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The Dower in the Qur'an

The form of the dower described above in connection with the fifth stage is not an invention of the Qur'an. All that the Qur'an did was to restore it to its natural and pristine form. The Qur'an in its incomparably elegant style says: "Give to the women a free gift of their marriage portions". (Surah an-Nisa, 4 : 4) This means that the dower belongs to women exclusively and it is a gift to be paid directly to them. It has nothing to do with their fathers or brothers.

In this short sentence the Holy Qur'an has referred to three basic points:

Firstly it has used for marriage portion or the dower the word, saduqatehinna meaning truthfulness and sincerity and not the word mehr. Thus, the dower is a symbol of the cordiality of the man paying it. This point has been expressly mentioned by a number of the commentators of the Holy Qur'an, such as Zamakhshari, the author of the well-known commentary, the Kashshaf Similarly, the famous philologist, Raghib Isfahani says in his lexicon of the Qur'an that the dower has been called saduqah because it is a symbol of the sincerity of faith. Secondly, it is clear from the above verse of the Qur'an that the dower is to be paid directly to the woman, and her parents have no claim to it. It is not a compensation for the efforts made by them to bring up their daughter. Thirdly, it is clear that the dower is nothing except a present and a gift.

Adapted from the book: "Woman and Her Rights" by: "Shahid Murtaza Mutahhari"

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