What Is Dowry in Islam? Read This!

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Hi all readers! Are you looking for an explanation of “what is dowry in Islam?”? If your answer is “Yes”, congratulations! Now you are reading the right article. Why? Because that is what I will explain in this article. As Muslims, we must understand that. That’s why I wrote this article. So, you should read it to the end!

Specifically, there are two important things about “what is dowry in Islam?” which I will explain in this article. Two important things I mean are as follows:

  1. Literal Meaning of Dowry.
  2. What Is Dowry in Islam?

Literal Meaning of Dowry

The first important thing about “what is dowry in Islam?” what I will explain now is the literal meaning of dowry. I want you to understand that first because it is one of the important things in this discussion that must be well understood.

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“Dowry” is an Arabic term. The writing is الْمَهْرُ. Dowry has another term. The term is Sadaq. The writing is الصَّدَاقُ.

المَهْرُ لُغَةً : هُوَ مَا يَلْتَزِمُ الزَّوْجُ بِأَدَائِهِ إِلَى زَوْجَتِهِ حِيْنَ يَتِمُّ زِوَاجُهُ بِهَا

Dowry in Arabic is something that a husband should give to his wife when his marriage to her is perfect.

So, we can conclude that the literal meaning of dowry is something that a husband gives to his wife after the marriage contract (aqd an-Nikah). Literally, there is no dowry specification. What is important is something a husband should give to his wife.

That is a brief explanation of the literal meaning of dowry. As Muslims, we must understand that.

What Is Dowry in Islam?

The second important point about “what is dowry in Islam?” what I’m going to explain now is a specific answer. So, you should read the explanation below carefully.

To be honest, there are many explanations about the meaning of dowry in Islam. Of course, I’m not going to explain all of that here. In this article, I will explain two meanings of dowry in Islam only.

The two meanings of dowry in Islam that I mean are as follows:

الصَّدَاقُ أَوِ الْمَهْرُ فِيْ الْفِقْهِ الْإِسْلَامِيُّ هُوَ : مَا يَدْفَعُهُ الزَّوْجُ لِزَوْجَتِهِ بِعَقْدِ الزَّوَاجِ مُعَجَّلاً أَوْ مُؤَجَّلاً

Shadaq or Dowry in Islamic law is something that a husband gives to his wife because of the marriage contract in cash (directly) or in installments.

الْمَهْرُ هُوَ الْمَالُ الَّذِيْ وَجَبَ عَلَى الزَّوْجِ دَفْعُهُ لِزَوْجَتِهِ بِسَبَبِ عَقْدِ النِّكَاحِ

Dowry is property that must be given by a husband to his wife because of the marriage contract.

All readers! If we understand the explanation of the two meanings of dowry in Islam as explained above, we can conclude that dowry in Islam is something that a husband gives to his wife during the marriage contract. Something that can be in the form of objects, such as houses, money, cars, clothes and so on, or other things that a wife wants, such as if a wife wants her husband to read the Quran as dowry, and so on.

In Islam, there are many explanations about dowry. We can find it in some of the verses of the Quran and hadith below:

Quran About Dowry

As for some of the verses of the Quran about dowry that I mean are as follows:

وَاٰتُوا النِّسَاۤءَ صَدُقٰتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً ۗ فَاِنْ طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَنْ شَيْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْسًا فَكُلُوْهُ هَنِيْۤـًٔا مَّرِيْۤـًٔا

And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously. But if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease. (An-Nisa’ [4]; 4).

وَاِنْ اَرَدْتُّمُ اسْتِبْدَالَ زَوْجٍ مَّكَانَ زَوْجٍۙ وَّاٰتَيْتُمْ اِحْدٰىهُنَّ قِنْطَارًا فَلَا تَأْخُذُوْا مِنْهُ شَيْـًٔا ۗ اَتَأْخُذُوْنَهٗ بُهْتَانًا وَّاِثْمًا مُّبِيْنًا

But if you want to replace one wife with another and you have given one of them a great amount [in gifts], do not take [back] from it anything. Would you take it in injustice and manifest sin? (An-Nisa’ [4]; 20).

وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُوْنَهٗ وَقَدْ اَفْضٰى بَعْضُكُمْ اِلٰى بَعْضٍ وَّاَخَذْنَ مِنْكُمْ مِّيْثَاقًا غَلِيْظًا

And how could you take it while you have gone in unto each other and they have taken from you a solemn covenant? (An-Nisa’ [4]; 21).

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Hadith About Dowry

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Founder, Author, Indonesian Blogger, Muslim, Graduate of Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt.

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