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Mahr over the course of a few years

Fatwaa ID: 1532

AssalamAlaikum a couple who set their mehr to be “$15,000 over the course of 5 years” within the nikah contract but the husband has initiated divorce. Does the mehr have to be paid all at once or does this clause within the nikah contract still valid? Because the husband is unable to pay it as a lump sum. What are his options? JazakAllah khair

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

  1. If the nikaah was consummated, i.e., khalwah saheehah was found, then the wife is entitled to full mahr. This will be the case even if they divorce soon after, irrespective of who initiates the divorce. If the nikaah was not consummated, then she is entitled to only half of the agreed mahr in the case of divorce.
  2. The mahr remains a debt on the man until paid. If both parties had mutually agreed on paying off the full mahr over the course of 5 years, then that agreement should be honored. The girl should not demand it earlier even in the case of a divorce. However, if she does, then she is entitled to that.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

01/07/1445 AH – 07/25/2023 CE | AML1-8101

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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