The Protection of Muslim Woman’s Right to Dower in Bangladesh

Right to Dower in Bangladesh
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In Bangladesh, the dower ensures the wife’s financial security and social status.

Marriage is a civil contract. One of the conditions for executing this contract is the dower. This condition must be met before a marriage can be valid. A dower is some money or other property that the wife receives from the husband in return for the marriage. A dower is a symbol of honor for the wife.

Justice Mahmood (Abdul Kadir VS Salima, 1886) case says that a dower under Muhammadan law is a sum of money or other property promised to the wife in consideration of the marriage, and even where no dower is expressly fixed or mentioned at the marriage ceremony, the law confers the right of dower upon the wife. So, the dowry is the money or property that the husband gives or promises to give to his wife as a mark of dignity in the marriage ceremony.

There are usually two types of dower-

1. Immediate Dower

2. Delayed Dower

The prompt dower is to be paid as soon as the wife asks. A deferred dower can be used anytime after marriage. However, after death or divorce, the dower must be paid. The dower then remains as the husband’s debt to the wife.

Dowry is an obligation.

Dower is one of the 5 essential conditions for marriage in Islam. In the case of marriage as a Muslim, the husband is obliged to pay dower to his wife immediately before or after the marriage is consummated. The husband is never exempt from paying the dower, whether the dowry is fixed at the time of marriage or not. It is required to pay the seal to the wife.

The subject has been mentioned in the Holy Hadith, and Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said

“A person who marries a woman with a dower amount, more or less, but has no desire in his heart to claim that dower, will appear as an adulterer on the Day of Resurrection.”

From the above hadith, one can get an idea of how important it is for a husband to pay dower to his wife.

The Holy Qur’an says, “If you give them dower, then there is no blame on you for marrying them.” (Surah An-Nisa’: 60)

One thing that is clear from the above religious provision is that in Islam, if a Muslim man wants to get married, he must be obliged to give a dowry to his wife. Section 10A of this Act states that the dowry is to be paid only if the wife wishes, unless it is specified in the marriage certificate what kind of dowry the wife will be entitled to. If the order of the arbitral tribunal is in force, the wife is entitled to it. Failure to do so will result in imprisonment for 1 month or a fine of Taka 200 or both. So it is the husband’s duty to give his wife his dower. A dower can be given a place, land, cash, ornaments, clothes, etc. On the contrary, if the couple agrees, the teaching of the Qur’an and the adoption of Islam can be a dower.

Why is Dower important for women?

Before the establishment of Islam, women were oppressed in all societies. In the age of ignorance, that is, in the age of ignorance, women also had very low-quality goods in Arabia. The birth of a daughter was so humiliating that most of them were buried alive for no reason. Those who survived also had to endure various forms of oppression. Far from getting an abandoned property after the death of her husband, the woman had to pass on to others the likeness of sacrifice and self-sacrifice as she inherited property, like other commodities. Later, after the establishment of Islam, Islam gave women due rights and dignified status. resisted oppression. As a human being, he has seated women in the seat of honor just like men. He has been made the owner of the abandoned property for the sake of honor and dignity.

The importance of dower (Denmohor) in Islam is immeasurable. Besides, the chastity of women is not valid. I can’t imagine marriage without Dower (Mohrana). Giving your wives their dowries willingly, Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, Ch-4 Surah Nisa.

A husband’s dower is basically an honor that a husband gives to his wife, whose main purpose is to give respect and dignity to a woman. It is not the woman’s price that, if paid, can be thought to be that the woman has sold herself into the hands of her husband. Nor is it just a matter of words, which are only imposed; there is no obligation to pay. Rather, the purpose of Islam is that when a man brings his wife home, he should bring her with dignity and give her some gifts that honor her. That is why the dower cannot be fixed so low that the dignity is not lost. Again, not to fix so much, which is impossible for the husband to pay.

The real situation of Dower in present-day Bangladesh

Nowadays, in our society, the dower has come to stand about showing a man. Dowers are prescribed in large quantities to make people hear Dowers without calculating the capacity of the Dower provider. This large sum of money may never be repaid. There is no blessing in determining the amount of dower shown to people by taking the matter lightly. Rather, it carries the identity of arrogance. Dower is something that has to be paid for.

In our society, parents decide how much money their children will have. Whether the vessel can afford it or not, it doesn’t matter to anyone. Forgetting the conscience of the spouse (in the present context, using the excuse of safety, sometimes for the sake of maintaining the status quo) imposes a large amount. There are arguments and negotiations on both sides; sometimes marriages break up.

The most heinous evil practice in society is to get a husband forgiven by his wife on the first night of marriage. On Basar night, any woman is mentally weak. Also, not knowing the importance and significance of the seal, when the husband apologizes to her, she can’t make the difficult decision of saying “no” to him. The Holy Qur’an and Islamic law strictly forbid doing so with a seal.

Author: Mahbubur Rahman Jasim

Department of Law, LL.B. Honor’s (4th year);

State University of Bangladesh.

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