Dower or Mahr মোহরানা

Important Information on Dower/Mahr (মোহরানা):

  • Dower/Mahr is that sum of money or property which a Muslim wife is entitled to get from her husband on marriage.
  • Under Muslim law, there cannot be any marriage without dower.
  • Where no dower is expressly fixed, the law confers the right of dower upon the wife as necessary effect of marriage.
  • Subject-Matter of Dower:

-Anything of value may be settled as dower.

-It may be a certain sum of money or a specific property.

-Any kind of property, movable or immovable, tangible or intangible may be settled as dower.

-Money or property which is specified as Dower must be in existence and must be reasonably certain.

-If any future property is settled as Dower, the law shall presume that no Dower has been fixed.

-The property must also not be un-Islamic. If an un-Islamic property has been specified as Dower, it is presumed that there is no Dower at all, and the wife is entitled to get Proper Dower.

-Rents, profits or other beneficial interests of movable or immovable property may also be settled as Dower.

-Benefits from any business or benefits arising out of any life insurance policy may also be the subject-matter of Dower.

  • Dower may be specified before the marriage contract, at the time of the marriage, or even after the completion of the marriage.
  • Dower may be settled either orally or may be specified in a written agreement (Kabin-nama or Nikah-nama).
  • There are Two Types of Dower: Specified  Dower and Unspecified Dower.

1.       Specified Dower:when the dower is specified by the parties at the time of marriage contract, it is called specified dower.

The common practice is to settle the amount of dower at the time of the marriage.

Specified Dower may either be Prompt or Deferred.

a)      Prompt Dower: Prompt Dower is payable immediately after the marriage if demanded by the wife.

               -The technical term for ‘Prompt’ Dower is “Muajjal”.

-Whether the consummation (intercourse) has taken place or not, prompt dower may be demanded by the wife at any time she likes.

-The wife may refuse consummation till the husband does not pay the Prompt Dower on demand provided the marriage is not consummated.

b)      Deferred Dower: Deferred Dower is payable on the dissolution of marriage or on the death of the husband or on the happening of a specified event.

-The technical term for ‘Deferred’ Dower is “Muwajjal”.

- Usually some portion of the Specified Dower is fixed as Prompt and the rest as Deferred.

2.       Unspecified Dower:If the dower is not has not been specified at the time of marriage, it is called unspecified or proper dower or customary Dower. This dower is fixed by the court of law.

Fixing Unspecified Dower:

-The amount of proper dower varies from case to case but while fixing the Proper Dower following principles of law are taken into consideration:

a)      The personal qualifications of the wife,

b)      The social position of the wife’s father,

c)       The dowers fixed upon the wife’s female paternal (father’s) relations. That is to say, the examples of dower which had been fixed in the earlier marriages either of her sisters or paternal aunts (father’s sisters) who are considered to be her equals.

d)      The amount of dower fixed in the marriage of wife’s mother or other girls of her mother’s family is not considered. Similarly, the status and means of the husband is also not taken into account.

  • Where Portion of Prompt or Deferred Dower is not mentioned: When in Kabin-nama the portion is not mentioned that what part of Specified Dower is Prompt or what part is Deferred then it is considered that the whole part of Dower is Prompt Dower.
  • Husband or wife whoever gives Talaq, dower money must be paid to the wife.
  • Time Period for Filing Suit for Dower: After Talaq if the husband does not pay the dower money to the wife, then for that dower money wife have to file a suit within 3 years after Talaq.



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