Question 7: According to the traditions of Muslims in India, when contracting a marriage the bride’s family presents a large sum of money to the bridegroom’s family. This causes a lot of problems; for example young men find it difficult to choosethe right wife, as the families of brides who may not seem suitable enticingly pay large amounts of money. Besides, poor Muslim families find themselves obliged to borrow money in order to marry their mature daughters. This hinders the Muslims’ progress in this state. In the state of Kerala, there are many Islaamic societies, but none of them care about this matter. I hope you will clarify this question in the light of the Islaamic creed. If this tradition violates the Sharee`ah, I hope you will point this out.
Answer: When contracting a marriage the woman should receive Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom) that is payable by the husband on the spot or deferred, whether it is little or much. Allaah (Exalted be He) says... read more here.