The Dower is the financial gain which the wife is entitled to receive from her husband by the virtue of marriage. it is also called Mahr. it may be settled before marriage, or at the time of marriage or even after the marriage. the right of wife to dower becomes complete on the consummation of marriage. the amount of dower may be increased after the marriage.
2. Definition of dower:
It is an obligation imposed by the law on the husband as mark of respect for the wife.
Dower is a sum of money or other property which the wife is entitled to receive from the husband in consideration of the marriage.
3. Importance of dower in Islamic law:
Dower provide protection to the wife against the arbitrary dower of the husband to pronounce divorce. it is a mark of respect to the wife and a check on the power of husband to divorce.
4. Capacity to make a contract for dower:
The parties who are sound mind and have attained the age of puberty may enter into the contract of dower.
(a) Prompt dower:
Prompt dower is payable on demand. it may also be demanded before the consummation of the marriage. the wife may refuse to live with him unless he pays the prompt dower.
(b) Deferred dower:
Deferred dower is payable on the dissolution of marriage either death or divorce.
5. Non payment of prompt dower and restitution of conjugal rights:
The wife may refuse to live with her husband and admit his to sexual intercourse. so long as the prompt dower is not paid.
6. Difference between prompt and deferred dower:
I. As to payment:
Prompt dower is payable immediately after the marriage.
Deferred dower is payable only after the dissolution of the marriage.
II. As to demand:
Prompt dower is only payable on the demand of the wife.
In deferred dower the wife is not entitled to demand it unless agreed.
III. As to wife’s right to realise:
The wife is entitled to realize the prompt dower at any time.
Deferred dower is payable only when it becomes due.
IV. As to conjugal rights:
The right of restitution of conjugal right arises only after its payment.
In deferred dower there is no question restitution of conjugal rights.
To conclude I can say that dower is the legal right of the wife. if dower is unpaid the wife is entitled to sue for the amount of dower. the widow must sue for the whole of her dower and not a part of it.