Before Marriage

Weekly Question for the Brothers and the Sisters

Asalamu alaykum,

Last night during a lesson, I asked the audience what they thought a reasonable mahar was. I suggested, for a young professional working brother, $10,000 (over time). Let me tell you, that suggestion got a lot of looks from the brothers. I would like to throw this question out to you, the readers. What do you think an ideal mahar is for a brother with a good career? I would like to see different suggestions for different situations and hope to benefit.


About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.


  • Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullah

    $10k???? thats like £5k UK !!…

    Ok so theres a brother, used to have a good job, good house, good mortage and good debt burden too …

    walhamdullilah, has been given tawfique to recognise his lord and trys to practice our deen..

    so he gives it up .. sells the house, no more mortgage no more credit cards no more debt burden and most importantly no more filthy RIBA!! With the remaining little surplus left.. he gives up the day job and wishes to dedicate some time learning the deen abroad (at the feet of traditional scholars and also cheaper!!)….

    he then wishes to come back to the UK… hes now 33 and needs to get married .. fasting is taking its toll see…

    he has £10K nest egg…. no place of his own and no job. In between getting a place to stay and a new job.. he has to pay for temp rent… livelihood and after all that all the costs associated with marriage…

    $10k mahr?? … what about pre marriage costs … costs of the wedding itself. and all the other costs every step of the way ?… whats left of this guys 10k that he can give out £5k as mahr … (happily!?!)

    … context is a killer..

    so how good a career are we talkin about?


  • Salam Imam Suhaib,

    I don’t think there should be an amount that we need to agree on, rather what needs to be taught is to have a balanced approach. It should neither be miserly nor egxtravagant. It should be one that does not put burden on or discourage marriage. At the same time it should be one that does justice to the bride to be.

    Alahu Alam.

  • I do quite well myself (alhmadulillah) and gave $5k. Everyone was happy with this. Of course, you have to CONTINUE to treat your wife well with the occasional surprise gift as well as recognition of holidays. This is key.

  • Assalaamualaikum,

    Good question, though I think one needs not to look at the amount but what percentage of that is of the actual amount one has. 10000 might be years upon years savings for one person who is in a good career, just because of that persons situation. Or 10000 could be a good amount saved, but it is not something that the person took years to save and such.

    So I think it depends. I definitly take the stance of paying the Mahr before and not have it done in parts, as sometimes people might get in the mindset, oh I am married now she will forgoe it. And that could put their relationship in strain as his wife has a right on that amount.

    As someone could maybe save up 10000 in 6 months, but another it would take 5 years.

    So if a person has that money and it wont be a burden on him and InshAllah his wife and family go for it. But if that amount would be of a burden to himself, and his wife (as she will be living with him), and his family, then no dont give that amount but the amount that is suitable.

  • Salaam,

    I think 10K is fine, as long as he doesn’t have to pay immediately and can get the lay away plan. The wedding events themselves cost 20K+

    If you are desi then you put 3-5 K in Gold and outfits for the bride. Given the circumstances (huge expenses) The guy should be allowed to pay the mehr over time.

  • Salaam,

    Interesting topic 🙂 I heard a few years ago that the average mahr in the US was 25k! That seems very high to me. I did a little survey among some sisters and it rather ranged from 3k (bro who’s not working)-5k-7k-10k-12k-15k(a much wealthier bro) and i did hear of a 25k but the money was really from his much wealthier parents.

    We thought maybe an ideal would be like how they (*cough* the diamond industry *cough*) say an engagement ring should be like 3 months salary. So let’s say a bro makes 60k a year, the mahr should be around 15k. (If he makes 30k, mahr is 7k and so on.) (Also adjust for taxes!)

    I also remember some ulema say something like it should be enough for a sister to support herself for 3-6 months if something happens to her husband.
    So Allahu alam 🙂

    ps To bro above I believe it’s traditional for the bride’s side to pay for the wedding and the bro to pay for whatever style of walima he wishes, but agreed there are a lot of costs to getting married.

  • As salaamu `alaikum,

    To set a “standard” or fair market rate for mahr would prove to be difficult. Defining a good career would indeed prove to be difficult as well considering that most youth have to take to student loans and other methods to pay for school. After graduation then one has to repay loans, get established with housing, transportation, etc.. Therefore a good job or having a degree doesn’t necessarily translate to liquid cash flow. In fact, most Westerners are functionally poor. Credit rich – cash poor. So while a brother may apparently seem to have a “good career” a closer look might prove to show a quite different reality.

