It is a rite in Iran that when a couple are going to marry, a sum of money, mostly in the form of a certain number of gold coins, is agreed upon to be paid by the groom to the bride if their life together fails and separation is deemed necessary. This sum is called "mahr” and it is the source of a lot of trouble right now.
Increasingly, the brides’ families deem it better to bargain for a larger mahr in order to make sure they have secured their daughter’s future married life. The sum gets so high often that the groom just cannot pay it if he were to save all he could earn in his entire life.
Things happen and couples more often than not find it better to separate, although it used to be the furthest thing from minds when they pledged faith to their partner.
Then pops up the issue of the mahr and a series of strenuous conflicted events where the bride’s family pushes for the money and the groom’s does its best to make them give the thing up.
Again not so infrequently, grooms end up behind the bars because they cannot produce that amount of money.
"Preposterous mahrs have afflicted many families,” said Assadollah Jolaei, Head of Iran’s Atonement Staff.
He added "A culture needs to be created here, which the marja’s have also frequently emphasized.”
"In the case of driving we always tell people to pay more attention to the rules so that thousands are not killed. As for the mahr also we must be more careful, because there are really absurd mahrs these days which are a plague to families.”