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Mahr (Arabic: مهر) or Ṣidāq (Arabic: صداق) is anything of value (a certain amount of money, possessions, or etc.) man take the responsibility at the time of marriage to pay to the woman. Mahr is among the rights of a woman and she can ask for it just after the marriage contract is made. This right is given to the heirs of the woman after her death and they can claim it.
The Qur'an advises men to pay the Mahr of their wives with total consent and should not bother them so that they give up or return a part of it.
In hadiths, high amount of Mahr is considered evil and little Mahr and "Mahr al-Sunna" (the Mahr of Lady Fatima (a)) has been advised which was about 1250 to 1500 grams of silver (equal to about 170 to 223 grams of gold).
Mahr is a anything of value which is taken in husband's debt upon marriage to give to woman and the woman owns upon marriage.
Before Islam, fathers and mothers regarded Mahr as the caring wage or milking wage; thus, in Shighar marriage which was a custom at the Age of Ignorance, exchanging one's daughter or sister in return would be considered Mahr while the woman would receive no benefit from that. Islam canceled this custom.
In Islam, after the marriage contract is made, the marital relation establishes between husband and wife and rights and responsibilities are considered for both among which is the payment of Nafaqa and Mahr.
In Verses and Hadiths
The word "Mahr" (Arabic:مهر) is not mentioned in the Qur'an, but words such as "Saduqat" (Arabic:صُدَقات) and "Ujur" (Arabic:اجور) (mostly about Mut'a and marriage with bondwomen) and "Sidaq" (Arabic:صداق) and "Farida" (Arabic:فریضة) have been used for Mahr.
Not paying the Mahr which is the woman's own possession is called an evident oppression in the Qur'an.
In the verse, "Give women their mahr as an obligation…" , Mahr has been referred to as "Saduqa" which is derived from the root (s-d-q) (Arabic: ص-د-ق; meaning: truthfulness) which suggests the truthful nature of marital bond and the love of the husband.
Secondly, by bringing the pronoun "Hunn-a" (Arabic: هنّ; meaning: them), considers Mahr belonging to the woman not to her father or brother so that they take it as wages.
Thirdly, using the word "Nihla", it says that Mahr is a gift and not the value of woman; thus, Mahr is a right entitled to her by God and by paying it, the man does not make her indebted.
Imam al-Baqir (a) said, "what the two sides of marriage come to agree, whether little or great is Mahr. The maximum of Mahr cannot be limited by religion.
Imam al-Sadiq (a) said that one of the things which would not be forgiven is unpaid Mahr of woman.
In hadiths, high amount of Mahr is considered a sign of a woman's evil and has been considered a cause of hatred in the family.
The Prophet (s) said, "three groups of women are not subject to pressure in the grave and will be resurrected with Lady Fatima (a): a woman who gets along with the poverty of her husband, a woman who does not lose her patience with the bad temper of her husband and a woman who remits the Mahr for her husband."
Historical sources have mentioned the Mahr of Lady Fatima (a) (daughter of the Prophet) between four hundred and five hundred Dirhams. In a hadith from Imam al-Rida (a), the amount of Mahr which is known in traditions as "Mahr al-Sunna" (Mahr of tradition) is set to five hundred Dirhams.
Five hundred Dirhams is equal to about 1250 to 1500 grams of Silver. Since at that time, ten Dirhams of silver was equal to one gold Dinar, "Mahr al-Sunna" had been 170 to 223 grams of gold (this is an approximate amount regarding different opinions about the weight of Dirhams and Dinars.)
- It needs to have financial value.
- It needs to be possessable and transferable.
- It needs to be specified and determined.
- It needs to be definite.
- It needs to be legitimate.
- The Husband needs to be capable of submitting it.
Mahr needs to be specified to some extent that there would be no ignorance about it between the two parties and it should not be something vague.
- This article is mainly taken from مهریه in Farsi WikiShia.
- Qur'an 4:4