    As the brother mentioned above, not only does one have to be concerned with the mahr itself but also the expenses of the wedding and post wedding festivities. Realistically, I think the average brother would have to save for well over a year to afford a mahr like that. It has to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Asalamualaykum,
    maybe we should be thinking about it in terms of percentage of annual income. that way we don’t have to define what a good career is and it would be a standard that can easily apply to different contexts and situations.

  • As-salamu alaikum,
    This topic of mahr has caused a lot of problems in the community I’ve grown up in. It’s almost as if it became a contest, of who can get the most money out of the guy. In any case, I’m not a gold digger or anything, but if the guy has the money, I don’t think 10,000 is a lot. 5,000 isn’t bad either. Like some previous posts have said, it’s not really about the money. I’ve been married over 5 years, and don’t have my mahr yet, but it doesn’t phase me. So long as there is a mutual respect, love, and cooperation involved, the woman will get what she wants anyway. 🙂 And I’m saying that with all due respect to the brothers! 🙂

  • I think, from reading others responses, and from my own observations, fairness is the key. I have seen families request up to $150,000 mahr for their daughter in order that they allow a person to marry her. That, in my opinion, is oppresion for both the girl and the guy.

    For some young brothers working out there. $10k is not a proble, while with others, as mentioned above, it could be an entire life savings. So, like I said, fairness is in order, and I don’t think a person should be blocked because they cannot meet mahr requirements set by a girl or her family, etc. If a brother can afford to get married, provide for his wife properly, but cannot afford to drop 10k in mahr, then a lower amount shoudl/could be agreed upon.

    Allah knows best.

  • Asalamu Alaikum.
    The reasoning behind mahr is to show the bride her groom’s love and repect for her. The amount should not be too excessive for the groom. For some during the time of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, mahr consisted of things like memorizing the quran and was not necessarily monetary. In the present time, we have put a monetary amount on it. I think that in the spirit of being just the mahr can be a realistic amount or in my case a trip to hajj that will probably cost my husband and I close to 10k.
    The bottom line is that it should be something both parties can live with.

  • Asalam aleikum

    Good topic.I always wonder whats reasonable!!!

    $10,000. In Calif we all know is not much.

    Who can afford it ??? while for those brother In “high tech … Doctoora…etc its reasonable,we all know its very possible to pay it over time Inshallah.

    If “thee brother ” bank account is tight then its a lot .may be half or quarter of that .plus “extra time to pay for it “.

    I guess sometimes we shouldnt think of the amount instead the reason for the mahr.which according to my understanding its for the sister “support incase anything happens”. 80 % of the times The majority of the sisters use it toward the family hence that beneficial to the brothers too. lets say she got the payments before and went shopping, that’s not bad either ,why ? Cause she dresses up for thee Husband.

    Its not the amount of the money.Its the benefit of the money.

    lastly for a brother “with a good J.O.B. lets say 40 K a year or more,10 K paid overtime is not that much.

    As for us thee “sisters” Inshallah we will always reasonable.

    Asalam aleikum wr wb

    (lol I was reading this to my cousin and she said “do they really pay ??

  • Asalamu alaikum,

    I agree with the opinion of the other comments, there should not be a standard. What ever happened to simple approaches even if you are a working professional brother?

    Allah knows best.

  • 10k is pretty reasonable for a working brother with a good job and even if he doesn’t have one then over a period of time. Of course not everyone is Mr. Richie Rich so then it should be negotiated.

    Allahu A’lam,

  • It sounds like a fair amount to me. I think of the mahr as a form of security for the woman so this would certainly help to protect her.

  • personally, i think 10,000 even for a very rich person is an insanely high amount.

    i heard one person, perhaps Br.Suhaib, say this in one lecture- that if a person pays too much, it might come out when he is angry.. so, for example, they might be having an argument, and he might accidentally say- ‘do you know how much i paid for you?!” and, of course, those words cause much more damage than any amount of money could fix.

  • Personally, I’m against high mahrs – it puts obstacles in the way of people getting married. Even if a brother can afford a high mahr, he ought to be aware of the precedent he’s setting. Often, when someone gets a high mahr,they boast about it and this puts pressure on poorer and less well-off families to try and offer a similar amount, when it’s way beyond their abilities. Also, I don’t know what the legal or Shar’i reasons for the mahr are or wha purpose it is supposed to serve, but I do think the amount should reflect a sister’s ability to provide for herself in the absence of a husband. Hence, a well qualified or educated sister who also has a career, perhaps is as successful as her husband, should not expect a high mahr (perhaps just a nominal sum) as she is well able to support herself should her husband be unable to do so. In the same way, a sister who is un-educated, or un-trained, or for any other reason unable to support herself, should be given a higher mahr to reflect her dependency on her husband providing for her.

