Question(s):
A couple have divorced. The boy gave the girl some gold and chain at the engagement, now he is asking for it to be returned as he never stipulated it was a gift. The girl says HE never said it wasn’t a GIFT. What is the Sharia ruling regarding this dispute?

Answer(s):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, the gold and jewellery given by the groom or the groom’s family on the occasion of marriage can fall within three categories:
1) The husband or his family explicitly stated that it is a gift to the wife [or part of the Mahr]. In such a scenario, the gold belongs to the wife, and she is at liberty to do as she pleases. [1]

2) The husband or his family explicitly stated that the husband or his family own the gold, yet the wife is at liberty to borrow it when she pleases. In such a scenario, the gold belongs to the husband or his family and they are at liberty to do as they please with it. They can take it back after divorce if they wish. [2]

3) There is no explicit understanding or statements made when the gold was given to the wife. In such a scenario, the possession of the gold will be in accordance with the known custom of the families. If customarily, such gifts are given to own, the jewellery will be hers to keep, otherwise not. [3]

Finally, in the scenario where both customs are prevalent or there is a disagreement between the two parties whether it was given to own or borrow/use, then if the bride (or her family) can provide evidence to indicate it was gifted to her to own, then the gifts will remain with her. Nonetheless, if her family cannot present such evidence, then the groom’s statement will be accepted with an oath that the gifts were merely given to the wife to borrow/use. [4]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best.
Mufti Mubasshir Talha Ahmed
7 Jumada Al-Aa’khir 1443 / 11 January 2022

Concurred by: Abdullah Desai | Annas Shah
Approved by: Mufti Tahir Wadee | Mufti Yusuf Ilolvi

Note: This fatwa is only to be viewed with the question asked. In the event of presenting this to a third party, please ensure it is coupled with the original question, as well as the references below for Islamic Scholars.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this answer belong only to: the author, any concurring Ulama’ and the senior approving Muftis – they do not in any way represent or reflect the views of any institutions to which he may be affiliated.

Arguments and ideas propounded in this answer are based on the juristic interpretations and reasoning of the author. Given that contemporary issues and their interpretations are subjective in nature, another Mufti may reach different conclusions to the one expressed by the author. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure total accuracy and soundness from a Shari’ah perspective, the author is open to any correction or juristic guidance. In the event of any juristic shortcomings, the author will retract any or all of the conclusions expressed within this answer.

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[References]
[1]
بعث عند الخطبة إليها أشياء مرسومة فيها ديباج ثم زفت إليه ثم قال آخذ الديباج ليس له ذلك من البزازية يعني فليس له أن يسترده منها جبرا إذا بعث إليها على وجه التمليك
[Majma’ al-Dhamanat, 2/721, Dar al-Salam]

ولا رجوع فيما يهبه لزوجته
[Radd Al-Muhtar, 3/596, HM Saeed]

اس کے علاوہ شوہر نے جو اسباب یا زیور ہندہ کو ہبة دیا ہے وہ بھی اس کی ملکیت ہے
[Kifayatul Mufti, 5/109, Dar al-Isha’at]

زیورات وغیرہ جو کچھ عورت کو شادی کے وقت دیا گیا ہے۔ اگر وہ مہر کے عوض میں دیا ہو یا بطور عطیہ (بخشش) دیا ہوتو اس کی عورت مالک ہے۔‎
[Fatawa Rahimiyyah, 8/235, Dar al-Isha’at]

جو اشیاء بطور تملیک دے چکا ہے اس کی واپسی کا کوئی حق نہیں، اور جو کچھ اس سلسلہ خرچ کر چکا ہے اس کو بھی واپس نہیں لے سکتا
[Fatawa Mahmudiyyah, 12/111, Jamiah Faruqiyyah]

[2]
لیکن اگر ان چیزوں کا زید نے ہندہ کو مالک نہیں بنایا بلکہ صرف استعمال کے لۓ دی ہیں تو ان چیزوں کا مالک خود زید ہے۔
[Kifayatul Mufti, 5/109, Dar al-Isha’at]

عاریةً دیا گیا ہو اس کا مالک شوہر ہے۔
[Fatawa Rahimiyyah, 8/235, Dar al-Isha’at]



[3]
وينبغي اعتبار العرف فيما يقصد به التعويض فيكون كالملفوظ تأمل
[Radd al-Muhtar, 3/152, HM Saeed]

اگر کسی بات کی وضاحت نہ ہو تو اپنے ہاں کے دستور ورواج کا اعتبار ہوگا اور اسی کے مطابق عمل کیا جائے گا۔
[Fatawa Rahimiyyah, 8/235, Dar al-Isha’at]

سسرال کے دیے ہوۓ زیورات میں یہ تفصیل کہ دیتے وقت اگر سسرال نے کچھ وضاحت کی تھی تو اسکے مطابق عمل ہوگا ورنہ فیصلہ کا مدار عرف پر ہوگا، یعنی اگر اس خاندان یا اس شہر میں زیور بطور ملک دینے کا رواج ہو تو بیوہ مالکہ ہوگی ورنہ نہیں۔
[Ahsanul Fatawa, 7/208, HM Saeed]

[4]
براهيم بن رستم عن محمد في رجل بعث إلى امرأته دقيقا أو تمرا أو عسلا، ثم قال: بعثت هدية فالقول قول الزوج
[Uyun al-Masa’il lil Samarqandi, 76, Matba’ Asa’d – Baghdad]

ولو بعث إلى امرأته شيئا ولم يذكر جهة عند الدفع غير جهة المهر كقوله لشمع أو حناء… فقالت هو أي المبعوث هدية وقال هو من المهر أو من الكسوة أو عارية فالقول له بيمينه والبينة لها، فإن حلف والمبعوث قائم فلها أن ترده وترجع بباقي المهر ذكره ابن الكمال
[Al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 3/150, HM Saeed]

قوله ‫(ولو بعث إلى امرأته شيئا‫) أي من النقدين أو العروض أو مما يؤكل قبل الزفاف أو بعد ما بنى بها نهر (قوله ولم يذكر إلخ) المراد أنه لم يذكر المهر ولا غيره ط (قوله كقوله إلخ) تمثيل للمنفي وهو يذكر (قوله والبينة لها) أي إذا أقام كل منهما بينة تقدم بينتها
[Radd al-Muhtar, 3/150 – 151, HM Saeed]