Consummation Of Marriage Before Payment Of Mahr

Question

Can a man have sexual relationship with his wife without paying mahr? What is mahr-i-mu'ajjal and ghayr muajjal? I have recently entered into nikāḥ with a girl but she has not moved with me: rukhsati has not yet been done. I want to talk to her freely and discuss with her every matter of life but I am not sure I should do so because I have not paid her mahr completely. About one fourth has been paid as jewellery on the day nikāḥ was contracted and the rest is payable. Kindly tell me what is mu'ajjal and ghayr muajjal mahr? And can I talk to her freely? Can I have sexual relationship with her?


Answer

It is not obligatory to pay the agreed upon amount of mahr before consummation of marriage. Mahr can be paid at the time of nikāḥ. The amount paid at the time of nikāḥ is termed ghayr mu'ajjal while the part left over to be paid within a determined time period is termed mu'ajjal.

Nikāḥ renders both of you legally husband and wife. This entails two things. First, you both have legal right to live together and can establish marital relationship. Second, you both have some responsibilities towards each another.

The responsibilities on the part of the husband include the protection and complete financial support to the wife. It also includes his being responsible of the offspring both will have.

The marital relationship in the present situation cannot be objected to on the legal grounds. But social norms would not accept this. If the society comes to know this kind of relationship between you both prior to the time your wife moves with you and you openly start living as a husband and wife, they would not welcome it. It will cause a huge fall in your and your wife's repute. Please note that it is in fact recognition by the society which makes your relationship acceptable. And it is only the society that makes sure that any of the party does not neglect the duties entailed by the union. If a couple has sexual relationship prior to rukhsati and the woman gets pregnant it would harm her repute.

I would suggest you should not think of consummating your marriage. However, there is no restriction on your meeting with her as any two believing Muslim and Muslimah can. You should try to bring your wife with you as soon as possible. You both could talk your elders in to doing that very soon.

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