    In any event, 10k is a lot, in my humble opinion it’s extortionate. I work in the legal field, am living at home, having a well paid job, and brother in my position would have to save and wait a year at least before even dreaming of marrying with a 10k mahr!! May Allah Almighty help us all!!

  • Actually, it would be about 5 years not a year that he would have to wait, because he would also be saving for a deposit on a house and for the wedding expenses, and he may also be supporting his parents – so 5 years is more realistic.

    What is the possibility of a mahr being paid over a period of time, or does it have to be paid in full, up-front at the nikah ceremony?

  • With all due respect mawlana, I do not think the question is as simple as that. The mahar is not only going to vary from socio-economic status but also from region to region within the United States. Supposedly, if one wants to know what the mahar for a potential bride should be, he should go to those she inherits from and those who inherit from her (‘asab) that are like her in terms of good qualities (religion, intellect, beauty, socio-economic, etc.). If there are none, one finds women in the locality who are her likeness in qualities. I’m not sure of the answer myself but I would like to suggest that anyone with an answer put their region (country and then state (US)/province (Canada)/ shire (UK) and then whether that is in the countryside or in the city. Or maybe I am over complicating things.

    As for a definitive answer, that would take some research on my part.

    And Allah knows best.

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    I want to thank everyone for their responses. Let’s try and give this discussion some direction and figure out away to develop a study that would encompass the more universal concerns that face most practicing brothers and sister wanting to get married. How could we go about developing a study and offer results that would help form some type of generally agreed upon direction regarding the mahr? I have some ideas, but I want to benefit from others.


  • Assalamu Alaikum,

    Theres a hadith narrated by the prophet saw he said the best of women are those who marry for a small Mahr. (I just need the source so I can give it to my future bride)

  • Mawlana, the answer, in my humble opinion, is to make a survey and send it around the MSA e-mailing lists for married sisters to answer. The questions should be: Region and city, father’s socio-economic status (middle class, upper class, etc.), father’s profession, marriage payment, and the marriage payment of female relatives that inherit and are inherited from (‘asab).
    This way, we are able to treat regions on their own basis and will help many Muslim brothers who are looking to get married by establishing a database of anonymous results so brothers know how much they have to give before getting into this endeavour.

    While we are on the subject, Sheikh Mohammad al-Yaqoubi told a group of students in Damascus that anyone trying to get married should recite verse 24 from Surat Qisas many times (100 or 200 times a day). He told us of a story of a brother who started it and was later married only after 10 days. It works for sisters too.

    And Allah knows best.

  • Some ideas I had:

    Go to ISNA and get a booth to set up a survey that brothers and sisters that are already married can take and give the amount of mahr that they paid/recieved. In the survey ask what kind of job the husband had at the time of marriage and roughly how much he was making per year. After you have this info, just average it out and find the max’s, min’s, modes, standard deviation. All of these will you give you a good idea of what the Muslim brothers can afford.

    Next step after that is to find brothers who are looking to get married and survey how much they are able to pay and get honest information of how much they make, what they do, etc. After this, compare and contrast the info you got from the already married individuals and the ones who are seeking it.

    wa Allahu Alam.

    Look forward to seeing you here in Jordanistan Shaykh Suhaib.

    Asalaamu alaikum

  • The benefits:

    Let’s consider some benefits. In looking at this from another perspective there are a few things that come to mind. I guess I’m coming from a certain background in some of these but hopefully everyone can relate. Add on…

    1. A 10k mahr can serve as a preventative for a sister that is seeking a khul’ without good reason.

    2. For an enterprising sister it can serve as means to start a business. Whereas it may enable her to work from home.

    3. Similarly for a sister that is not college educated perhaps it can help pay for classes at a community college or similar. Better yet, perhaps she will take it and get lessons in Qur`an and Arabic to benefit her family and children.

    4. It is know from history that sisters would start endowments and other forms of sadqa using inheritance and mahr. Perhaps a sister may use this money towards something of that nature.

    5. It does provide a little bit of a safety net for a woman that is unfairly divorce or widowed.

    6. For sisters that really enjoy shopping (at the expense of their husband budgets) she can be told to spend from her mahr for those things that are above and beyond what the husband is responsible.

