Shaykh ibn Baz rahimahullaah was asked:
Q: I married a woman and did not pay her any dowry, neither in the form of money nor gold, and that was with consent from both sides – although I have the ability to do so; as I have established and readied our martial home, so have I fallen short regarding a right from her rights? And if that is the case then am I able to now repay something to her or to her family? May Allaah reward you with good.
A: In the name of Allaah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
All praise is for Allaah, and may His Peace and Blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah, and upon his family, his companions, and whoever follows his guidance.
Then to proceed:
What is obligatory is that something is given to the wife by way of wealth – even if it is something little; as long as she is pleased with that – whether it be in the form of money, or whether it be something materialistic; such as clothing, or jewelry made from gold and silver – this is sufficient.
If you did not give her anything at all then she is to be given a dowry of someone similar to her – the dowry women similar to herself receive – except if she were to excuse you from such, so if she excuses you there is no harm in that, and all praise is for Allaah.
Allaah – the Most High said:
أَن تَبْتَغُوا بِأَمْوَالِكُم
“Provided that you seek them in marriage with gifts from your property.” [4:24]
So the husband gives something from wealth and agrees with his wife upon an amount, or with her guardian, or he gives them that which is easy – as long as they are content with that – it is sufficient.
So if you were to give her something from wealth – other than money –from jewelry, or clothing, or if you furnished the house for her, this wealth is hers. Yes, for her is any furniture that is given to her, it is exclusively her property. There is no problem with that, and all praise is for Allaah.
As for if you did not give her anything at all, then if she excuses you and pardons you regarding the dowry – there is no problem with that. And if she requests something then give her what pleases her, and all praise is for Allaah.
May Allaah reward you with good.
[Taken from the Shaykh’s official website: http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/12411 ]