Answered by Shaykh Abul ‘Ataa Ahmad Banaja (may Allah preserve him)
Is it allowed for the women to request AlMushaf (the book of Quran) as her mahr, either all of it or part of it ?
If you mean the mushaf (the Quran book ) itself, Absolutely No.
Mahr -The dowry – should be something that has physical value. For example actual money, vehicle or settlement which would benefit her now or later. Such is the description of Mahr that been mentioned in the Quran and sunnah of rasulullah salallahu alayhi wassalam.
Like Allah said,
“فَلَا تَأۡخُذُوا۟ مِنۡهُ شَیۡـًٔاۚ أَتَأۡخُذُونَهُۥ بُهۡتَـٰنࣰا وَإِثۡمࣰا مُّبِینࣰا”
[Surat An-Nisa’ 20]
Meaning: Take not the least bit of it back; would you take it wrongfully without a right and (with) a manifest sin?
“وَكَیۡفَ تَأۡخُذُونَهُۥ وَقَدۡ أَفۡضَىٰ بَعۡضُكُمۡ إِلَىٰ بَعۡضࣲ وَأَخَذۡنَ مِنكُم مِّیثَـٰقًا غَلِیظࣰا”
[Surat An-Nisa’ 21]
Meaning: And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other, and they have taken from you a firm and strong covenant?
Allah mentioned “take it” in the ayah while none could be taken unless its something physical and worthy. Therefore mahr should be something like that.
And Allah said,
“وَقَدْ فَرَضْتُمْ لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً فَنِصْفُ مَا فَرَضْتُمْ …. الآية“
Meaning: And you have appointed unto them the Mahr, then pay half of that (Mahr) [Surat Al-Baqarah 237]
In this ayah has clarified more as its been mentioned as something that could be halved and paid. Which means its valuable.
And same thing has been mentioned in the sunnah at few occasions.
Meanwhile it is the opinion of majority of ulama’ from the salaf and khalaf (former and recent scholars) as well. All of them described the Mahr as something valuable such as wealth. And that’s why they (including four madhahib) disallow treating mushaf or anything similar to it as Mahr. Because it can’t be traded into wealth.
And if someone mention the hadith of Sahal bin Saa’d in Saheehain regarding the prophet ﷺ gave a woman to a man as a wife with what he have memorized from the Quran. That is because he was not having something other than that. The evidence of this is that the prophet ﷺ in this hadeeth asked him to go and seek for anything valuable until the prophet ﷺ said go and search even a metal ring which is the minimum value that a normal person could afford at that time. But unfortunately he couldn’t even afford that. So at the end the prophet ﷺ allowed him to marry with what he has memorized from the Quran, means whatever he has in mind of the Quran in order to teach her from it.
And regarding the hadith of umm sulaim رضي الله عنها , about her making a condition for abu twalha to enter into Islam in order to marry her. Ulama provide a lot of explanations regarding it. For example, it happened at the early stage of revelation. While the ayah that mentioned about Mahr was revealed to the prophet ﷺ in the end of his life in Madinah. It was within the latest surah in the Quran that came to him ﷺ.
In addition, from the opinion of the Ulama, the Mahr had actually been paid to umm sulaim رضي الله عنها as something valuable. In fact according to their culture and tradition at that time no man would be allowed to marry a woman without paying something valuable to her. And Islam was just a condition set to be fulfilled before entering the issue of marriage with her. On top of that Abu twalha was among the richest ansar (which has been mentioned in authentic ahadith) so it would make no sense for him to marry without paying anything valuable as her Mahr.
So I advise you my brothers and sisters that you have to follow the path of the correct understanding regarding this issue and others which is the understanding of our Ulama (the Salaf).Especially when it based on authentic narration of the prophet salallahu alayhi wassalam such as hadeeth (the Dowry of the prophet salallahu alayhi wassalam to his wives).
عن أبي سلمة بن عبد الرحمن أنه قال: سألت عائشة رضي الله عنها زوج النبي صلى عليه وسلم كم كان صداق رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قالت: كان صداقه لأزواجه اثنتي عشرة أوقية ونشّا. قالت: أتدري ما النش؟ قال: قلت لا, قالت نصف أوقية فتلك خمسمائة درهم فهذل صداق رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لأزواجه. رواه مسلم.
“How much was the dowry of the wife’s of the Messenger may Allah bless him and grant him peace, aishah said: the dowry of his wives was twelve ounces and nash . She said: Do you know what a nach? He said: I said no, she said: half an ounce, that’s five hundred dirhams”
This hadeeth shown that the prophet salallahu alayhi wassalam paid money to all his wives as Mahr. Therefore give a proper Mahr to your future spouse.
According to the speech of Ulama for those that neglected the proper Mahr to his spouse because of his ignorance or misunderstanding should make it up once he realized despite the period that he had got into the marriage, it’s obligatory. Even though his nikah with his spouse was valid and correct from the beginning the Mahr should still be fulfilled. This shows the importance of Mahr.