Mahr as a condition of valid marriage
Fatwa No: 104779

Question

Assalamu Aalykum 1. Is is obligatory to pay the full Mahr before meeting the wife? Can One make promise to pay it later on? And pay it partially? 2. In our society there is a tradition of asking wife to forgive Mahr, is it okai according to the sharia? 3. Some Scholar says no need to follow any school of Mazhab, one only has to follow the Quraan and Sunnah as shown by Prophet (SAW). Can you pls clarify.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

 

The scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them agreed in a consensus that the husband is obliged to give a dowry to his wife, as Allaah Says (what means): {And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously.}[Quran 4:4] However, it is not a condition to pay the entire dowry or part of it in advance for the permissibility of consummating the marriage. Rather, it is permissible for the husband to consummate the marriage with his wife even if he did not define the exact amount of the dowry to her. In this case, the wife is entitled to a dowry of women at the same social status like her if he consummated the marriage with her without specifying the dowry to her. There is a consensus about this among the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them as stated by Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him.

Nonetheless, a wife has the right to prevent her husband from consummating the marriage with her until he pays her the advance dowry.

For more details, please refer to Fatwa 83635.

On the other hand, the husband has no right to oblige his wife to renounce her dowry. If she is forced by her husband to renounce it, then this is of no effect and the dowry remains her confirmed right and the husband is obliged to pay it to her. Furthermore, people’s traditions that contradict Sharee’ah should not be taken into account. However, if the wife renounces her dowry before possessing it – or gifts it to her husband after possessing it – with her own will and without being forced to do so, and she was an adult with a sound mind, then she has the right to do so. Notwithstanding, it is not permissible to agree from the beginning that she should renounce the dowry as it [dowry] is a condition for the validity of the marriage contract.

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 83231.

As regards following or adhering to a given Mathhab (i.e. a school of jurisprudence), then please refer to Fataawa 84248, 86931 and 84153.  

Allaah Knows best.

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