I and many others have observed that many people are very excessive when it comes to the matter of the mahr (wedding dowry that is paid to the bride), and that they seek great amounts of mahr when it comes to the marriage of their daughters, and they stipulate as a condition the giving of other gifts to them, along with the mahr.
This wealth that people demand in such cases, is it halaal (lawful) or haraam (unlawful)?
What is prescribed in the Sharee’ah is that the mahr should be a small amount and that people should not compete with each other in this regard, acting in accordance with the many ahaadeeth which are related about this. They should also help facilitate marriages and be keen in preserving the modesty and decency of the young Muslim men and women.
And it is not permissible for the awliyaa (guardians of the brides-to-be) to demand and stipulate gifts for themselves, since they have no right at all in this matter. Rather the right belongs to the woman, and in some particular cases to the father.
He may stipulate a condition as long as it does not harm the daughter, nor lead to the delaying of the marriage. However, if the father forgoes such a right then this is better and more preferable.
Allaah – the One free from all defects – says: “And marry those amongst you who are single and also marry the pious of your male and female slaves. If they be poor, Allaah will enrich them out of His Bounty.” [Soorah an-Noor 24:32].
In the hadeeth of ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir radiallaahu ‘anhu, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The best dowry is that which is easy.” This was narrated by Abu Daawood and al-Haakim who authenticated it.