Morning gift

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Morning gift is a donation of money or goods from the groom to the bride in relation to the marriage , but sometimes also a donation from the ( widowed ) wife to the second husband or a mutual gift from the two spouses. The morning gift was important in traditional German law and still is in Islamic legal systems today.

German legal circle

According to traditional German law, the morning gift was a gift from the husband to the wife. It got its name from the custom of presenting it on the morning after the wedding night - but this time was not always and not always binding. So it could also be handed over at the marriage or only promised at this time in the event of the donor's pre-death. The dowry presented a gift is, that was the bride's personal disposal - as opposed to the abutment , which made also the bridegroom, which served the supply of women in the event of widowhood, and the dowry that the bride brought into the marriage with the Establishing the marital household. As a gift from a husband to his wife at their free disposal, the morning gift was not part of the husband's estate if the husband died prematurely , but was owned by the wife.

According to Austrian law ( § 1232 ABGB ), the morning gift was given as a gift from the man to the woman until the end of 2009; the corresponding law dates from 1811.

Islamic legal system

The Qur'an says in the 4th sura an-Nisā ' ("The women") in verse  4: "And give the women their morning gift as a gift (so that they can freely dispose of it)!"

In Islamic jurisprudence , a type of morning gift - called mahr ( bridal gift) or sadaq - is still of great importance today. It is difficult to compare with institutes of German law, as it has different tasks. The amount stipulated in the contract is often split in two. While one part is due immediately, a large part of the morning gift is only due for payment to the woman when the marriage is divorced. This payment, also known as the evening gift , serves to secure after the divorce or the death of the husband and, if the amount is high, indirectly limits the husband's ability to unilaterally declare a divorce. In the event that the wife renounces himself from the husband ( Chulʿ ) and the associated divorce, the husband can, however, demand part of the morning gift he has given back. But it also happens that Islamic courts award at least the entire morning gift to the woman despite a request for divorce.

In Germany, in 2016, a Lebanese woman who divorced her German-Lebanese husband was awarded the full evening gift because, despite her marriage abroad, German law must be applied after living in Germany for years.

In modern Turkish law the institute of the morning gift no longer exists; Morning gifts are legally understood as a simple gift .

Iranian morning gift

The Muslim Iranian wives have a legal right to the agreed morning gift (Section 1091 of the Iranian Civil Code). If the morning gift agreement was not determined or excluded at the time of the marriage, the "usual" morning gift is owed (Section 1087 of the Iranian Civil Code).

The morning gift has, among other things, an ideal and a practical meaning. The agreement of a morning gift in Iranian culture is a traditional part of marriage, the sense of which is to be seen for entering into a permanent marriage. The present function of the morning gift has the character of a life insurance for the Muslim wives. The morning gift is also a financial security for them in the event of divorce , because they usually have no claim to compensation and only have a limited entitlement to post-marital maintenance . The regulations on Islamic inheritance law that the surviving woman is only entitled to a quarter of the inheritance, and in the event that children are present, even to an eighth, gives reason to agree a higher morning gift. When the husband dies, the wife can claim her morning gift from the inheritance with priority; only then will the rest be distributed.

Several factors play a role in determining the amount of the morning gift, such as the age of the wife at the time of the marriage, her beauty, her own wealth, the local and temporal circumstances, her spiritual gifts, her virtue and piety, the amount of the bride gifts of her sisters , the property of the father of the bride at the time of marriage, the status of the husband and his property in turn at the time of the marriage and, last but not least, her virginity. As a rule, it has become established in Iran that the main part of the morning gift is promised in gold coins and is derived from the year of birth of the bride, as the maximum amount of the morning gift, the exact amount of which is specified based on the above factors.

Actual function of the “excessive” amount of the morning gift

The men increase their standing in society through a high morning gift and have the opportunity to stand out among several competitors in front of the woman.

As a rule, the husband's assets are protected against other claims by creditors in the amount of the morning gift claim. In practice, this means that by agreeing a high morning gift for the woman, the man can protect his property against seizure in insolvency proceedings by third parties.

The function of a high morning gift is not only the economic interest of the Muslim wife who is willing to divorce, but also has the function of equality of arms with the man for the disenfranchised woman in the event that the man contradicts her wish for a divorce and wants to keep her in the marriage. Muslim Iranian women have no de facto right to divorce unless there are extraordinary, almost unrealistic reasons.

The consequence of this is that in practice the morning gift claim on the part of women is set very high, mainly for the following reasons:

  • so that after a divorce she is not left behind in social marginalization and economic poverty,
  • the amount of the morning gift has a deterrent, preventive function, so that the man is not carelessly pronouncing the divorce,
  • so that the woman can obtain freedom of travel, freedom of occupation, freedom of study or the free choice of place of residence if the Muslim husband does not agree and does not grant her this right under Islamic family law,
  • Muslim women have the option of obtaining a divorce by measuring the morning gift, even practically against the will of the husband,
  • For Muslim women, custody of the underage children can be obtained, although the children are usually assigned to the husband or the family of the Muslim husband after a certain age.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Morgengabe  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Repeal by Article 1 No. 12 FamRÄG 2009: BGBl. I No. 75/2009.
  2. Rudi Paret : Koran Sura 4: Women. ( Memento from February 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: German translation of the Koran, probably 1966, accessed on May 18, 2019 (Paret, 1901–1983, was a German philologist and scholar of Islam; he was responsible for the translation of the Koran into German, which is authoritative in scientific circles; the website offers a version comparison).
    See also: The Koran - Chapter 4 - Fourth Surah: Women. In: Project Gutenberg (PG). Translation: Spiegel Online (as of April 14, 2011; Source: Kurt Rudolph, Reclam, 1970): "And voluntarily give women their morning gift."
  3. See Cologne Higher Regional Court : judgment of April 21, 1993, Az. 13 U 251/92 in ; Higher Regional Court Naumburg FamRZ 2001, 1613.
  4. Seyed Shahram Iranbomy: Raisin theory of the morning gift . Islamic family law and German international family law using the example of bridal gift / morning gift disputes. FamFr, 2011, p. 123 ff. ( Online with registration at beck-online ).