Dowry And Virginity

If a husband finds out his wife is not a virgin he can take back the dowry even though the marriage was not conditioned on the virginity of the spouse:

“Should the husband, after the payment of the dowry, discover that the wife is not a virgin, the refund of the dowry and of the expenses incurred may be demanded.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, The Kitābi Aqdas, p. 151.

So what actions can a woman take if she finds out her husband was not a virgin, if the marriage was not based on the condition of virginity?

The UHJ clearly gives the answer: Nothing!

In one of these cases you cite, for example, that of a wife who is found by her husband not to have been a virgin, the dissolution of the marriage can be demanded only “if the marriage has been conditioned on virginity”; presumably, therefore, if the wife wishes to exercise such a right in respect to the husband, she would have to include a condition as to his virginity in the marriage contract.

Reference: Memorandum by UHJ on “Monogamy, Sexual Equality, Marital Equality, and the Supreme Tribunal,” dated 27/06/1996, p. 6: (retrieved 02/08/2014)

Courtesy: Twelve Principles – A Comprehensive Investigation on the Bahai Teachings



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