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Question

What is the minimum dowry that a man can give his bride? What types of things can be given as dowry?

Answered by

Sheikh Ahmad al-Qubaysî
The Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed men to pay a dowry to women for marriage. He determined the minimum dowry to be paid to be equivalent 30 grams of silver by saying: “No dowry less than ten dirhams.”

Ten dirhams equals 30 grams of silver.

A maximum amount of dowry was never determined. Therefore, it is according to any form of agreement between the two spouses.

The dowry can be in any form agreed upon – money, clothing, jewelry, and the like – as long as its value is not less than the value of 30 grams of silver.

And Allah knows best.

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From the Fatwâ Department editors:

The hadîth stating: “There is no dowry of less then ten dirhams” is very weak.

This hadîth is related in Sunan al-Dâraqutnî in “The Book of Dowry” with two chains of transmission (11, 12) going back to Jâbir, both containing Mubashshir b. `Ubayd narrating from al-Hajjâj b. Artâh. [Sunan al-Dâraqutnî (3/424-425)]

It is also related with such chains of transmission by al-Bayhaqî in al-Sunan al-Kubrâ (7/240).

Al-Dâraqutnî himself says about Mubashshir b. `Ubayd: “His hadîth are to be abandoned.” [Sunan al-Dâraqutnî (3/425)]

Al-Bayhaqî also rejects the hadîth, conveying to us that Mubashshir b. `Ubayd is to be abandoned and criticizing al-Hajjâj b. Artâh as a narrator “who is not to be cited as evidence.” He grades the hadîth as rejected (munkar). [al-Sunan al-Kubrâ (7/240)]

It is also narrated as being a statement of `Alî. [al-Sunan al-Kubrâ (7/240-241) and Musannaf Ibn `Abî Shaybah (3/482, #16368)]

However, this opinion goes against many authentic hadîth indicating that there is no minimum limit set for a woman’s dowry.

Therefore, the evidence for setting the limit at ten dirhams is weak. For this reason, the strongest opinion on the question of a woman’s dowry is that there is no minimum limit set for it. And Allah knows best.

Fatwâ Department Research Committee of IslamToday.net chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî