Allah’s Messenger, the Prophet (Peace be upon Him), advocated giving the Mahr solely while doing Nikah. In one instance, the spouse was asked what he could definitely contribute at the moment of Nikah execution. What he could give at a later date was deemed irrelevant.
What is Postponing of Mahr in Islam?
It is a fairly frequent practise among modern Muslims to divide the amount of Mahr into two halves. One of the two halves is paid in advance at the time of the Nikah ceremony. The latter half is postponed until the death or divorce of one of the spouses, whichever occurs first.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The Sahaabah did not write down dowries because they did not get married on the basis of a delayed dowry; rather they paid the mahr immediately, and even if they delayed it, the amount was known. When people began to get married on the basis of a delayed dowry, and a long time would pass and it would be forgotten, they began to write down the delayed portion and that became evidence to prove the dowry and that she was his wife. End quote.
Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 32/131
This issue depends on what is agreed between the two spouses, or between the husband and the woman’s guardian. If they agree on something, there is nothing wrong with it, whether it is immediate payment or delay. The entire matter is broad in scope, praise be to Allah, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The Muslims are bound by their conditions” and “The most deserving of conditions to be fulfilled are those by means of which intimacy becomes permissible to you.”
If they agree that the mahr is to be paid immediately or later, or some of it is to be paid immediately and some of it is to be paid later, there is nothing wrong with any of that. But the Sunnah is to specify the dowry at the time of the marriage contract, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “…All others are lawful, provided you seek (them in marriage) with Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) from your property, desiring chastity…” [al-Nisa’ 4:24].
It is mandatory to follow the laws that Allah has established for us. They are intended for our benefit and peace. It is certain that adhering to Sunnah customs would bring serenity and pleasure into our relationships.
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