In Islam, the husband pays the dowry to the wife, not the other way around
Fatwa No: 269980

Question

I have a question related to what is right in islam regarding marriage. My friend(female) got married into a family who have only one son. The whole expense of the marriage was paid by her. She bought the required amount of gold that the expected with her own earnings. She even had land under her name. Within two weeks into her marriage her in-laws took her land, and are forcing her to hand over all her gold jewellery. She has been mentally tortured to the extend that her in-laws want her to send her complete monthly earnings to them. So the question is what does islam say about dowry and maher, as from the above i feel she has become a dowry to that family.

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 dowry is a sum of money to which the wife is entitled from her husband, who is obliged to pay it to her. The Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia reads: "The dowry is the money to which the wife is entitled from her husband by virtue of the marriage contract with her or by virtue of consummating the marriage with her. It is an obligatory right for the wife from her husband; it is a gift from Allaah in origin, or a gift which Allaah made obligatory on the husband, as Allaah says (what means): {And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously.} [Quran 4:4], in order to demonstrate the solemnity of this contract and its virtue, and as a way of glorifying and honoring the wife."

As regards the marriage expenses, the gold and so on: if the wife does this with her own proper consent, then there is nothing wrong with it, but it is not permissible to force her to do so; rather, it is an injustice and abuse. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "The money of a Muslim is not lawful (for anyone else to take it from him) unless he gives it with his own proper consent.” [Ahmad]

Other forms of injustice to her is what you mentioned of the husband's family taking the land from her, forcing her to give them her jewelry and send them her earnings, and harming her psychologically.

Therefore, it is obligatory to advise those people and remind them of Allaah, and clarify to them the seriousness of injustice. Allaah says (what means): {And never think that Allaah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them for a Day when eyes will stare [in horror].} [Quran 14:42]

Moreover, Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Injustice is darkness on the Day of Resurrection." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

As regards your statement: "…as from the above, I feel she has become a dowry to that family": we think that this is an exaggeration, and what is correct to say is that they have badly exploited her.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 245665 and 85873.

Allaah Knows best.

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