    7. As mentioned above a sister can use this money to make the Hajj.

    Overall if I were to look at it in another way I can see how 10K would provide a sister with a nice level of comfort. In some cases this may be very beneficial for sisters under different circumstances. I can see a bit of wisdom it. One of things that plagues and hurts marriages sometimes is when sisters get the *”itch” to work or go to school in order to seek an income of her own. This sometimes causes tension in the home. Whereas if a sister had a stash of loot awaiting. Perhaps it would help alleviate some tension. It gives her a source of reassurance.

    The itch usually comes when a sister has been married for 3-5 years and has 2 or more small children. For men that wish to raise their families traditionally, having the wife leave the home for work or school isn’t really a consideration. Some sisters view this as being “held back” etc.. In any case it can create tension in the home.

  • Assalamualaikun wa rahmatullah wa baraktu

    May this reach u all in the best of eeman and health.

    First of All, the best gift i think any husband can give his wife and being a good husband, every man has his flaws but i believe one of the best gift one can give is devotion and sincerity in his role as being a husband.

    But as for a mahar, i think knowledge of Islam, is a beautiful gift because it will benifit you in this life and the hereafter. Also as for the brother its something that if the wife teaches someone else he will still be getting reward, and also when he dies, he’ll still be getting reward. As is stated in a hadith that i can’t recall the exact words of.

    From a more materialistic view, a brother who is earning $10K (5 thousand pounds) could afford to give his wife a diamond ring. Lol. or a number of things;

    1) a house (rented)
    2) a car
    3) a new wardrobe
    4) a new kitchen

    and so the list could go on.

    Jazakunllah Khairan, Lizzamah

    May Allah make us succesful in this life and the hereafter

    Assalamualaikun wa rahmatullah wa baraktu

  • Asalam aleikum

    Just curious!!! not sure where to post question.

    For the women honestly is also a challenge to know that we are surposed to name a prize (mahr) in our heart we are like …Okey if I say this much they might think am Gold digger !!! but am not am looking out for the future of my family incase of anything since that the reason for mahr..

    One the other hand …we like …Whats fair ?? do I really have to name a prize ??? all I want is a loving ,respectful,caring ,hardworking and most of all sum it up to a GOOD MUSLIM BROTHER WHO TAKES HIS DEEN SERIOUSLY…..


    Anyways my older sister once told me ” how about a Quran? Can one say. “buy couple of Quran and take it to the mosque ???? that way everytime one reads . you get rewarded …IMAGINE HOW VALUABLE QURAN IS !!!!!

    I was just curious. Is there restriction on what one can ask for .(i mean other than you make sure its something that will not put the brother in any burden ).

    Inshallah shaikh I pray that you suceed in putting something together regarding this topic .So we could all benefit.

    I always hear sisters saying .

    “I dont even know what am gonna ask …..Can I skip that part …..etc

  • Dear Sheikh Suhaib,

    First of all, I am a big fan of yours… I was checking to see if you have new articles when I came across this discussion about Mahr… it really saddens me to read the responses posted here… It makes me sick to my stomach… I am a young professional woman who moved to the US on my own right after I finished college back in Egypt… I did my grad school and have been working for few years… the reason I am giving my background here is the following. In this day and age, when I, and many other women, are given all sorts of opportunities to get decent education and decent careers just like guys do, why is it still the responsibility of the guy alone to take care of all sorts of marriage expenses, like mahr, wedding, bling bling, a house, etc… Seriously, marriage is a partnership and both partners should share the cost of it and the fun of it…. It seems like guys pay mahr to “buy” a girl because the guy is the one that reaps the fruits of the marriage… that’s foolish… as long as we keep treating women like they should expect this kind of “payment” to accept a husband, our ummah is not going to go no where… I firmly believe that our ummah is in the horrible status it is in because of its women… any decent woman should not take any mahr… just look at what sayedna Ali paid to marry Fatimah Al Zahra (whom I love sooooooooooooo much) !!!

    Well, I guess I am rambling a lot tonight, but what I mean is that muslim women should be the best women on earth… unfortunately, here in the US and I guess elsewhere, the muslim girls I know want to get soooo much while honestly they are worth absolutely nothing!!! I have a girlfriend who is supposed to be religious and wants to marry a religious guy, preferably with a Ph.D. in Islamic studies or something rather…. Well, she, on the other hand, has no ambitions whatsoever… she wants her dreams to be fulfilled via a husband, while it couldn’t be easier to fulfill her dreams on her own… why should a guy pay mahr to marry her !!!!… it’s just one example of the crazy stories I hear…. I just wish there was more emphasis on the more important values one gets from a good marriage, like love, compassion, worshiping Allah with your partner, etc… why do we care so much about material things…. And if we did care, why can’t a woman get this material stuff she cares about so much on her own… what privileges does the guy have over her to throw all this responsibilities on his shoulders… they both get same education, they both have same opportunities open to them, and they both have some brains (hopefully)….

