Dowry - An UnIslamic Custom

Islam is a complete religion. Apart from Imaan and beliefs, it has given timeless principles to make the family and personal life a happy and satisfied. The basic relationship on which the family stands is the relationship between the husband and the wife, i.e. the relationship of marriage. The purer the relationship of the husband and wife, the purer the society will become.

Allah Ta’ala has declared the husband and wife to be each others’ garments. Garments are the beauty and adornment of the body and hide the flaws/defects of the body and save the body from the effects of winter and the heat of the summer. In the same way, the relationship between the husband and wife is an adornment, protection and a covering for each other. The garment sees the defects of the body but does not express it before others. In the same way, the husband and wife should hide each other’s faults and defects.

Marriage is a long lasting relationship. Islam does not like ending it. Instead it teaches us to live with love, affection and patience. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Marry! Do not divorce and among the Halal things, the most offensive to Allah Ta’ala is divorce. Because of this the ‘Arsh of Allah Ta’ala trembles and Iblis becomes happy. The household was the responsibility of Syeda Fatima (May Allah be well pleased with her) and taking care of the needs of the family was the responsibility of Hadhrat Ali (May Allah be well pleased with him). Like men, the women also have rights. It is necessary that each of them behave in the best possible way. They should fear Allah Ta’ala and should try their best to maintain this relationship of marriage. If there is some misunderstanding between the couple, then the Shariah has given us guidelines that first, the wife should be advised, then they should be separated from the beds (i.e. to avoid ual intercourse with them) . If matters become normal, then do not commit any excess against them. If even after following these guidelines, the conditions are the same, then arbitrators should be appointed from both sides and if they decide to set things right, then Allah Ta’ala will join them. If the intention (niyyah) is pure then there is no reason why things cannot be set right. If in spite of the best efforts of both sides and there is a danger that they cannot live together and that if they live together, they will not be able to fulfill each other’s rights, then there is a possibility of divorce or annulment of marriage. In a period of purity (i.e. between 2 menses) in which the couple has not had , only 1 divorce should be pronounced. If the situation improves, then there is a chance of “Ruju” (i.e. revoking of divorce) within the “iddat” waiting period. Even if the Iddat ends, then there is a chance of remarriage.

Sin and immorality are common nowadays. People say that Dowry (jahez), divorce, Khula i.e. annulment of marriage are bad but nobody avoids them in practical life. Along with collective efforts, every person should stand against it and only then can a pure society can be created. The root cause for all sin is that we are far from our religion, Islam. In the past, though people did not have such knowledge, but even then incidents like those which are common nowadays did not take place. In the present times, along with abundance of knowledge, sin is also common. The basic reason for this is lack of enthusiasm to follow the commandments of Islam. Our society is moving towards such decay today that the incidents which we hear make our hair stand on its end. Women are being tortured and oppressed. People become ready for divorce and annulment for small and trivial things.

It is necessary to save the society from the effects of demanding. Demand of dowry by the groom/groom’s relatives is not correct. Dowry includes things which are necessary for both the groom and the bride. It is the responsibility of the groom to provide what is necessary. It is in no way correct to demand the same from the bride. This is an Unislamic custom. The demand of dowry has become a festering wound for the whole society. The whole society is being destroyed because of this. As a result of this, a large number of girls remain unmarried and the immorality is spreading in the society. The society needs to be saved from this. In the Arab countries, so much is being demanded from the men that a large number of young men and women remain unmarried, and immorality is increasing. Islam has commanded us to avoid extremes and take the middle path (of moderation). The groom is ordered to pay a reasonable alimony and avoid demanding dowry and asking for dowry is simply not allowed.

Demanding “jode ki raqm” is not permissible (jayiz) in any way. Even beggars and poor people who have 1 meal left are not allowed to beg. We have fixed and imposed this Unislamic custom on ourselves. It is necessary to clean the “Nikah” of all such customs and make it as simple as possible. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has ordered us to make marriage so easy (simple) that adultery becomes difficult. Today we need to act upon the Sunnah instead of following some other methods. The person who upholds a Sunnah, when it is being wiped out will be granted the reward of a 100 martyrs.

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