1. The only point for determination in this appeal is the money value of 10 (ten) dirams or dirhams which has been found to be the dower of the plaintiff. The lower appellate Court has fixed it at about Rs. 35 (thirty-five). The learned Vakil for the plaintiff-appellant contends that the money value of 10 (ten) dirams is much more than Rs. 35. He relies on the following remarks in Sughra Bibi v. Musa Bibi 2 A. 573. But it would appear that we are not allowed to escape from a hopeless and helpless dilemma for we are told that we must either give this pauper plaintiff Rs. 51,000 or Fatima's portion of 10 (ten) dirams amounting to Rs. 107.
2. With due respect to the learned Judges who fixed the money value of 10 (ten) dirams at Rs. 107, we are unable to say that 10. (ten) dirams amount to Rs. 107.
3. A diram is 'a silver coin usually weighing from forty-five to fifty grains; rather heavier than an English six pence.' Wilson's Glossary p. 143. In a foot-note to the 'Hidayah' it is stated that the value of the diram is very uncertain. Ten dirams according to one account make about six shillings and eight pence sterling. (The 'Hidaya' by Grady p. 44.)
4. In the above passages the money value of dirham is correctly estimated and is between three and four annas. On this basis the portion of Fatima the Prophet's daughter which was 500 (five hundred dirhams and not 10 (ten) dirhams) is commonly calculated among Mohammadans to amount approximately to Rs. 107 on the British coin.
5. The mistake in the remarks of the learned Judges in Sughra Bibi v. Musa Bibi 2 A. 573, is that Fatima's portion is taken to be 10 (ten) dirhams while as a matter of fact it was 500 (five hundred) dirhams'.
6. The following are a few out of the many passages to show that Fatima's portion was 500 (five hundred) dirhams and not 10 (ten) dirhams.
(a) Baqir said 'The Prophet did neither give his daughter in marriage nor did he marry any of his wives on a dower higher than 12 (twelve) auqiyahs and a nush. 'Nush' means one-half of an auqiyah. One auqiyah is 40 dirhams and one nush is twenty dirhams and thus it (the dower) amounts to 500 (five hundred) dirhams. Masalik, Book on marriage Vol. I, Tehran, Ed.
* * * *(b) According to the 'Shafaais' and the 'Hambalis' it is desirable that a dower should not be less than 10 (ten) dirhams. This view is adopted to avoid a conflict with Abu Hanifa's view. It is also desirable that it should not exceed 500 (five hundred) dirhams which was the amount of the dower of the daughters of the Prophet and of his wives. The dower of Ommi Habiba one of the wives of the Prophet was (no doubt) 400 (four hundred) deenars (a gold coin) but that was fixed by Najashias a token of distinction to the Prophet. Qustulani a Commentary on Sahih Bukhari Vol. VIII, pp. 48-49, Nawal Kishore, Ed.
* * * *(c) It is stated in the account given of the marriage of Abu Jaafar, the second, that he said that Ali son of Musa proposed to marry Ommul Fazl daughter of Abbullah Almamun arid gave her as dower 500 (five hundred) gumne dirhams which was the amount of dower of his great grand mother Fatima. Beharul, Anwar, Volume X, p. 33, Tehran, Ed.
* * * *(d) This is the Messenger of God. He has given his daughter Fatima to me in marriage on (a dower) of 500 (five hundred) dirhams, I have accepted it. Ye should ask him (if that is so) and he witnesses. This is a portion of the speech reported to have been made by Ali on the occasion of his marriage with Fatima.
(e) The Prophet gave Fatima in marriage to Ali. Her dower according to one report was 480 dirhams. According to another it was 400 (four hundred), misqal of silver. According to a third report it was 500 (five hundred) dirhams and this is the most authentic report.
* * * *(f) It is reported from Aba Salmah, 'I asked Aisha what was the Prophet's dower'. 'The dower fixed by him', she said, for his wives was 12 (twelve) auqiyah and a nush' She said, 'Do you know what a nush is'? I said 'no'. She said, 'it is one hair of an auqiyah and thus it (the dower) amounts to 500 (five hundred) dirhams'.
* * * *(g) Omar said, 'I do not know that the Prophet married any of his wives or gave any of his daughters in marriage with adower exceeding 12 (twelve) auqiyahs. This is a portion of the speech reported to have been made by Ali on the occasion of his marriage with Fatima.
* * * *(1) In the Mirqat, a Commentary of Mishcat, it is noted that the dower of Ommi Habibah One of the wives of the Prophet which was 4,000 (four thousand) dirhams is an exception, for Najashi fixed it without its being fixed by the Prophet. It is also noted that the amount mentioned by Omar is to be explained in one of the two following ways:
(1) He did not mention the nush as it is a fraction.
* * * *(2) The exact amount i.e., 12 and the dower of Ommi Habibah were not known to him. A translation of this is to be found in Tagore Law Lectures for 1891-92 on p. 111-730(121)Vol. I. It runs as follows: Omar-ibn-al-Khattab says, 'I do not know that His Highness married any of his wives or gave any of his daughters in marriage with settlements more than five hundred dirhams, nay, the portion of Fatima was four hundred dirhams'.
This is not a translation of the Arabic text jr. which 500 (five hundred), dirhams and Fatima's portion are not mentioned.
(f) It is reported from Ommi Habibah (that She was the wife of Obedullah (Abedullah) son of Jahsh. He died in Ethiopia and Najashi gave her in marriage to the Prophet fixing her dower on his behalf at 4,000 (four thousand), according to another report at 4,000 (four thousand) dirhams and sent her to the Prophet with Shurhabil son of Hasanah (2), 'Mishcat' p. 277.
* * * *(2) A translation of this is to be found on p. 112 Article 734 (125) of Tagore Law Lectures for 1891-92 Vol. I in which instead of 4,000, (four thousand.) four hundred dirhams are mentioned. This is undoubtedly wrong. This wrong translation seems to have led Sir R. Wilson to state in a foot-note on page 119, 3rd Edition of his Anglo-Mohammadan Law that 'The dower settled by Mohamed on each of his many wives is said to have been five hundred or four hundred dirhams ('Mishcat' page 101).
7. According to the authorities cited the money value of 10 (ten) dirhams is something between Rs. 3 and 4 and thus there is no substance in this appeal which we dismiss with costs, which in this Court will include fees on the higher scale.