    In any case, I know I seem like I am too mean… but I am really not… I just want and expect the best from my muslim brothers and sisters and I hope that God bestows his peace and blessings on all of us… Ameen

    Lots of love from a muslim sis who is deeply in love with Allah and his Prophet (PBUH)…

  • assalamu alikeum

    Sis ‘it makes me sad’

    In islam, its the guys responsiblity for mahr, to pay for shelter, food and clothes because thats what allah s.w.t has commanded of men. In islam, a man is financially responsible for his wife, children, parents because men are the main breadwinners and they bring home the cash. Now in modern times, obviously theres alot of women who earn good money, like yourself and myself soon inshallah (when i graduate), who are professional sisters and theres nothing wrong if you choose to contribute to the house, car, clothes, food and all the other nesscities or luxuries and inshallah if im earning and married at same time, i’ll contribute to bills and what not. But know, islamically, a woman’s earnings are her own and what she does with it is upto her, and her father, brother, husband or anyone else has not go the right to tell/decide or choose what she can spend it on. Men dont have that luxury!

    In Islam: the man’s money is OUR (the wife and him) money and YOUR (the one the wife earns) money is YOUR money too! It great. I cant see why any woman- muslim or not would complain at that! We got it good! LOL. The non muslim women i know found this to be great also lol.

    Also realistically speaking, whilst you have a nice job and good money now, the moment you have a child, most women’s earning goes to ZERO as many stop working- thus no money coming in and even those who do go back after children, whether part time or full time, they’re earning capacity goes down. Lots of stats in the U.S, europe have shown that when a woman has a child, it damages not only career opputnties but also earnings. So your only really a high flyer till if you stay childless (thats not to say that they’re arent women with good careers and high income but its a minority).

    Also if your living in a country where women’s work oppotunties are minimal and restricted to the rich and middle classes (and theres many muslim countries where this is the case) then realistically all the money will be coming from the husband and you have no choice but to be soley dependent on him. Not a bad thing if you got a great husband but those that have not so nice husbands or ones that are tight, then its not good (and some financial independence would help- but those type of guys proabably never let you leaver your front door anyways!)

    I agree that too much materialism and soley focusing on a mans material wealth rather than the actual marriage and his treatment towards his wife is not good and a woman should look beyond the wallet. Plus theres nothing to say you’ll always have money and marrying or relying on wealth alone as substance to keep a marriage going can/does end in doom. There must be more, like you mentioned, love, compassions, tawqa etc..

    But saying: ‘any decent woman should not take any mahr…’ is wrong because mahr is a woman’s god given right. Even our beloved fatima r.a. recieved a mahr from ali r.a. Doesnt mean sisters can take the mick and demand extravagance and ask for a mahr that is simply beyond his means and put the poor guy in financial ruin (not to mention emotional turmoil and stress). As long as its within the guys capacity and he can afford it, then islamically is no problem. We should make sisters feel bad for ask what allah s.w.t has given them the right to do. If you dont want a mahr personally, your more than free to waver it or give it to charity.

  • Edit: *sorry that was supposed to read: [So your only really a high flyer till/if you stay childless (thats not to say that they’re arent women with good careers and high income WITH children, but its a minority)]

    P.S Nice blog Sheik Suhaib 🙂

  • PPS:

    I think $10,000 (that’d be around £5,000 in U.K at current xchange rate: $2= £1) for a professional brother is a fair sum. But I’m from the U.K and most brothers would have a heartattack if asked for that much and probably think you were greedy. I remember when a sister i know asked her fiance (whos american citzen, she british) for £20,000 (yes british sterling pounds). Now the guy was well off, self employed, two homes and he was like, ok! lol. But there were having a fit over here (U.K) and implying that she was a gold digger. As far as i was concerned, the guy can afford it, he’s happy (or atleast complacent lol) to pay it, so whats it got to do with anyone else?!

    I mean asking for anything more than £1,000 – £2,000 (stretching it) in the U.K and brothers are foaming at the mouth!

    Sheik Suhaib, maybe its time you paid another visit to the U.K and have a word with your british brothers in islam lol. Or come anyway. Mashallah your one of the few sheiks whos perspective i really like and who i feel is clued up (atleast to us muslims in the west).

