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Law Of Domestic Relations - Chapter 5

Dower ("Mahr") (Articles 24 - 27)

Articles 24 defines the "Mahr": this is the sum or value that is obligated in a marriage, and which the husband has to pay on the signing of a binding marriage contract. The amount of "Mahr" is written into the marriage contract. If the contract does not state the amount of the 'Mahr', the Qadi shall decide on an appropriate sum.

In contrast to Islamic Law, here there are not two categories of Mahr, an agreed musamma, which is agreed upon at the time of the drawing up of the contract, or befitting Mahr (Mahr al-mithl) which is not fixed, but is paid according to the standing of the wife's family and her personal attributes. See Article 80 of the Ottoman Law.

Article 25 allows the fixing of the amount of Mahr and postponing payment to a later date, of either the whole sum or part of it.

Article 26 rules that either bride or groom may cancel the engagement without being held responsible. Regarding presents, however, if the groom canceled the engagement, he may not take back presents that he has given the bride, whether these are in her possession or not at the time of cancellation. If the bride canceled the engagement, she has to return all presents received from the groom. If they are not in her possession she must return similar items to their value, except if there was some agreement between them, then they may act accordingly.

This article once again stresses the consideration that Druze Law gives to women in comparison to men. The law gives the bride the same rights as to the groom, but with the added advantage that in the event of one side breaking off the engagement, the woman does not lose. If however the man breaks off the engagement he forfeits all the presents he has given her. This is how this law differs from Islamic Law (See Chapter 1-2 of Islamic Law).
Article 27 obligates the husband to pay the Mahr in full in the event that one spouse dies or they divorced, after consummation of the marriage. If one spouse died or they divorced before consummation, of the marriage, then only half the Mahr needs to be given. This is in contrast to Ottoman law, Article 83.(12)

As with most articles of the Druze Personal Status Law, a number of laws dealing with Mahr are missing here too and each time Anderson questions this. The reason is that Druze legislators do not see the necessity of dealing with laws unique to the Moslem which have no parallel in Druze Law. There are no laws dealing with the differences between musamma and Mahr al-mithl (Ottoman Law, Article 84), which do not exist in Druze Law. There is also no mention made of Mahr Akd fasid, or Mahr fasid (unacceptable or void; Articles 85-87, 89-90 in comparison with Ottoman Law), since these marriages and contracts do not exist in Druze Law, and are therefore not binding.

Regarding Article 8 of the Ottoman Law dealing with the marriage of a dying person, such a marriage is not binding among the Druzes, because by Druze Law, a marriage between a desperately ill person, or one with a contagious disease cannot take place.

Intorduction Chapter 1 - Eligibility to Enter into Marriage (Articles 1 - 5) Chapter 2 - Forbidden Marriages (article 9 - 13) Chapter 3 - Arranging the Marriage (Articles 14 -19) Chapter 4 - Marriages Rules (Articles 20 -23) Chapter 5 - Dower ("Mahr") (Articles 24 - 27) Chapter 6 - Maintenance (Nafaqa) (Articles 28-36) Chapter 7 - Separation (Article 37-49) Chapter 8 - Waiting Period (Idda) (Articles 50-53) Chapter 9 - The custody of the children (Articles 54-66) Chapter 10 - Child allowance (Articles 67-74) Chapter 11- Payments by sons to parents and other relatives (Articles 75-80) Chapter 12 - Guardianship over minors (Articles 81-87) Chapter 13- Guardianship and wills (Article 88-98) Chapter 14- Responsibilities of the guardian [executor] (Articles 99-118) Chapter 15- Circumstances under with a Qadi may disqualify a person and appoint a guardian (Articles 119 -125) Chapter 16 - A Missing Person and his Trustee (article 126 -136) Chapter 17 - Paternity (nasab) (Articles 137-144) Chapter 18 - Wills and Inheritance (2) (Articles 145 -170) End Notes