Inflation not a factor in the settlement of delayed Mahr
Fatwa No: 296497

Question

I got married in 1983 and did not pay Mahr, the Mahr was PKR 11,000Now in 32 years later the currency inflated by 8 times where as gold rate inflated by 46 times.Value by Currency 11,000x8 = PKR 88,000Value by Gold 11,000x46 = PKR 506,000What exchange rate have to follow for the payment of mahr after 32 years late?seeking your advice/guidance

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

This Mahr (bridal money) is a debt which you are obliged to settle like all other debts. You said that its amount is PKR 11,000, so you are obliged to repay this amount, and the value at the time of agreement is not a factor, and any reduction in the currency's value has no effect according to the most valid opinion, as long as it was valid to use the currency in the transactions.

A resolution from the Islamic Fiqh Academy reads: “The crucial factor in the settlement of real debts in a given currency is equivalency and not value, because debts are to settled in equal amount.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 87651, 283363 and 131998.

However, a group of scholars said that the value is a factor if the currency weakens. This is the view of Abu Yoosuf of the Hanafi School of jurisprudence. According to this view, the debtor is obliged to pay back the value of the money that went through a rise or fall in value at the time of agreement according to the market value. Ar-Rahooni from the Maaliki School is of the view that if the difference is very large, then what must be paid back is the value of the money that went through the increase or decrease, but if the difference is not so great, then it must be repaid in the same amount.

The view that we on Islamweb have preferred in many of our Fataawa is the view of the majority of the scholars and it is also the view preferred by the Islamic Fiqh Academy.

However, it should be noted that settling debts generously, which is a Sunnah, requires taking into account what is lesser than one's right. This is what is meant by the saying of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): “The best among you are those who repay their debts generously.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allaah Knows best.

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