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Dowry is an obligation

| December 29, 2015 | 6 Comments

Dowry is an obligation of Islamic marriage.  The Mahr (dowry) is something that is paid by the man to his wife. It is paid to the wife as an honor and a respect and to show that he has a serious desire to marry her and is not simply entering into the marriage contract without any sense of responsibility and obligation on his part.

Allah says in the Qur’an: “And give the women their dowries with a good heart {Noble Quran 4:4}

Payment of Mahr

Dowry in the Middle East

Under the Islamic law, the groom pays a dowry to his bride, and in Saudi Arabia, the amount sometimes even exceeds $1 million, as per reports. On an average the dowries range between Saudi Riyals 50,000 – 150,000 depending upon the family’s social status and financial capability. However, in some areas it is a tradition for the groom’s family to not only pay the bride a substantial amount of dowry but also to provide for the wedding party, dresses for the bride and her female relatives.

Saudi Arabia has now set a maximum limit of 50,000 Saudi riyals as dowry for a first time bride, and 30,000 Saudi Riyals for women who have been previously married; after a recent study pointed out that the number of spinsters in the kingdom has risen to four million, mainly due to high dowry demands by the bride’s family.


“The main cause is the high dowry girls’ parents ask from the grooms,” a Saudi sociologist told the news portal. Recently, two brides in the kingdom were rewarded for demanding the lowest dowry from their grooms, Arab News had reported.

Dowry in the Asian Subcontinent

Dowry-related violence is a serious problem that affects the lives of women and girls. Dowry includes gifts, money, goods or property given from the bride’s family to the groom or in-laws before, during or anytime after the marriage. Dowry is a response to explicit or implicit demands or expectations of the groom or his family.


While dowry is practiced in many different parts of the world, dowry-related violence is most prevalent in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The most common forms of dowry-related violence are battering, marital rape, acid throwing, wife burning, and other forms of violence. Perpetrators may also use methods of starvation, deprivation of clothing, evictions, and false imprisonment as a method of extortion. They often use violence disguised as suicides or accidents, such as stove or kerosene disasters, to burn or kill women for failing to meet dowry demands. Recently, four sisters in Pakistan in their 30s and 40s committed suicide by jumping in a river because their father had no dowry for their marriages. A fifth sister also jumped but was found alive.

dowry impact

From the moment a baby girl is born, especially in a low-income family, parents start worrying for the wealth that would be enough to protect well being of their daughter so that when she is married off, they can meet the dowry claim. The shameless demand and acceptance of dowry has become a norm in the society. For each girl in upper class to middle class, to the poor – a dowry is given to the groom’s family. It determines a bride’s worth to that particular family.

Dowry is an obligation of Islamic marriage which is paid by the man to his wife.  Unfortunately, people are more traditional than religious and have become grossly conscious and afraid of the Society.

Irrespective of the religious obligation, the dowry and wedding expenses should certainly be met by the bridegroom and not by the bride as is practiced in the Asian subcontinent.

Dowry system

Main Hoon Na

Wedding Reimbursement

Images: Google.com

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About the Author (Author Profile)

I’m Fayaz Pasha from Bangalore, the Silicon Valley and Garden City of India. I’m a Certified Life Coach and an NLP Practitioner. I love reading, writing and convey my thoughts through Poetry. I would like to make my humble contribution to the Society through this blog towards detoxification of social evils particularly the dowry system.

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Comments (6)

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  1. This is interesting Fayaz, esp the islamic definition of it and how the man has to pay dowry to the woman. It is unfortunate how it has been construed over the last few generations.

    • Fayaz Pasha says:

      Yes Vinay, In Islam its the man who ought to pay the dowry which is a gift to the bride and if he meets the wedding expenses, its much appreciated. Its truly unfortunate that many have misinterpreted and followed the tradition over the last few generations.

  2. It’s quite saddening seeing this social evil still persisting in the society. It’s quite necessary for us to come up and initiate a change. Thanks for spreading the good word through your post.
    Maitreni Mishra recently posted…Recreate the Looks of Kajol in Dilwale with these easy Style TipsMy Profile

    • Fayaz Pasha says:

      Yes, Maitreni, its not only persisting but growing and flourishing. Thank you for your kind comment and hope the change will happen sooner and the society will get rid of this evil practice.

  3. The mindset of people should be changed. Only then such meaningless and torturous custom can be put to an end.
    Maniparna Sengupta Majumder recently posted…They Survive, It’s Still OkayMy Profile

    • Fayaz Pasha says:

      Thank you Maniparna. It is truly a herculean task to change the mindset. As I said, people are more traditional than religious. When people stop being afraid of society, the change would happen and only then there’s a hope to get rid of this evil system.

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