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Woman has more right than her guardian to set the amount of her dowry

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If a woman’s guardian asks for a certain amount of dowry and the women wants it to be less, then which of them has the right to decide the amount of the dowry?

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The guardian of a woman has the right to determine the amount of dowry in consideration of the best interests of the woman under his guardianship.

He is the one who will meet the people who intend to marry this woman and discuss the matters pertaining to the marriage with them. The dowry is for the woman. If the woman demands only a part of this amount for herself and of her own free will waives her claim to the rest, then the excess will be for her guardian.

Allah says: “And give the women (on marriage) their dower as an obligation; but if they of their own good pleasure remit any part of it to you, take it any enjoy it with right good cheer.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 4]

In a case where the woman’s guardian insists on a large dowry and the woman is willing to accept a smaller one and the suitor will abandon the marriage on account of the heavy dowry, then the guardian may not allow the marriage to fall through as long as the suitor is suitable for her in his religion and character.

He must accept the suitor at the lower dowry, because the interests of the woman are of paramount importance and she is willing to accept a lower dowry. The dowry is something that is her right and her property, so if the suitor is equal to her, then the guardian may not turn him away seeking a higher dowry than the woman herself is willing to accept.

Allah says: “And do not prevent them from marrying their husbands if they come to an agreement between themselves in a lawful manner.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 232]

And Allah knows best.

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