July 13, 2010

Mahr is the WOMAN'S CHOICE

Before I start I want to say that I started to think about the topic of mahr because of Ellen's post @ Steadily Emerging with grace. Interestingly enough a facebook friend Mecca Donna posted these as her status

There is (and should) be a minimum dowry..but there is no cap:) #Dowry #WeAintGotToArgue

I personally believe that no Muslim woman should marry for less than 10k in 2010. Bare minimum. #ImJustSayin' #DeenMatters #WeAintGotToArgue

Brothers can't save $250.00 a week for a year to be able to give a BASIC dowry of $12k in 2010? That's excessive now? It's out of the question to make a man PREPARE for marriage financially? To complain about a 10k dowry is what's hot in the streets? Who NEVER has saved $100 dollars for a Wife and half his deen talking all slick like women HAVE to marry you for Quran verses & an I.O.U? #StaySINGLE #OutofYourLeague

I personally believe the WOMAN should decide what her mahr is or isn't and the brothers can pay it or move on to someone else whose mahr they agree with.  Some may think what the sister above is saying may be excessive but ITS HER mahr and she has the right to ask for whatever she wants. I am all for the WOMAN choosing the amount or items because its HER right unless you want to transgress HER rights and be accountable to Allah swt.

Some brothers from a certain city in the USA are ENFORCING a $500 cap on dowries.  Now these brothers from this specific city are FAMOUS for their NBA/NFL/NHL jerseys, their timbs, Jordans, modified hoopties and what game they have on the newest console.  If they can afford a $200 sneaker they can certainly put some of that money away from when they DO start looking for a wife. Which is HALF their deen.  My personal belief is that this small group of brothers also known for practicing polygamy and marrying one wife legally and having the rest on welfare want a cap on dowries because otherwise they will be unable to marry more than one wife.  This in an area with NO shortage of men btw.  If you can't afford a woman DON'T MARRY her and leave her so she can marry a man that CAN.  Sidenote, welfare is NOT free money, it comes from the taxes of the people usually the middle class and below (the rich get tax breaks, discounts and tax shelters) so if you don't need it and are able bodied than in essence you are stealing from the people. FEAR ALLAH.

We need to stop looking down at women who choose mahrs that don't appeal to us and label them as "un pious."  I also get annoyed when brothers are quick to point out the small mahrs that the female companions had and expect our imans to be up there with those great women.  BUT let me ask you brothers, are YOUR imans as high as the male companions these sahabiyat were marrying?  No?

There is a hadith that the brothers keep using about the best marriage is the cheapest marriage, where exactly are they getting that from? and  if anyone knows can you please post the arabic because the way I read it is said the best marriage is the EASIEST marriage not necessarily the CHEAPEST.  Granted these two words are not  mutually exclusive but they aren't the same thing either.  Wording is everything people. Wording is everything.  BTW is it so wrong to have the brothers save up financially in order to get married?  Like Mecca Donna said
But BELIEVE those fresh Dunks were $200, he ate $250 worth of fast food, he splurged on the new video game system, $600 iPhone but will NOT put that money away for a year..get out of here.
I am not bashing on the women who do choose a small mahr or a more spiritual one. My mahr was hajj and a simple ring but I don't believe it should be forced on others.  This mahr was great because it was MY DECISION and I WANTED IT.

Piece of advice sisters, don't choose things that he is obligated to give you like food ,clothing and shelter kinda thing.  I posted this as my status a couple of days ago and this is the response I got.

sisters, when asking for a mahr remember that this is for YOU. In case the marriage doesn't work out what you received could help you for a little bit. Don't let people talk you in to a mahr you don't want because they tell you its more "pious." Being stupid and getting stomped on isn't being pious. Be smart. You don't need to bleed the brother to death either but don't be naive. ALWAYS PRAY ISTIKHARA.

this is the response
i was very naive would have been nice to know i could of had a little something to fall back on if i ever had major problems but unfortunately i did not educate myself enough prior to marriage and had only been moslem for 6 mths before i married. Alhamdulilah for everything.
I know am beating a dead horse here but I really hope we stop belittling sisters who choose mahrs outside the norm.  It's their choice and if the brother wants to pay it he will and if he doesn't he will move on. In the end our spouses were chosen for us before birth so whats the deal?

