Nikah is very simply – The Marriage Contract ceremony.
The bride should preferably send a wali (her father, uncle, brother or any such elder) to represent her. Thewali should be present in the gathering. The Messenger of Allah (upon him be peace) said, “A women should not marry herself off [i.e. without a wali] (Ibn maja). In the Hanafi school, the consent of a mature bride is necessary and she cannot be married off without it. The Messenger of Allah (upon him be peace) said, “A virgin cannot be married off without her permission.” They asked as to how her permission is given. He replied, “Her silence” (Bukhari and Muslim)
When the bride grants her wali the permission to marry her to the groom, it is preferable to have two people (from among her mahrams) to witness this also. Although, the representation is valid without witnesses, however, in the event of problems their testimony would be needed to prove that she consented to her marriage to the groom.
The sunna khutba [sermon] will be recited first by the imam performing the marriage. This khutbaincludes the three verses of taqwa, and a hadith or two about marriage, exhorting the couple and those present to fear Allah and attain taqwa (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ahmad).
After the khutba the imam will ask the representative (1) if he gives consent to the bride’s (taking her complete name) marriage (2) to the groom (again taking the complete name) (3) for the stipulated amount of marriage payment (4) in the presence of the two witnesses. If the representative consents then the imam turns to the groom and ask him if he accepts the bride (taking her name) in his marriage for the stipulated amount of marriage payment. The groom has to reply in complete terms such as, “I accept her in my marriage” or ” I have accepted her in my marriage” or “I do marry her.” It is preferable that he say this and not just “I do” or “I accept.”
The imam should then recite the followingdu’a,
“Barak Allahu laka wa baraka alayka wa jama’a baynakuma bikhayr.”
May Allah bless you and have His blessing descend upon you and unite you in goodness.
Thereafter, he will make other du’as for the couple and those present.
The groom signs the marriage contract and agrees to provide the bride with a ‘dowry’.
Some masjids and imamshave the legal capacity to solemnize a marriage which is then recognized by the state, county or local council. This is extremely beneficial as it does not entail re-performing the marriage again in a civil ceremony.
May Allah grant us the ability to simplify what Allah and His Messenger instructed to be simple and grant us blessing in it.
Now, there is no concept of ‘dowry’ in Islam as understood by the English term though “dowry” is often used to translate Mahr, which can be misleading, and “bride gift” is more accurate.
The dowry should be stipulated beforehand and the person performing the ceremony should be informed of the amount
The Dowry/Mahr/Bride Gift:
Mahr is the amount of money to be paid by the groom to the bride, at the time of marriage (Nikah) which she can spend as she wishes.
It should be given according to the social status of the bride.
Islamic scholars consider it as a way of emphasizing the importance of the marriage contract and preparing the husband to fulfill his marital responsibilities.
It also can be a form of protection against arbitrary divorce.
Allah says in Quran:
And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously. But if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease.
It is a gift money for her to spend as she wishes. It is an obligatory condition of Marriage (Nikah) without which Nikah is incomplete. It should also be a significant amount, in proportion to the groom’s financial condition, often equal to one month’s salary or more, or several grams of gold or silver. It can be cash or another gift such as a house or other property. It is a Muslim bride’s right and the beginning of her financial empowerment, which gives her a sense of security and respect.
On the other hand, the bride or her parents have no obligation to give a dowry, Hunda, or any gift in cash or in kind. Islam makes the husband responsible for the financial obligations of a family.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this sheds some light on the Nikah & Dowry for you. 🙂 The Nikah is honestly extremely simple.