The Dowry And Love – An Eye-Opener

Dowry is a kind of gift given by the bride’s family to the bridegroom’s family or vice-versa. This comes along with the giving away of the bride. The terms and conditions of dowry often match those of a regular business or a financial agreement. Dowry negotiations are an essential prerequisite to a marital bond. When two lovers have been able to climb up to the proverbial Love Mountain, it’s only natural that they would now love to tie the knot, and the dowry should no longer be an impediment on their way. At this juncture of their love life, their love for each other would now be said to have attained a considerable degree of maturity and perfection. In some parts of the world, and especially in the Middle East, the dowry or Mahr, could still be an obstacle for lovers trying to perfect their relationship through marriage.

Mahr or the marriage gift in some Islamic countries continue (until this day) to pose serious threats to lovers – especially to the young men and women who aspire to crown their relationships through marriage. To be sure, in some of these countries, the dowry demanded by some relatives have become backbreaking to some lovers. In places where the men are supposed to pay the dowry, it often turns the women into commodities on sale. What parents and guardians do forget is that, these two lovers have already reached the mountain-top of love and, if at this time a man or woman is asked to pay a huge amount of dowry to their partner-to-be, then their love for each other becomes meaningless!

The Correlation Between Love And The Dowry

To this writer, there exists a strong correlation between love and the dowry, When the love existing between two individuals is intense and sincere, the dowry becomes insignificant and shouldn’t pose an impediment on their way to tying the knot. On the other hand, if the dowry demanded by relatives is backbreaking, that would definitely affect the intensity and sincerity of the love that exists between these two individuals.

A man or woman requested by law or custom to pay a huge amount of dowry to their marriage partner would feel that an impediment has been placed on them and their lovers – that impediment which is immaterial to the meaning of love. The concept of the dowry from an Islamic perspective is neither an actual nor symbolic price for the woman – as was the case in certain cultures – but rather, it’s a gift symbolizing love and affection toward the woman of his dreams. It’s specifically decreed that a woman has the full right to her Mahr or dowry, and that such ownership does not transfer to her father or her husband.

Sometimes, the dowry is used as a shackle to prevent a man from seeking a divorce – should fault lines begin to appear on top of the Love Mountain. If parents and guardians all over the world had executed the payment of the dowry as stipulated by God and His Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), it would not have become an impediment that always threatens to extinguish the fire between lovers. Even though, Mahr, according to Islam, has no price tag, and has therefore not established a particular amount of money to be given to a woman by her lover, It indeed, does not prohibit giving a whole treasure as a dowry to a woman.

Dowry Or Marriage Gift Should Only Act As A Symbol Of Love And Affection

Yes. The dowry has no price tag because it only acts as a symbol of love and affection. The Mahr to be given therefore increases and decreases according to the wherewithal of the man involved. At the apex of the proverbial Love Mountain, lovers see the whole world beneath them. They see the forest surrounding them; they also see the rivers flowing beneath their feet; they do also see other lovers hoping to get to where they have reached. They see the rainbow of love above them. Breathe in the fresh air of love; And above all, eat and drink love.

The dowry, although an integral part of marriages in almost every culture on earth, shouldn’t become a hindrance at that juncture. As a matter of fact, the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him), did witness the marriage of a woman from the Bani Fazaara tribe in Arabia. This marriage was consummated based on a pair of the marriage gift. The Prophet asked this woman during the marriage ceremony: “Do you approve of your own accord a pair of sandals as a marriage gift?” She answered in the affirmative. The Prophet then endorsed the marriage.

Yes! She answered in the affirmative because the marriage gift became valueless in the eyes of true love that had already settled in their hearts and had “crowded out” any potential impediment on their way to marriage. Love is priceless and, therefore this woman did not want the luster of gold to inveigle their relationship down the drain.

Love Is Timeless And Priceless

Some critics might say that the above episode took place almost a century and a half ago, and that it would no longer hold true for this “Digital Age”. I argue that lessons derived from this episode are irrelevant to time and place. Rather, it was the true meaning of love that was called to attention. For love is timeless and priceless. When and if an expensive marriage gift is imposed upon a man who aspires to marry his lover, and even if he is able to pay this amount, he might, as a result look at his wife as if she had kidnapped him. Likewise, if it’s the woman paying the dowry, she might as well think the same way.

Yes! He indeed is looking at her as if he had bought her with money – not with love! As soon as a man begins to think this way about his wife, his love for her begin to wane, until such a time that a little misunderstanding between them leads to a ‘whole roomful of horrors’ – like burning his wife’s face with acid or even killing her. The less severe of these horrors might just be a divorce. The reason would have been that the expensive dowry imposed upon him did practically replace his true love for his partner. Some acts of lovers toward each other are explainable only through an examination of the concomitant circumstances.

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