  • Salam,

    After much discussion, some sisters suggest the following:

    Mahr of
    $3k lump sum
    Wedding dress
    Jewelry set

    Our reasoning: It is not too much, and it is not too little and can be varied according to affordability. We thought most brothers who have just gotten out of school and are starting their careers working for a few years may be paying back loans and struggling to establish themselves (apartment, car, etc.). To actually save an amount of ten thousand cash net or gross may take years even with a good salary and why make the poor brother wait untill he’s 35 to get married!

    We think also that the pay-later-installments system may engender bitterness or resentment later on in the marriage. Similarly, if the sum is very high it becomes a burden and another thing to fight over. A smaller amount is also a very realistic and obtainable goal for a brother. It will be given and received and the wife will not be “forced” to forgive it years down the line or “only obtain it if divorced”.

    Again, according to his funds things can vary i.e. Honeymoon to Malidives vs Honeymoon to Niagra Falls, a ring of 500k vs. 2k and so on.

    As to the sisters or brothers who mentioned a Mahr of nothing or an iron ring or teaching a Surah or Fatima’s Mahr, that’s nice, but we don’t think it would be a very happy gift for most sisters! Indeed, it should not be considered “materialistic” to ask for a decent Mahr!

    P.S. –We should check the history books and read what the arguments were of the Sahabiyat (radiAllahu anha) who stood up to Umar (radiAllahu anhu) on the subject of Mahr 🙂

  • Mahar is something that should be agreed upon by the husband to be, and the wife to be. It doesn’t have to be monatary. It could be something such at teaching the wife to be how to read the Quran correctly. It has to be agreed upon by the two parties. Its a shame that weddings are making brothers broke with the ring, clothes, walima, honeymoon, etc. Its a shame that acquiring the other half to the deen is so expensive.

  • Salaam,

    A bro told me once, if the parents ask for more than 2k, tell them to go ahead and keep their daughter.

    I guess 3k isn’t bad if you’re a teacher in the Bay Area.

  • Asalamalikom, i dont know if anyone is going to get to reading mine but being a women and tinking in a dunyawi context then cool cos that over £5 thousand uk pounds but i guess it comes down to were one is living, the living expenses and what the sister is used to. I believe it should be discussed between the couple and the wali but on the other hand brothers this shouldnt be tooo low, i know brothers in the UK that have given sisters £50 which is what $25, so we do need to go back and analyse what the mahar is for and why it is given to determin how much should be given. On the otherhand some sisters dont mind what their given as others will have an extravegant weding give very expensive presents to the bride which is not counted as part of the mahar which is abit silly.
    Anyway i agree with the shaykh if your living in the very expensive bay area then youl have very high expenses so yeah dat amount sounds reasonable if you have got a good job to give it (unless he looses the job after marriege and she gets a dime instead)

    jazakallah for reading

  • Assalamu alaykum.

    In the Bangladeshi community, the custom is for the bride’s family to ask for a considerable amount. Sometimes they do ask for ridiculous amounts in order to test the groom’s family, which can also backfire if taken too far.

    In a recent marriage in our family, our elders asked for £15K, then the ‘mediators’ negotiated it with the groom’s family and brought it down to £10K (inclusive of the gold jewellery), which is reasonable considering he is a professional and he can afford it.

    The mahr is important as it brings home the seriousness, the gravity of the marriage contract, and often the elders understand this but youngsters don’t, especially when they have arranged their own marriage w/o involving their parents.

    Allah knows best, I feel that those who can afford it but imagine that teaching a surah, or giving a book to the bride is appropriate for a mahr, to me it looks like an excuse for their own stinginess. If it is so easy to get married, what’s to stop them from marrying and divorcing at will?

    Wa billahi tawfiq

  • As salaamu alaikum,

    I believe that a Mahr should not be so specific as to having one set dollar amount (ex: $10,000), or being so vague as to saying “something that will not be a burden, or deter one from marriage”.

    Indulge me for a minute and entertain this method….
    I believe that a fair Mahr would be 3 months of the brother’s salary…
    (so that the Mahr varies based on what the brother earns… not to low for a rich brother or to high for a lesser earning brother)

    I also propose that this amount be broken down as follows:
    If a brother earns 25K quarterly, then the Mahr should be 25K….
    $5K- deferred, to be used towards taking the bride to hajj at a later date
    $5K- immediate, in the form of cash
    $15K- immediate, in the form of the VALUE of the bride’s ring (Now, I said value, not cost… it is very possible to purchase a ring valued at $15K, and only actually have to pay, say, 8K, or less even. 8K, for which many institutions will allow you to put 3K down, have the ring, and if you pay the other 5K within a year (roughly $417/mo.) with no riba attached. )

    This means that the brother would only have to produce about 8K in order to marry his bride. The bride will now have on hand a Mahr valued at 20K, and in return will give her groom the rest of her life, insha Allah!
    Now if the brother is earning 25K in every three month period…. certainly this is not unreasonable.

