Rafed English

The Necessity to Pay the Nuptial Gift

The two sides should agree on a reasonable amount after honest negotiations. The less strict you are about the amount of the nuptial gift, the more God will be pleased. The leaders of Islam have instructed us to be lenient about this issue to ease the marriage of our young daughters and sons. The families should not imagine that an expensive nuptial gift arranged will prevent the disruption of the family and will help its continuation. There have been many married young women who have had expensive nuptial gifts but returned to their parent's home after marriage. They got seriously hurt and fell apart!

You should rely on God's Favor in these issues, and avoid what might cause pain, belittling or insulting of either party in the future. Once an amount has been agreed upon, and the bride and the groom have accepted it, then half of it is due to be paid immediately upon the establishment of the marriage contract, and the other half must be paid after the marriage is consummated. If it is all paid at the time of the marriage contract, it is much better. The youth must realize that the payment of the nuptial gift is obligatory, and refusal to pay it is a great sin. This necessity to pay the nuptial gift has been clarified in verses 236-237 and 241 of Chapter Baqara, verse 4 of Nisaa, verses 27-28 of Qisas, and verse 49 of Al-Ahzab.No one should impose the least harm or oppression upon women, in this respect or in any other form.

The Prophet (Pbuh) said: A man who oppressively does not pay a woman's nuptial gift is considered an adulterer by God. On the Day of Judgment God will tell him: "O my servant, I married my servant to you based on a certain contract. You did not honor that contract, and oppressed her." Then God will take away some of the man's good deeds and will credit it to his wife's record of deeds. If there is not enough good deeds to fulfill the woman's rights, he shall be thrown in the Hell Fire due to not honoring his contract. Contracts bring responsibility. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.100, p.349, Vafa Press, Beirut]
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: There are three groups of thieves. Those who are envious of paying the alms tax; those who consider it rightful to devour the nuptial gift; and those who borrow money and do not intend to pay it back. [Ibid]

Imam Reza (Pbuh) has quoted his ancestors as having quoted from the Prophet (Pbuh) as saying: God, the Almighty will forgive any sin except denying a woman's nuptial gift, not paying the wages of an employee or selling a free man. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.100, pp.350-351]

Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: The most wicked sins are murder, not paying the nuptial gift, and not paying the wages of an employee. [Ibid]

Noble women have been instructed to forgo the nuptial gift if possible. This is a highly moral act and is a symbol of nobility and generosity. In a very important tradition from The Prophet (Pbuh) we read: A woman who forgoes her nuptial gift after the wedding and before consummation of the marriage, will be credited for the reward of freeing one slave for every Dinar of the nuptial gift. Then the Prophet (Pbuh) was asked what if she forgoes her nuptial gift after the consummation of the marriage? The Prophet (Pbuh) answered: Forgoing the nuptial gift after the consummation of the marriage is a result of love and companionship. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.100, p.351]

Adopted from the book: "The Islamic Family Structure" by: "Husayn Ansarian"

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