The Kitáb-i-Aqdas
The dowry is to be paid by the bridegroom to the bride. It is fixed at 19 mithqáls of pure gold for city-dwellers, and 19 mithqáls of silver for village-dwellers (see note 94). Bahá’u’lláh indicates that, if, at the time of the wedding, the bridegroom is unable to pay the dowry in full, it is permissible for him to issue a promissory note to the bride (Q and A 39).
With the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh many familiar concepts, customs and institutions are redefined and take on new meaning. One of these is the dowry. The institution of dowry is a very ancient practice in many cultures and takes many forms. In some countries it is a payment made by the parents of the bride to the bridegroom; in others it is a payment made by the bridegroom to the parents of the bride, called a “bride-price”. In both such cases the amount is often quite considerable. The law of Bahá’u’lláh abolishes all such variants and converts the dowry into a symbolic act whereby the bridegroom presents a gift of a certain limited value to the bride.
94.for city-dwellers at nineteen mithqáls of pure gold, and for village-dwellers at the same amount in silver ¶66
Bahá’u’lláh specifies that the criterion for determining the dowry payment is the location of the permanent residence of the bridegroom, not of the bride (Q and A 87, 88).
95.Whoso wisheth to increase this sum, it is forbidden him to exceed the limit of ninety-five mithqáls... If he content himself, however, with a payment of the lowest level, it shall be better for him according to the Book. ¶66
In answer to a question about the dowry, Bahá’u’lláh stated:
Whatever is revealed in the Bayán, in respect to those residing in cities and villages, is approved and should be carried out. However, in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas mention is made of the lowest