I heard that it is not permissible to give half of the mahr at the time of marriage and the other half when the wife asks for it or at the time of divorce. It is called the delayed dowry and the immediate dowry. In my country, the mahr is always given in this manner. Is this way permissible or must it all be given in one go at the time of marriage?.
Praise be to Allaah.
It is permissible for the mahr to be
given immediately or delayed, or some of it may be given immediately and
some of it may be delayed, according to whatever is agreed upon by the
spouses. There is nothing wrong with that.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him)
It is permissible for the dowry to be
given immediately, or delayed, or some of it may be given immediately and
some of it may be delayed, because it is paid in return for something, thus
is permissible in this case, like paying a price. End quote.
People have acted on this basis for many
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.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on
him) was asked:
Is it essential to take possession of the
dowry when it is named or at the time of the marriage contract, or is it
sufficient just to name it? Is it permissible to delay it until sometime
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’
So something should be named for the mahr. If something specific is named,
that is good; if it is said “For a dowry to be paid later on,” and it is
known to both parties, there is nothing wrong with it; or if half of it is
to be paid later on, or one-third, or one-quarter, and what is to be paid
immediately and what is to be paid later is specified, there is nothing
wrong with it. The matter is broad in scope, praise be to Allah. End quote.
Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz,
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah
have mercy on him) was asked:
Is it valid to delay the woman’s dowry? Is
it a debt owed by the husband that he is obliged to pay?
The delayed dowry is permissible and there
is nothing wrong with it. If a man stipulates that the dowry or part of it
is to be delayed, there is nothing wrong with that. But it is permissible if
he stipulates a specific time period, and it becomes due at that time [?].
If the time is not specified, then it becomes due in the event of divorce,
annulment or death; so it is a debt owed by the husband which may be
demanded from him after that time period ends whilst he is still alive, or
after death, as in the case of all debts. End quote.
Majmoo‘ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Ibn
And Allah knows best.