Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz during his khalifate, wrote to one of his governors, “Whatever a father, or guardian, who gives someone in marriage, makes a condition in the way of un-returnable gift or of favour, belongs to the woman if she wants it.”
Malik spoke about a woman whose father gave her in marriage and made an un-returnable gift a condition of the bride-price which was to be given. He said, “Whatever is given as a condition by which marriage occurs belongs to the woman if she wants it. If the husband parts from her before the marriage is consummated, the husband has half of the un-returnable gift by which the marriage occurred.”
Malik said about a man who married off his young son and the son had no wealth at all, that the bride-price was obliged of the father if the young man had no property on the day of marriage. If the young man did have property the bride-price was taken from his property unless the father stipulated that he would pay the bride-price. The marriage was affirmed for the son if he was a minor only if he was under the guardianship of his father.
Malik said that if a man divorced his wife before he had consummated the marriage and she was a virgin, her father returned half of the bride-price to him. That half was permitted to the husband from the father to compensate him for his expenses.
Malik said that that was because Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, said in His Book, “Unless they (women with whom he had not consummated marriage) make remission or he makes remission to him in whose hand is the knot of marriage.” (Sura 2 ayat 237). (He being the father of a virgin daughter or the master of a female slave.)
Malik said, “That is what I have heard about the matter, and that is how things are done among us.”
Malik said that a jewish or christian woman who was married to a jew or christian and then became muslim before the marriage had been consummated, did not keep anything from the bride-price.
Malik said, “I do not think that women should be married for less than a quarter of a dinar. That is the lowest amount for which cutting off the hand is obliged.”