Can A Man Withhold The Dowry From His Wife And Donate It To The Poor If He Dies?

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SHAFAQNA-

Question:

My husband has not given me my dowry since we got married, despite my repeated requests to him. Furthermore, he is saying that if he dies he will donate it to charity and not pay it to me. Does Islam let him do this?

Answer:

Once the marriage is consummated the wife deserves her full Mahr (dowry) especially if she is asking for it. In Islam, the Mahr (dowry) is a debt on men upon their marriage. If one borrows money with no intention of returning it, he is a thief.

It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s): “There are three kinds of thieves: the one how does not pay his Zakat, the one who does not pay the Mahr of his wife (whilst being able to pay it), and the one who borrows money without any intention of repaying it.” (Wasaelu-Shi’a vol.21 p.268)

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