What Is the Minimum Stipulated Dowry (Mahr) in the Sacred Law?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

Is there a minimum amount of mahr that should be paid?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The minimum dowry, or mahr in Arabic, is 10 dirhams. [Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]

Each dirham approximates 2.975 grams of silver. That makes the minimum dowry approximately $21 USD.

Customary Kindness

The above amount is merely the minimum amount stipulated by the Sacred Law. However, it is recommended to give a woman a dowry that fits what is customarily known as sufficiently fair (ma‘ruf).

Allah Most High says, “So marry them with their people’s permission, giving them their dowry in fairness…” [Quran, 4:25]

According to One’s Means

Allah Most High says, “Let the man of wealth provide according to his means. As for the one with limited resources, let him provide according to whatever Allah has given him. Allah does not require of any soul beyond what He has given it. After hardship, Allah will bring about ease.” [Quran, 65:7]

The above is not specific to the dowry, however, the principle is applicable here.

Mutual Agreement

The above is just a push towards fairness and moderation. In the end, if both parties agree on a dowry, that is what is best. Allah Most High says, “Give women ˹you wed˺ their due dowries graciously. But if they waive some of it willingly, then you may enjoy it freely with a clear conscience.” [Quran, 4:4]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.