    Please feel free to test my method out on the salary of a higher or lesser earning brother, and I am fairly certain that you will find this to be a fair method of determining a Mahr, insha Allah. (If you are confused about my method/thought process, or have a comment/question, please feel free to email me at:

    One final thought I would like to leave with you regarding determining a Mahr is please try your best to refrain from requesting a Mahr whose value will depreciate with time (ex: clothing, a car, etc.).

    May Allah guide us all, and give us the best in this life and the next, AMIN!

    My Most Sincere Salaams,

  • As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah…

    I am perplexed at what some of the sisters are requesting!! I agree with the brother that stated that a balanced approach is best. Pls consider the type of work a brother has..if he has any. If not, how is he planning on taking care of his wife?

    I haven’t read any comments requesting a dowry that would be conducive to one learning her deen. I understand the couple of months rent for security purposes. I’m also perplexed in regard to a ring. When did a ring start serving any purpose in Islam??? That’s an issue that the khufar are “caught up” on. What is going on with our ummah?? Is having a “wedding ring” the sunnah? If so, pls advise me as to where I can locate that information.

    Wa salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!!

  • Salaam all – I am a christian man with utmost respect for Islam and all God fearing people. I read all of the above with much interest, an open mind and I hope good heart. I am visting a moslem girl in Morocco next week for who I believe a deep mutual love exists.

    We talk often and marriage is being discussed incha allah. I had no real prior knowledge of the Madr tradition and was left rather heavy hearted and confused when the woman I love started to mention sums of $70K and the like. Also mentioned was the purchase of an apartment in Morocco for around 90K euros or £65K English Sterling. I am a man of modest means with own house etc in UK, neither very rich or poor (earn about £30K). The figures she has mentioned would break more than my heart and I would not be able to be a good husband provider for her.

    I note the amounts listed above on this thread and am a little more heartened. In every way I love and respect this girl but am conscious of the saying ” A fool and his money are soon parted”. She is from a relatively poor family with one older and three younger sisters – all unmarried – she does not have employment although she looks hard for it. They are in my view a very good family and similar in outlook to my own. I am certainly not averse to giving her the madr but was thinking more along the lines of £5k and maybe assisting her with the hajj in the first 2-3 yrs of marriage along with some reasonable monthly help to her family.

    Can somebody please help/advise me of their views and opinions especially if they have knowledge of Moroccan culture and wedding traditions.

    Thank you – May God /Allah be praised – he is everywhere.

    • brotheryoussef,

      I think 70K and a 90K apartment is a bit steep. I don’t know the sister in question so, I can’t say anything definate,but I would suggest that you be cautious.

      I would advice that if you ‘ave any acquaintances in morocco you run it by them.

      But also, if you can’t afford it then just tell her & let her know what you can afford

  • I think it all depends on whether the bro has £5 000 spare pounds.

    When I say spare I mean after practical issues such as accommodation for the couple, savings etc have been considered. It really is not a good idea to start a new life together in debt.

    Also if the the amount is equal to 2 or 3 times your monthly salary, I really don’t think that you can afford it “bruv” or that it’s reasonable to ask it “sis.”!

  • As salaamu alaikum

    Woweeee! what an eye opener…have always wondered what a fair mahr is…i am from alhamdullilah a fairly comfortable family and have had a good upbringing (materially etc) …but seriously the above amounts mentioned seem extortionate. Especially in this day and age where the cost of living is so high. I recently heard of two people marrying with a mahr of 500 pounds (the wife had a flat and the husband had a flat and was a student). My sister i believe married for a mahr of 1500 (of which i think 500 was upfront). That said her employed husband paid for her all the wedding costs (including the parties, food, bringing his family over etc – this probably came to about 5000 pounds).

    I have been thinking that if i married a brother i would ask for about 1000 pounds; if the brother i am considering has say just finished university or is working is saying an islamic field (which probably doesnt always pay much) then this would probably be 500 pounds!

    I like the idea of the mahr being a safety net for the bride…but what if its an obstacle to a marriage occuring in the first place!

    Well the above are just my thoughts and i am quite surprised that most threads have alluded to 10,000K being the norm (i would feel embarassed to ask for that!!!)

