The Deal with Duit Hantaran. Does Zero Means Hero?

Late 2012/ early 2013, there was a sudden surge of online/offline dispute on $0 'duit hantaran' (wedding gift in a form of money or dowry) and up till now, random articles or videos by Mats or Ustads would come up.

Just a little background info for my fellow non-Malay/Muslim readers, for our solemnisation, there is a cultural practise of exchanging of gifts between the bride and groom besides rings. The number and type of gifts are usually predetermined by them. It usually consists of religious items like a prayer mat and Quran but also other items like bags, shoes/heels, DSLR, Playstation, really up to the bride and groom’s lifestyle. BUT there is one that is always determined by the bride’s parents.

The dowry, and this, my friends, has been suddenly the controversial topic. That money is kept by the bride and usually used to cover back the wedding expenses. For those who had help from parents, that money is most probably passed to them.

The idea of a dowry has been so misused to a point it may construe as selling your daughter because it deems as “You want to marry my daughter? You must have $12K in dowry” Mind you that is not including the gifts and actual ceremony. What is worst, there are parents who don’t consider the future groom’s financial standing and would quote according to their daughter’s well being and education.

“My daughter has a degree and can cook very well! $20K!”
The guy is just a small time office boy how?

So of course slowly comes in the group of people who said they would respect parents and potential bride who ask for $0 dowry with the exception of the Mahr (mandatory in Islam – expenses for wife. Think it as alimony) which is minimum $100 or jewellery of same worth. Means they are not money minded lah.

If you find someone with a family who requests $0, FINE! Good for you. If you want to wed strictly on Islamic terms and not cultural terms, FINE! It’s your choice, your wedding, your life.
But why do these people have to be self-righteous about it? It’s as if almost immediately practically everyone who has dowry and exchange of gifts are money minded. No right? That only those who wed without that 'duit hantaran' is so pious.

Anyways, on a personal note, the question is, will Jhon and I have exchange of gifts which includes the money gift?

Yes and No.

Granted, before taking weddings seriously personally, I automatically would figured that it does include a pair of heels, a somewhat branded bag, a watch etc but now I have to actually list my items, I don’t know what I want! Those who know me know that this is nothing new. I am a useless birthday girl when it comes to answering questions of “What do you want?” I never really want things. I am happy with money. I always say, I rather have $1K in my bag than a $1K bag. What do I do with the money? I save them because it gives me a sense of security knowing that I have money whenever I need it, travel, medical or whatever emergencies.

No gifts for me, which means no gifts for Jhon. Kwang kwang kwang.. haha I reassured him, I can buy for him any time, it does not have to be on the wedding day. Yey for understanding partner!
We would probably have dowry which I shall not disclose the amount because who knows, at the last minute, different amount then paiseh…  lol But it’s a matter of whether we want to showcase it or keep it in private. Mind you, this amount is predetermined by me and Jhon, not my parents’ lol.

My dad is the ‘sembarang’ (anything goes) kind of guy and mom is very understanding in this topic. She always says “Berapa dia boleh mampu” which meant “Whatever amount he can afford”. I told Jhon, I will be using it for our marriage, you know, to get us settled down, just in case, financially, we lost control. That’s my personal opinion and my intentions.

Just a message to those who are strong willed about the $0 dowry or ‘hantaran’. Please keep in mind that it does not apply to everyone that if they request an amount, they are money minded. Too bad, there were bad eggs that misdirect the intention but don’t generalize it. You wouldn’t like it if people say you actually don’t have the money but want to act holy-moly right?

As long as the amount is realistic between 2 parties and not menyusahkan siapa-siapa who cares?


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