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Posts Tagged ‘Dowry’

First of all, and before I get into the technicalities of dowry, I would like to state that in Oman and all Arabic countries a dowry is and ONLY from a Man to a Woman.

I do know that dowry from a woman to a man happens in most eastern countries, such as India, but Islamic Law states that only a man gives a woman dowry, which does not have to be money by the way.

I’m stating this because I get many questions from people asking if a woman can give a man dowry,,,, etc.

Dowry: it is money, goods, or estate that a man gives to his soon to be bride. This money, by Islamic law, should go to the woman and not her parents of family. Only for her own private usage. In Oman, there are families that take their daughter’s dowry in excuse that it is nothing compared to what they had to pay in raising her up. This is against Islamic law. Also, in Islam there is a prophet’s saying which encourages families to not ask for a lot in dowry. Of course, as with many issues in the Middle East, people don’t really follow everything in the Qura’n or the prophet’s sayings.

The dowry is usually given to the girl either right before or during her engagement day (see my previous post). Usually they write the amount of dowry in the marriage certificate, which again they apply for after the engagement ceremony. Further, sometimes the dowry is a combination of money and gold to the bride, other times the money is the dowry and the gold are extra gifts..aka extra expenses.

Major Issue in Oman: Dowry has been a major issue in Oman because many families ask for too much. The law states that dowry should not exceed R.O. 5000 (around $12,000). However, many families request for beyond even $20,000, which is a disadvantage to all those Omani men that receive less than R.O. 500 ($1200) a month. Many young men cannot afford the high prices, and many prefer being single or buying a new car (cheaper than getting a wife!). Usually, the parents who ask a lot for dowry are those who take it and give only a portion of it to the girl, which is again illegal.

The problem is not in paying for a dowry only because wedding expenses in Oman are high too, especially if the parents request it to be in a ball room. It would in average cost around $20,000. Plus, the male is responsible for providing a house/apartment for the his new family and it is almost a costume in Oman for women to “pop out” babies during their first year of marriage.

If you ask many Omani men why they are still bacholers, they would probably say… we cannot afford getting married!

The solution is simple…. people need to be a bit humble!

So you ask, what does a woman do with all that money? simple, she buys clothes and jewelry as marriage preparation. A lot of times, a girl would replace every single item in her wardrobe. Yep! that extreme. Sometimes though, she buys kitchen appliances… This sometimes depends on the financial status of the girl, because if she works, she may chose to participate in the wedding preparation.

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