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Dower as in the Holy Qur’an

The only work the Qur’an did was to restore the dower to its natural form. The holy Qur’an with unrivalled fineness and sensitivity says: And give the women their dower as a gift spontaneous; (4:4). That is, the women’s dowers which belong to themselves (and not to their fathers or brothers) and are gifts and presents from you to them are to be given to them.
The Qur’an has referred to three basic points in this verse: Firstly, dower is referred to as sadaqah with a dhimmah (short ‘u’) following the letter‘d’, and not as the usual mahr. Sadaqah is derived from the root sadaq, and dower is thus sidaq or sadaqah, for it is a token of the truthfulness and earnestness of the affection of the man. Some commentators like writer of al-Kashshaf [1] have made this point clear. Similarly, according to the opinion of Raghib Isfahani, in his book Mufaradãt gharib al-Qur’an (The Obscure words of the Qur’an), the reason that, sadaqah with a fathah (short ‘a’) following the letter‘d’ is written saduqah is because it is the sign of sincerity of spiritual faith. Secondly, the pronoun hunna (third person feminine plural) in this sentence means that it is ordained that the dower belongs to the woman herself and not to her father or mother. Dower is not the wages for having brought her up, nursed her and fed her.
Thirdly the word nihlatan (willingly, spontaneously, and not reluctantly) makes it complete clear that the dower has no other purpose apart from being an offer, a present, or a gift.
[1] Tafsir al-Kashshaf, written by Abu’l-Qasim Jarullah Mahmud ibn ‘Umar az-Zamakhshari al-Khwarazmi (467/1075 – 538/1144).

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