I got the following from a reader :
Dear Amatullah Abdulla
First of all let me introduce myself—Iam Shagufta –currently working .Iam 23years of age. As you see iam at the age of getting married –like any other parents—my parents are also worried about my wedding.
I have been the victim of this dowry and know exactly how horrible it feels when somebody judges you in terms of money and break the engagement just for some amount.
When I read your article about Dowry —I thought this could be a right platform for me to raise my voice and to find justice to all those women who has also been the victim of dowry .
I could request you read my article (PFA) and help us to eradicate this system in Islam.
Sr. Shagufta wrote:
DOWRY –THE PRICE WHICH EVERY WOMAN PAYS:
Your article dated Feb 2006 on “The Bride Price Dowry Abuse” ( also entitled Dowry in Islam!? ) have motivated me to raise my voice against the criminal act called DOWRY .In today’s world where every corner the priest are raising their voice for not demanding dowry, nor accepting dowry –still every second family demands the dowry and they are people who are also giving the demanded dowry. Families, who can afford the amount, have no problem but what about the families who cannot afford it. What are the priests doing with such matters? Is there is no law who can stop these people or punish them? Is there is no law in Islam?
Today if we don’t stop such people, nor punish them we can never stop dowry system .In all this cases the girl is the victim where as the boy escapes without any difficulty. Bridegroom’s families break the engagements and at times even the weddings for dowry. Is money is more important than somebody’s life. Does Islam permit this? If NO what are the steps are taken to stop this dowry system. To be honest-no efforts have been taken by any priest except few lectures.
In my opinion, strict laws have to be implemented for both the family who demands it and also to the family who encourages dowry. We have so many good priests who have transformed so many people by their teaching-Why can’t they all come forward and do something about it.
Today marriages is like barter system-if you are rich and can give maximum dowry, you will get better husband and a good family .Most of the Muslims seek fair and beautiful girls, incase they don’t demand dowry they want the wedding to be rich with all the world invited( large wedding parties) or need the maximum gold. Will all these people enjoy what they are doing; will they ever learn a lesson?
Why can’t we women’s have the authority to punish them, as per my knowledge in Islam-Both men and women have given the equal rights then why does the man enjoy the privilege of all the decision. We women who can’t even raise their voice against dowry as we are enclave by the bonds of parents respect. We are advice to stay away from all this. But I could like to put my step forward against dowry and could like to know if any laws-so that we can teach a lesson to all those people who believe in Islam, but never follow the true meaning of Islam.
Kindly let us know what the laws in Islam are for people taking dowry.