Date : 23-12-2009

Question :

My son works in America. He met a Muslim girl there and they concluded their marriage contract in an Islamic court. He paid the whole Mahr (Bridal money) in addition to the expenses of the betrothal. The total sum is estimated at about 30.000 dollars. For reasons unknown, the girl refused to consummate the marriage. Is my son entitled to recover the Mahr alone or the Mahr and the expenses of the betrothal?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.

According to the details given by the father of the suitor, we concluded that Khilwa (Valid privacy with the wife) occurred between his son and daughter-in-law, with whom marriage hasn`t been consummated, since they have spent time together in one of the hotels in America. Therefore, his son is obliged to pay the full Mahr (Bridal money/gift) because of that Khilwah in accordance with Article (48) of the Jordanian Personal Status Law. 

However, since the wife refused to consummate the marriage and they are agreed on divorce then they have to agree on the amount which she will pay in return for that divorce, whether it is equal, more or less than the specified Mahr, so long as it is consensual, and this is called "Khulu` compensation."

However, we advise the husband not to get greedy and suffice with recovering the Mahr and the expenses of the wedding preparations. If they don`t agree on the compensation for Khulu` then they should settle this in court. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.