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One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
As a Muslim Arbitrator I cannot find any grounds in Hadith and Quran to justify Mehr to be paid in the future. This is a cultural innovation. My experience is that it will never be paid. I see Alims, Shaykh, Maulanas and others doing this. In the case where the sister is granted Khulla under conditions of mental, verbal and physical abuse and where children are left behind with the Mom, is the return of Mehr required.
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Mehr future is innovation
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Your Question: As a Muslim Arbitrator I cannot find any grounds in Hadith and Quran to justify Mehr to be paid in the future.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa Verse 24:
Also forbidden for you are married women, except those who have fallen in your hands as prisoners of war. This is the order of Allah relating to marriage prohibitions. All women other than these are lawful provided you seek them in marriage with gifts from your property (dowry), desiring chastity and not lust. Give them their dowry as an obligation for the benefit you have received from your marriage relationship. However, there is no blame on you if you change the agreement of dowry with mutual consent. Allah is the Knowledgeable, Wise.
Although the scholars and jurists in Islam have surmised that it is best to offer the 'mehr' immediately or before the marriage, the absolute majority of them are of the opinion that what is obligatory for a 'nikaah' to be considered lawful is that the amount of 'mehr' be determined before the marriage.
Although you might be right in stating that you cannot find any grounds in the Quran and Sunnah to justify paying the determined Mehr in the future, there is nothing in the Quran or the Sunnah which specifically states that it must be paid immediately and not in the future.
The absolutely majority of the scholars and the jurists in Islam hold the last sentence in the above quoted Aayah:
However, there is no blame on you if you change the agreement of dowry with mutual consent' as an allowance that the value of the determined Mehr can be altered or paid at a later date in the future, provided there is mutual consent and agreement between both the parties. Having said that, the scholars and the jurists are unanimous in their opinion that Mehr is best paid before the marriage, and because there is nothing in the Quran and the Sunnah which specifically stipulates that it cannot be paid in the future, they have not disallowed that particular option.
Your Question: My experience is that it will never be paid.
If the groom determines the Mehr at the time of marriage to be paid at a later date, and neither pays it nor begs his wife to forgive him the debt, he will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment in the Court of the Lord Most Just for dying in a state where his debt unto his wife remained unpaid. Allah Subhanah will either transfer the good deeds equivalent to the debt of the husband to the account of his wife, or transfer the evil deeds of the wife to the account of the husband, or if the Lord Most Gracious Wills and Pleases, He may even chose to repay the outstanding debt of the husband from Himself unto the account of the wife.....thus rest assured brother, every unpaid debt will be settled on that Inevitable and Tumultuous Day of Judgment in the Presence of the Lord Most Majestic, Most High and no one will be wronged in the least!
Your Question: ....In the case where the sister is granted Khulla under conditions of mental, verbal and physical abuse and where children are left behind with the Mom, is the return of Mehr required.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 229:
229 A divorce is only permissible twice: after that the parties should either hold together on equitable terms or separate with kindness. It is not lawful for you (men) to take back any of your gifts (from your wives) except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah. If ye (judges) do indeed fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah there is no blame on either of them if she gives something for her freedom. These are the limits ordained by Allah; so do not transgress them. If any do transgress the limits ordained by Allah such persons wrong (themselves as well as others).
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.197 Narrated by Ibn Abbas
The wife of Thabit bin Qais came to the Prophet (saws) and said, "O Allah's Messenger (saws)! I do not blame Thabit for defects in his character or his religion, but I, being a Muslim, dislike to behave in un-Islamic manner (if I remain with him)." On that Allah's Messenger (saws) said (to her), "Will you give back the garden which your husband has given you (as Mehr)?" She said, "Yes." Then the Prophet (saws) said to Thabit, "O Thabit! Accept your garden, and divorce her once."
If it is the husband who initiated the divorce, it is unlawful for the husband to demand that the wife return anything of the ‘mehr’ or the ‘gifts’ he might have give to her during their marriage.
But if it is the wife who initiated the divorce through a ‘khula’, absolutely regardless of the reason, the husband is well within his rights to demand that the ‘mehr’ he paid his wife in the marriage be returned back to him. But if the husband, of his own free will, chooses not to demand that his wife return the full ‘mehr’ (or a part thereof) back to him at the conclusion of ‘khula’, he is well within his rights to do so.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is only ones. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brothers and well wishers in Islam,
Members of Islamhelpline