ps. Ellen if you are reading this post it is NOT an attack on you as I think its your right to choose your mahr whatever that maybe.  This post is in defense of sisters who choose monetary or worldly things as their mahr.  I felt I NEEDED to post after going back and forth on that fb thread with brothers and sisters.  Money is NOT the root of all evil and if you believe that and you are Muslim you need to check yourself because that is of Christian origins.  Money only magnifies what is already in your heart.  There is a hadith that says

“What an amazing thing when good money lies in the hand of a good slave”

Wa Salaam,


BuLaN said...

salam tutie..
wow, just the right advice at the right time for me. my man proposed and been asking me how much i want for mahr. i havent give him any answer..i plan to ask for cash and a ring..i have the figure right in my mind but was afraid that i sound too demanding. now, not anymore :)

.::Tuttie::. said...

@BuLaN, wa salaam!
alhamdulillah you found it useful! But I must tell you that with such a decision you should pray istikhara and more than once. You can NEVER go wrong if you follow your istikhara. Because whatever happens to you it was definitely for the best. Chin up and hit the prayer mat :)

mahrs are not a one size fits all.

AlabasterMuslim said...

Ok first of all I am in LOVE with your new layout! Mashallah, its cute.

Second, I agree with you. Its up to the woman to ask for her mahr. I hear a lot end up asking what their parents want and just give it to them. I opted out and asked for something simple and tangible, alhamdullilah. I don't believe that a woman should stress a man by asking him for a lot of money if he isn't the kind who spends two hundred on shoes. But I guess thats why the women ask for it and the men have to agree it it.

Iman (Lifes Balance Beam) said...

sdkmcdsnfkdsfvsnkdfnf!!! You sisters are on a rollll tonight!! lol Mashaallah, but no all jokes aside i agree with you and Mecca Donna (I love her btw lol) i know the exact city ur talkin about, and i've even seen so many messed up people from there that i refuse to marry from there. i'm not trying to group all men and women under one globe but hell... im sorry 99.99% of people i met from that area were all fitnah balls.

i know a sister who asked for a tree to be planted for her dowry, and it was because the man couldnt afford her and every one was telling her its the "sunnah" to be cheap as possible (in a nutshell) and 8 years later, divorced, married thrice with 4 kids and nothing. (she married at 14, but alhumdulilah is married again) but stuff like that is exactly what i cant stand!

come to an AGREEMENT, not fall under a persuasion! it's very easy to be persuaded when your made to feel guilty about "disobeying Allah" thats why i encourage sisters to educate themselves before marriage. (Up coming post inshaallah!)

i Pray to Allah i get a husband willing to take care of me best as possible, we can be a team, but i'm not for being taken below my standards all because he's trying to "follow the sunnah" Mashaallah if you're following it the right way, but if you're belittling me because i dont want to live in an unfurnished flat in yemen somewhere to seek knowledge then throw up the 2's and roll...

ok rant over lol good post!!

.::Tuttie::. said...

@Al. thank you. I got bored of the other one. Mahrs are not a one size fits all and it is going to vary depending on the specific circumstances of the couple. I just don't want sisters being railroaded in to accepting something they don't want.

.::Tuttie::. said...

@Life's Balance Beam. LOL @ fitna balls. But yea, when these brothers do divorced their "pious" women these sisters are left with very little monetary support and some being converts don't have much family support. My community is still bailing sisters from HORRIBLE marriages because they settled for brothers who weren't worth their time and whom people kept saying "marry for the sake of Allah swt."

Sisters need to smarten up and realize that these men may either help them get in to the highest jannah or drag them to the lowest levels of hell. STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS and haters be dang'd.

Kiddy said...

I've got to be frank with you and say this hurts to read about marriage like it's business. What about true love?You realize the true misery of a loveless or an one love sided marriage?What is the reason for Mahrs?And further more do any of you ladies want to enter any kind of relationships knowing that there strings attached to them?That would be just like doing business similar to wanting capital gains when investing in the stock market?Be honest with yourselves and ponder on this question, please.

caraboska said...

btw Christianity does not teach that money is the root of all evil, but rather that *the love of* money is the root of all evil :)

.::Tuttie::. said...

