,000,000 ) female foetuses are being destroyed every year in India alone where, even today the birth of a female child is viewed as a curse. As soon as a daughter is born, the family in general and the father in particular starts calculating the huge financial burden that lies ahead of him. Whereas a Muslim father seizes, the same opportunity with both his hands as his Prophet (pbuh) has promised him heaven or paradise for bringing up his daughter the way he takes care of his male child.

A Muslim father does not have to bother for dowry, as there is nothing called ‘Dowry’ in Islam. On the contrary, Islam enjoins the groom to give a ‘Bridal-Gift’ or ‘Dower’ as a token of love and assurance to his would be wife at the time of marriage. In fact without payment of this sum, the marriage cannot get solemnized. The Holy Qur’an instructs the believers

"And give the women (whom you marry) their dower (obligatory bridal gift) happily" (4:4)

The practice of dowry among ignorant Muslims is a result of the influence of the evil practices of the society they live in. Islam does not put any financial burden on the father of the girl. A Muslim father is told to get her daughter married away in a most simple ‘Nikah’ ceremony solemnized by a ‘Qazi’ (priest) in a mosque, witnessed by his close relatives and friends. He is not even required to throw a luncheon to the handful of invitees assembled for this occasion. In fact it is desirable on the part of the groom that he offers a reception (Waleema) to his near ones & dear ones without forgetting the poor people of his society.

The example of such a simple marriage was set up by none other than the Prophet (pbuh) himself. He got his daughters married in the simplest possible manner. There was nothing in it whatsoever for the bridegroom that could be termed as dowry. The Prophet (pbuh) said:

"The best of the marriages is one which is least burdensome in the financial sense to the families of the bride and the groom"

Thus he paved a way for people of all times to come to live a life without stress and strain pertaining to daughters’ marriages too!


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