Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
A question related to Marriage... Its become customary in a marriage to exchange "gifts". And sometimes this gifting leads to complications as it is construed to be a sign of respect for each other's family. Could you advise what the Holy Quran says about this issue. I know about Mehr but is there any other occasions where a Girl is supposed to give things to a Guy or vice versa. Want to know what the original concept is? Thank you.
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Giving gifts in marriage
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 4: And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift; but if they of their own good pleasure remit any part of it to you , take it and enjoy it with right good cheer.
'Mehr' is an obligatory condition in marriage in Islam, whereby the groom offers a gift to the bride. Islam encourages the giving and taking of gifts, but these gifts must be of one's own free will and choice, and not something which are demanded by the receiver or custom. The Messenger of Allah (saws) himself gave and received gifts.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.758 Narrated by Aisha
The Messenger of Allah (saws) used to accept gifts and used to give something in return.
Islam has put the full financial responsibility of the society on the shoulders of men, and every expense related to the marriage (clothes, gifts, feast, etc.) has to be borne by the man. The women is not required to spend even a cent towards the marriage expenses.
Indeed it is unfortunate that some societies today have made the giving and receiving of gifts on such occasions a sign of respect for each other's families; and no matter how good one's intentions when giving the gifts, the receiving family always expects more or better! A gift is a gift only if one gives and receives it out of good will; a gift forced out of someone against his will shall be called a 'bribe' or 'extortion'! Such customs are alien to the deen of Islam and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), and must be rejected by the believers.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,