Q: I was in nikah that was not consummated. Now the boy’s part wants back all that they gave. Jewelry, restaurant trips, food I ate, phone calls I made with their insistence. What is the ahkamat on the hanafee school of thought? Please I am not asking about the mehr. The mehr part we already have resolved.
Is it fair to make claim on food, makeup, watch (battery died), phone calls, and shoes? What is your take Imaam? You did ignore my seven emails. Can you please answer? Please also answer in light of Bengali/Indian/Afghani/Pakistani/arab culture. ‘goodriddancetorottenapples’
A: At the time of handing over the jewelry to the female or her representatives, had it been stated, ‘this is for you to be the owner of,’ then in such an instance, it would be hers. He cannot make a claim of it.
If jewelry was given as showpieces with the groom saying, ‘this is for you to only use,’ then in such an instance, it must be given back to the boy’s party.
By contrast, had the items been placed on a platter as part of a cultural event and it is/was understood that the jewelry was only to be used by the girl as an item of ‘showing off’, then in such a case it would be given back to the groom. For example, the boy’s side stated: We want to give you jewelry, but cannot afford it; however, we would place grandma’s jewelry on you to make people think we are generous. In such a situation, the giving would be linked to a cultural (urfi) request/demand and thus would have to be given back. However, the girl could very well keep it in the following example: If the cultural request/demand (urfi) is that it would become hers once she gives birth, or it would become hers if she has it in her possession for a year, etc. then it would be hers when a given condition is met. Here it depends on the cultural aspect (Urfi). Should the urfi aspect not apply, then the following would:
Quote from a divorce case: As one father-in-law did it very well for his daughter: he had his wife ask the groom: whose is all this for? The man was happy, it was his first wife; he was taken by the moment (not her beauty.) He said: it’s hers (pointing to the woman). Done deal, a claim could never be made upon this jewelry by the groom. It remains her rightful jewelry. But she lost the guy! Gold is what you want, gold is what you get. Marriage is what you want, marriage is what you get! This is the way it usually pans out.
If you want to keep the jewelry, merely present your witnesses (bayinah) as to what the groom said at the time of giving you the gift. If you as a female do not have the proof that he gave it to you, then you would have to give it back. If he gave it to you and you cannot prove it as such, then merely giving it back to him due to his false claim would entitle him to receive it, even though he could very well be a liar in his testimony. In such a case he is a thief, but since you cannot prove it, he would be sinful. (Should the latter be the case, good riddance to him. One honest person is better than a 1000 liars)
As for those things that were given and consumed, e.g. food, makeup, etc. you would not need to give him back the value of those perishables. The watch battery would not need to be replaced either! Giving him back the watch in an ‘as is’ condition would suffice, provided you did not do things to spitefully damage it. If the makeup is fully used, you would not have to compensate him for it nor for its usage.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.
p.s. reflective question and comment: Why would you want to keep what a person was not happy to give you before the marriage was even consummated? I personally would feel it worthy to voluntarily give twice the amount a person would request to get rid of them due to my not finding myself compatible with them on every level. But maybe just me!
p.s. This answer is based on religion with aspects of culture taken into consideration as in the terminology of Urfi. We would NEVER answer on the bases of ‘Bengali/Indian/Afghani/Pakistani/Arab culture’ alone, inshaAllah. This is not a culture class/site in its absolute manner. We thank you for understanding. May your issue be resolved with ease and peace.
p.s. Woman, to safeguard yourself, always ask the guy in front of witnesses as to the statues of the gifts. Is it a loan, show piece, gift? This would eliminate later confusion. (Your asking may also seem tacky. It all comes down to what you want out of life, marriage, relationship, etc. Gold, glitter or garbage?)