@Caraboska. Maybe not all Christianity teaches that because of all the denominations. However, when I was going to church as a child this was indeed taught to me. I also went to A LOT of different churches because we moved a lot and I LOVED going to church by myself.

@Falling Up. This post was only meant to be in defense of sisters who ask for things out of the norm. This wasn't meant as a road map for sisters to follow but rather feel empowered to ask for what they want. Turning down eligible good brothers is a topic completely different than the right of the woman to request what she wants.

@Barbie Jones. A mahr/dowry is meant to be a gift for the bride by the groom. The bride chooses the dowry and the groom can negotiate or refuse it. This isn't a business and am tired of women feeling that to ask for something means that they are greedy or otherwise. Islamically (I know we have different religions) it is a right of a Muslim woman and I defend her right to it, whatever her choice may be. We can turn anything and make it look ugly. Like a married couple means that the man can now have sex with her so does that mean that she is prostituting herself every night that she becomes available to him? is she a horn bag for wanting companionship?

So no. Its about time we stop making women feel an inferiority complex and constrict them to asking for things that ONLY appear lady like, that wont make them look like gold diggers and so on. The brothers RARELY if ever beat each other over things like these but the women are quick to make another feel inferior for her choices. THAT NEEDS TO STOP.

LK said...

I think people forget what this was originally designed for and that is where the confusion stems. This dowry was designed to assist a woman in the event that she got divorced. Back then, there were no prenups or divorce lawyers. The woman got nothing and had to try to fend for herself. Most likely, she did not work. So the the dowry was to help her stay on her feet in the event of a divorce.

It seems weird to people, especially non-muslims, because this type of concept is not in place in other Abrahamic religions. And we Westerners are big on the "marrying for love" and if you don't look at what the dowry is for it can seem like "marrying for money". I think that is where the confusion lies.

You have the ability to ask so you should ask for whatever you want as far as I'm concerned. Providing the man can afford it.

caraboska said...

LK, There is a mohar in Judaism. But you are right in that the mohar goes not to the woman, but to her father. And a specific amount is stated in the Torah as being the appropriate mohar for a virgin - 50 shekels of silver. This amount is doubled if the man tries to falsely claim later that she wasn't a virgin.

Rene´s Bare Essentials said...

Salaam Alaikum

I personally feel that women and their families are making doweries too expensive for their future husbands to afford. I am not referring to the ones who can afford a large dowery, but the ones who are expected to cough up a a few grand or more and end up
1.) taking a loan to pay it off
2.) delaying marriage and engaging in haram activities to afford such a dowery
3.) not getting married at all due to financial difficulties.

If a woman marries a muslim man who follows the quran and the sunnah he will treat her like a queen and provide for her. We should follow the sunnah of our prophet and keep dowries low instead of causing difficulties on brothers who wish to marry but cant due to high demanding dowries. Now, for the brothers who spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on material objects yet are stingy when it comes to providing their wife with a dowry to match her living conditions thats one thing, however each woman should look at how much the brother makes and not get too selfish and ask for more than he can afford! We should also not have the mindset of divorce before marriage. Thinking that you need to collect a large amount of money in case of divorce is not good when starting off a marriage. We shouldnt think that way and that is why when one puts money before ones deen the marriages often do end up in divorce. At the end of the day, choose the brothers who love Allah and our prophet (saw) more than worldly things and inshaAllah they will treat you wonderfully and keep you happy.

AlabasterMuslim said...

RIGHT ON SISTER! lol I'm glad you wrote back to some people on about the mahr issue *echmbarbiejonesloll*. I also wanted part of my mahr to be a qur'an for each of my children inshallah when they are born (on top of what my personal gift would be) but I was told since that is for the children it can't be my mahr. IDK, but either way inshallah thats what I plan on doing.

Jen said...

:o/ Ummm! All I have ever wanted (even before I was Muslim) was a simple Princess Cut Diamond.