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Synopsis And Codification Of The Laws And Ordinances Of The Kitab-i-aqdas


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95 Whoso Wisheth To Increase This Sum

it is forbidden him to exceed the
limit of ninety-five mithqals... If he content himself, however, with a
payment of the lowest level, it shall be better for him according to the
Book. 66

In answer to a question about the dowry, Baha'u'llah stated:

Whatever is revealed in the Bayan, in respect to those residing in
cities and villages, is approved and should be carried out.
However, in the Kitab-i-Aqdas mention is made of the lowest level.
The intention is nineteen mithqals of silver, specified in the
Bayan for village-dwellers. This is more pleasing unto God,
provided the two parties agree. The purpose is to promote the
comfort of all, and to bring about concord and union among the
people. Therefore, the greater the consideration shown in these
matters the better it will be... The people of Baha must associate
and deal with each other with the utmost love and sincerity. They
should be mindful of the interests of all, especially the friends
of God.

'Abdu'l-Baha, in one of His Tablets, summarized some of the provisions for
determining the level of the dowry. The unit of payment mentioned in the
extract, cited below, is the vahid. One vahid is equivalent to nineteen
mithqals. He stated:

City-dwellers must pay in gold and village-dwellers in silver. It
dependeth on the financial means at the disposal of the groom. If he is
poor, he payeth one vahid; if of modest means, he payeth two vahids; if
well-to-do, three vahids; if wealthy, four vahids; and if very rich, he
giveth five vahids. It is, in truth, a matter for agreement between the
bridegroom, the bride, and their parents. Whatever agreement is reached
should be carried out.

In this same Tablet, 'Abdu'l-Baha encouraged the believers to refer
questions concerning the application of this law to the Universal House of
Justice, which has the authority to legislate. He stressed that it is
this body which will enact laws and legislate upon secondary matters which
are not explicit in the Holy Text.

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