The marriage of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and Janabe Fatema Zahra. (s.a.) is a very sensitive and important model of Islamic marriage. Here, it is to be noticed that the father of bride was a person commanding great esteem and respect not only in the Arabian peninsula but in the entire Muslim world and was also the Messenger of God (s.a.w.a.).
The bride was also not only the brightest and most intelligent woman of Islam, but was also a highly groomed and pious figure and the cream of all the women of the Islamic world. She was highly respected and was counted among the four greatly honored women that have ever existed. The bridegroom was also from the Arab nobility. He was a man of immense knowledge and learning and was the bravest of all the braves. Legally, he was the successor and heir to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). He was a most trusted minister and an advisor to the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). He was a brave and forceful commander in chief of the Islamic army. The marriage of such a renowned person ought to have been solemnized with great pomp and grandeur. But as the world witnessed, the entire marriage ceremony of the most important personalities of Islam, was performed in a most simple and modest manner. This was a model for all the faithful to see, and was a perfect example of an Islamic marriage.
If the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.) had wished, he would have performed this marriage on a lavish scale, befitting his social and religious status.
So simple and ordinary was the dowry of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) daughter. If the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had wished, he would have celebrated this marriage on a grand scale by raising funds from some source or by borrowing.
After all, it was the marriage of his only daughter. Being a Prophet (s.a.w.a.), he could have claimed “I am a messenger of God and my daughter Fatema (s.a.) is a matchless and infallible woman. I must arrange her marriage as per her virtues, value and status.” But he (The Prophet(s.a.w.a.), did not do so.
Not only this, he could have thought that my prospective son-in- law is not an ordinary man, but a well known personality in the Islamic world. His crusades, acts of bravery and tireless endeavors in the way of God are quite famous. Considering all this, I should arrange for a grand marriage. But he (Prophet ((s.a.w.a.)) refrained from doing so. It was because of the fact that the prophet (s.a.w.a.) was fully aware of the evils of an enormous and substantial dowry and a high profile marriage. As a matter of fact, he wanted to scrap this evil system of dowry in the land and save the Islamic society from innumerable economical and financial strains, hardships and woes. He harnessed the evil monster of dowry and performed the marriage ceremony of his daughter (Fatema Zahra, (s.a.)), in the simplest manner. Otherwise this monster of dowry would have frightened away all young people, from getting married. The dowry system, if allowed to remain unharnessed, would have brought havoc among young men and women.
To eradicate this evil, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has knowingly and purposefully performed the marriage of his only and matchless daughter in a simple way and has given a very meager dowry. Thus the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has set an example for us to fall in line.
On the other hand, Ali Bin Abu Talib (a.s.) was not an ordinary man to yearn for a substantial dowry. Neither was he interested in amassing wealth, nor was he among those young men to press his wife to go to her parents for money. Nor was he a sadist (may God forbid) who would behave with his wife in a tyrannical manner and convert a happy home into a living hell, just because of dowry. Moreover, Hazrat Ali (a.s.) was to become a Leader and Imam in future.
He had all along discouraged this harmful trend, and waged a relentless war against it. He was not interested in worldly comfort and wealth.