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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