(1,620 words)

(a.), Hebrew mohar , Syriac mahrā , “bridal gift”, originally “purchase-money”, synonymous with ṣadāḳ which properly means “friendship”, then “present”, a gift given voluntarily and not as a result of a contract, is in Muslim law the gift which the bridegroom has to give the bride when the contract of marriage is made and which becomes the property of the wife.

1. Among the pagan Arabs, the mahr was an essential condition for a legal marriage, and only when a mahr had been given did a proper legal relationship arise. A marriage without a mahr was regarded as shameful and looked upon as c…

Cite this page
Spies, O., “Mahr”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 16 November 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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