This is my most hated topic ever. Yes, ever. Be it just talking it out with my friends or trying to coax my elders the non-importance of it. I’m going to talk about this anyways. Honestly,I am not in favour of having a price tag to myself. Then who is it for?
“Duit Hantaran” versus “Mas Kahwin”
Dating back to pre-Islamic period when Hinduism and Animism was largely a part of the Malay society, duit hantaran was the dowry for giving away one’s daughter to the man she was going to marry. Why I mention animism? Our adat (customs) has got a lot to do with hinduism and animism beliefs. Anyhoos, when Malays in this archaepelago accepted Islam as their religion, they brought with them some adats. Though most adats have perished over time, duit hantaran has not. In fact, if there is a market price (I know there is. Makcik kepos love comparing.), in this millenia, we are looking at a 10K duit hantaran.
Myth 1: Duit hantaran is for the bride’s mother. She has given birth to her daughter and brought her up to be a respectable person with knowledge in religion, education and life-skills. Does this mean, if the bride is an orphan or was not brought up well, she is of no value, per se? Does this mean, the prospect husband of the bride has to work his ass off just to provide that amount of duit hantaran?
Myth 2: Duit hantaran is for the bride. I am supposed to say any argument is invalid, right? Who wouldn’t want a 10k duit hantaran, you tell me? But come on, labelling brides with price tags again.. Example a) the bride has only up till N level qualifications but with vast knowledge in cooking and household chores. (Our elders like to say “belajar tinggi-tinggi, masuk dapur jugak akhirnya..” yes?) Example b) the bride is a degree holder and rarely do her household chores. 10K duit hantaran.. is it worth it for both instances?
Myth 3: Duit hantaran for the groom to prove his ability to take care of his prospect wife and the amount raised is meant to be used for wedding preparations. This sounds legit. I can agree with this.
Mas Kahwin, or mahr (mahar), is the dowry that Islamic scholars refer to. In Islam, there is no minimum or maximum amount of mahr. However, in different areas or countries, our religious insitituition has stated the proper amount, for instance in Singapore, is SGD100. (let me know if I am wrong) This mahr is obligatory (wajib) and a gift from the groom to the bride after they are solemnized. Meaning, it is only the bride who can make use of the gift. Mahr can also be other benefits such as silver or gold.
“Berilah kepada orang-orang perempuan itu mas kahwin mereka.” (Surah An-Nisaa’ ayat 4)
This reminds me also of a story during the times of Rasullullah (PBUH) when Baginda encountered a man who did not have anything on him to get married. Thus, Baginda asked of the man if he had memorised any ayat from the holy Quran? The man answered yes. Therefore, Baginda solemnised the man’s nikah with the surah the man has memorised as his mahr to his newly wedded wife. Beautiful, isn’t it? (And cheap, too.) Because Rasululllah (PBUH) said in a hadith by Bukhari, “Find what you can as a mahr even if it is in form of a ring made from metal.”
So what is with the grand amount of duit hantaran? I can safely say it really is up to individuals and the agreement between two families. I made myself clear when asked how much do I want my duit hantaran to be; I answered zero. Null. I was questioned again, after some time, how much? Again, I made myself clear, null. My brother, who is my wali because my daddy passed on 5 years ago, tried to reason with me. Of course he understood where I was coming from and I was adamant. Heck, I even cried every night thinking about it to the point that the very thought of duit hantaran gave me headache.
Eventually, I told my partner, if there really should be duit hantaran, I really do not want to burden you with any amount. Since no one wants to accept my idea of zero dollar duit hantaran, I’ll even accept a 1 dinar amount. I told him my favourite number is 7. Honestly I gave up with this duit hantaran issue for myself. No, I did not get my eventual zero dollar duit hantaran, nor did I get my favourite number duit hantaran. THEN WHY DID ANYONE BOTHER ASKING ME HOW MUCH I WANT FOR DUIT HANTARAN?!
At this very moment, I still hope they will want to change their mind. I told them all before, what makes me the happiest bride is when my duit hantaran is zero dollar. In a hadith by Abu Daud in which Rasulullah (PBUH) mentioned, “The best mahr is one with the least amount.”
Ok, let’ be thankful, regardless.