Money paid for marrying off a woman to a person not from the village

Fatwa no. 18468 I live in a village in the Southern Region. We have an old tradition that anyone who marries off his daughter, sister or any one of his female relatives to a man who is not from his village should pay a sum of money to his villagers. In the past, the husband used to pay this sum of money and nobody would leave to the wedding with the wife. This was considered a return for the expenses that the husband might have paid to host the villagers accompanying his wife. Now, this habit has taken on another form. The villagers make a condition that the wife's Waliy (a legally accountable person acting for a woman regarding marriage) pays three thousand Riyals as a requirement to attend the wedding dinner served in the husband's village. If he refuses to pay the money, he may suffer a lot of pressure from the villagers. A long-run dispute arose among the villagers over this (Part No. 19; Page No. 155) matter. It should be noted that most people in this village only pay this sum of money out of shyness or due to various influences. Some of them refuse to pay on the pretext that this is not permissible. To them, this sum of money is paid without a valid cause. It may be taken from the wife's Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom) or from the husband. It often falls beyond the marriage costs. It should be noted that the sum that the villagers collect is spent on charitable projects, such as paving roads and building fences around graves or similar purposes. Please advise. May Allah reward you best. Is this action permissible, so we should continue doing it? We need your fatwa to be evidence for all the people. May Allah protect and support you.

A: The tradition you mentioned is a bad tradition, and people must stop it and forbid it. Forcing the Waliy to pay this sum of money according to this false `Urf (custom) is Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect) and is an act of consuming people's wealth unjustly. Thus, the tribes and villages following this tradition must stop it. Also, the person whom Allah (Exalted be He) guides to abstain from doing so from the dwellers of the tribe or village should not pay that sum even if the people desert him. If he pays this sum he will be approving their falsehood. Perhaps other people may imitate him when he does not pay, and so this bad tradition will gradually come to an end. (Part No. 19; Page No. 156) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.