recent marriage certificate has sparked a wide controversy in the Iraqi street,
after a court in Karkh has recorded the most expensive deferred dowry
(mu'akhar) of marriage in the history of Iraq, amounting to 5 billion dinars.
In Islam, the mu'akhar, is a deferred and promised amount, payable at any agreed upon date following the consummation of the marriage. Often the deferred amount is larger than the amount paid at marriage.
Also, earlier certificates revealed that the Mahr (mandatory payment) of a marriage reached 300 million dinars and 100 million dinars as deferred dowry.
The greed of parents and the deterioration of economic conditions made marriage in Iraq a heavy burden for young people and families.
As an expected result to the economic deterioration experienced by the country, unemployment has spread, which has made the young men unable to save money to prepare for marriage, according to observers.
The mahr amount given to the bride at the signing of the marriage contract is called a "muajjal," which is set to be used to prepare the hope where the husband and wife shall settle in.
According to previous statistics, the rate of spinsterhood among women in Iraq has exceeded 30 percent.
The value of Mahrs also varies from villages to cities and between different privinces. Some people find that raising Mahr guarantees the rights of the marries girls, while others may think they are unrelated.
Iman al-Saadi, a sociologist, said that many Iraqis started to tend to exaggerate in everything as Iraq has been open to the world. Girls follow the latest fashion trends and international brands in everything, Saadi said.
In a few cases, the girl's parents help young men by reducing their demands or buying the furniture for the house. Those always care the most about the men's good reputation and their daughters' love to these men.
High Mahr, low guarantee
Judge of the Islamic court Muhannad al-Hilali said that the dowry is not a sufficient guarantee to avoid divorce. If a man intends to divorce, he will pay the money in installments.
The real guarantee is the man, Hilali said, calling on parents not to exaggerate the value of the dowry.