REAL MEN Give Mehr

Picture this: You are sitting on your new four poster bed, with your bride (also new), being forced to endure “Ye Zindagi hai” or some other such soap on your, yes your new 42 inch LED screen. If you are a man you can probably think up at least three better things to do with the above mentioned three things, right? (yes all three, the bed, the wife and the T.V)

BUT here`s the twist, your wife does not seem to agree, and there`s nothing you can do “cz my daddy paid for all this.” O the shame! Wither manliness?! And all that could have been avoided if you had just listened to God and given Mehr instead of eyeing the old man (who incidentally is also your wife`s father) and his wealth:

“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. “

(Surah An-Nisa)

“…and lawful for you are (all women) besides those, provided that you seek (them) with your property, taking (them) in marriage not committing fornication. Then as to those whom you profit by, give them their dowries as appointed…” (Surah An-Nisa)

“Marry, even with (a Mahr equal to) an iron ring.”


If you have not figured it out by now, let me spell it out for you. Giving Mehr is one of the pre-requisites of a Muslim marriage/nikah and I mean GIVING it not just penning it down on the Nikah documents and saying, “write whatever you want, who gives Mehr anyway”.:-
“O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries…”
(Surah Al-Ahzab)

It may only be a matter of pride for urban affluent men but for women from poorer backgrounds (only half of our population) dowry symbolizes much more. People just cannot afford to get married anymore! Girls are robbed of education because their mothers have to save every penny for their dowry from the moment they are born. Hence you see why the birth of a girl child is considered a burden in our poverty-stricken society. In India at one time signboards actually advertised abortions by “Pay xyz amount today, save thousands tomorrow”!! Imagine! Apparently poor parents just cannot afford daughters anymore! Like my teacher says “Our girls have become hostage to dowry”. And where did it all begin? It has its roots in the Hindu culture where women were considered lowly forms of the human species and hence the “larki wale” had to PAY the “larkey wale” to take this “wretched creature” off of their hands. And hence the modern glamorized version when people insist its a gift. Dowry is not a gift. Dowry shames the man and belittles the woman, period. For what kind of a man would take money from a woman? AND what kind of woman would pay her way into a house. <And here we all thought we were the best thing to happen to the universe since the Big Bang, apparently our actions beg to differ>. So what are we all waiting for? For things to get as bad as they are in our neighboring country where 2500 girls go missing every year due to bride burning alone? And we aren`t even counting female infanticide and feticide here…

Bottom-line: Do NOT give dowry, do NOT ask for dowry, period! Even if you own a house next to Birmingham Palace (heck even if you own Birmingham Palace), do NOT set bad precedents in society, do NOT glamorize things that make living difficult for the masses, THINK!

Note to my girlfriends: Mehr is a GIFT, do not try to dictate the amount, do not look towards your father in law for money, nor towards “daddy”. Seriously don`t. Take what dear hubby provides for you, and take it with pride. Or go work :p
Remember Asia (a.s) and remember poor suicidal Amy Winehouse, remember also that wealth does not buy happiness:

“Richness (wealth) is not in having many possessions, but (true) richness is the richness of the soul – contentment (of the heart)”

(Al-Bukhari, Muslim)

*Inspired by the lectures of Huma Najm ul Hasan*

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