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Expecting the Wife or Her Guardian to Provide the Dowry is a Custom That is Contrary to Sharee‘ah

Praise be to Allaah.

The dowry (mahr) is a right that the wife has over her husband because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allaah has made it lawful)”

[al-Nisa’ 4:4].

Al-Tabari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: What Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, meant by that is: Give the women their dowries as a gift that is required and obligatory. 

And he said: It was narrated that Qataadah said, concerning the words “And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart”: As an obligation. And it was narrated that Ibn Jurayj said concerning the words “And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart”: As an obligation that is named (specified). And it was narrated that Ibn Zayd said concerning the words “And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart”: al-nihlah (translated here as “with a good heart”, in the language of the Arabs, refers to something that is obligatory. 

Tafseer al-Tabari, 4/241. 


So it is not permissible to force the wife or her guardian to provide it, but if the wife takes it and then gives some of it to her husband or gives some of her wealth to him, it is permissible to her to do that, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allaah has made it lawful)”[al-Nisa’ 4:4].

 Accommodation is also a right that the wife has over her husband, so he is obliged to provide her with separate accommodation according to his ability; that is part of the maintenance that he is obliged to provide. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Lodge them (divorced women) where you dwell, according to your means” [al-Talaaq 65:6]. If this applies in the case of a woman who is divorced, then providing accommodation for a woman who is still married is more appropriate. Moreover, Allah has enjoined kind treatment between spouses, as stated above. Part of the kind treatment that is enjoined is providing her with accommodation in which she and her wealth will be safe. The wife cannot do without accommodation in order to conceal her from people looking at her and so that she can settle down with her belongings. Hence accommodation is a right that she has over her husband. 

The same may be said about accommodation as may be said about the dowry: it is not permissible to force the wife or her guardian to provide it. 

Based on that, if the wife does not give accommodation, there is no room for demanding it from her. Allah has made the man the protector and maintainer of the woman, and one of the reasons for that is that he spends on her. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means” [al-Nisa’ 4:34]. 

And Allah knows best.

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