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Love and family

Is the dowry a price that we pay in exchange for a wife?

23 September 2021, Seytoo
Is the dowry a price that we pay in exchange for a wife?

The consideration that the increase in the value of the dowry is a way of affirming the social value of the woman would be similar to the increase in the value of the commodity to thus affirm its market value.

The misconception about the dowry, which is held by many people, stems from a mistaken and backward consideration that the dowry is the price paid in exchange for a wife.

With this way of seeing a “man would be the owner of a woman whom he paid for.” From such a consideration, some women speak about their dowry in the popular way, saying: “It is my dowry, my worth as a person!”

The dowry would be, according to this view, a sort of right of appropriation. Likewise, the consideration that the increase in the value of the dowry is a way of affirming the social value of the woman would be similar to the increase in the value of the commodity to thus affirm its market value. The Quran speaks of the dowry as a gift.

“Pay your wives their marriage dowries as a 'Nihla' gift….” where the “nihla” is the gift, what one give in exchange for nothing. This means that the dowry is a symbol of love and not a price. For this reason, we notice that some experts say that the legal formula to be pronounced to validate the marriage contract can be the Arabic equivalent of the following expression: “I give you such in marriage on the basis of the dowry of ... and not against the dowry of… ”, because the Arabic particle equivalent to “against”means exchange while the dowry has nothing to do with exchange.
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