    Fee Aman Allah and pray that this finds everyone in good health and strong iman and may we all be and find brilliant spouses inshAllah

  • I Paid 800 Euro’s which in some eyes is really less than normal but Alhamdulillah We are all happy I think if the guy is a good muslim and he has the intention of getting married we should help him and not abuse him so in my opinion between 2000 – 5000 $ is more than enough lets not make marriage all about the money and keep in mind that we want our kids to live in Halal lets not make it hard for them
    Thank You and Good Night

  • And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of mahrs is the simplest (or most affordable).” Narrated by al-Haakim and al-Bayhaqi, classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3279

    One recorded hadith suggests that ‘the best woman is the one whose mahr is the easiest to pay.’ (al-Haythami, Kitab an-Nikah 4:281).

  • Assaallamu Alyhuk wa rahmattu Allahi wa barakatuh…

    I guess I think of this whole issue from a different perspective than some here.

    I look at where the young couple are and what the customs and traditions of their area call for. Here in the States, the young couple end up paying for the entire costs of the wedding as well as their home and its furnishings. Also, in this day and age, when marrying a family’s daughter, you really aren’t taking away a family member that may have contributed greatly to the upkeep of the family’s home as it may have been in the olden days.

    As such, I think a nominal Mahr to conform with the requirement of paying a Mahr to the bride’s family would be logical. Thus affording the young couple the ability to start their lives together with more money.

  • Imam Suhaib, I know this is taking the discussion far away from its origin, but I am intrigued by the post by “it makes me sad.” Scholars and students of knowledge often talk about understanding the rules of Shari’ah, and the actions of the Prophet (saw), in their context. For example, when someone objects to Islam on the basis that it did not abolish slavery, we would typically argue that Islam encouraged freeing slaves, encouraged treating slaves well, and established a trajectory towards emancipation, but that slavery was not abolished because it would be too drastic a step at the time. Underlying this sort of answer is an agreement with the objector that a society without slavery is better than one with slavery, and that a deliberate move back to slavery would be a bad/wrong one. (I think this is a fair proposition that most of us would agree with.)

    All of this is meant to lead up to the question: how can we be sure that “men are the protectors and maintainers of women” is prescriptive rather than descriptive? Could it not be that the rules that follow from that statement (such as double inheritance and the dowry) are tied to this description of fact at the time of the Prophet (saw)? In other words, shouldn’t there be some thought about whether a society constructed under traditional Islamic rules is or is not more Islamic than one built upon a contemporary “egalitarian” framework?

    That last question sounds heretical, but if we take into consideration that the Prophet was not starting from scratch, but working on the existing framework of 7th C Arabian society, and trying to mold it into something better, we might wonder whether the framework of 21st C western society with regards to equality between the sexes is already more Islamic than (7th C Arabia + Islamic molding) could have been.

    I would be incredibly interested if you could recommend, or write, something on this topic. Jazakumullahu khairan.

    • Western society has real no equality, only numerical in theory. The guidelines in Quran dated at time of Messenger far exceeds in value any of the mind altering limitations of western ideas. We have a punitive society. Allah is based on reflection, and his requirement of fairness. Man is incapable to design the best judgment, so the question of 21st western society being more islamic molding of the time sounds interesting but runs into the corner of being limited in seeing god’s greatness. deeply flawed

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    Imam Suhaib if we want to develop a generally agreed upon direction for mahr i think we should look to the Sunnah.

    I dont have the exact source but i think that that Ali (R) gave Fatima (R) an equivelent of 1,530 grams of silver as a mahr and our Noble Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, approved of it.

    I think that using this as a general standard would provide many benefits.

    First, many cultures have customs of giving jewlery so the bride and groom can incorporate the mahr into the customs. (i.e. wedding rings )

    Second, the price of silver fluctuates with the economy so brothers can plan for their mahr according to their financial status. The bride could always sell the silver for a profit.

    Third and most importantly its sunnah!

  • My husband gave me my wedding ring as my mahr. He was here on an internship and we knew he likely wouldn’t have a source of income after a few months when the internship was up. He was straight out of college. I believe my ring cost just under $300. I was so happy when I found it because I love it and it was on sale and therefore completely within his budget. It should be mentioned that we were living with his brother (and his family of wife and three kids) and my son when we got married- in a three bedroom apt.

    So it’s all relative, as many have said.

  • Al-Salaam Alaikum, My classmate in college was a dishwasher and managed to save like $20,000 in one year. I personally think 30-50k if man is older than 30 years of age. Younger men should be at least $20,000. I personally would like 100k. I have lots of plans! Do I think he has it if he saved well. Honestly lots of men live with their parents so why are people saying 5k is a dowry. Unless men is in a struggle I think its a bit insulting. Allah forgive me if I err.

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