The Kitáb-i-Aqdas - The Most Holy Book
Index term: amount of dowry payable by, under City dweller
k66.
No marriage may be contracted without payment of a dowry, which hath been fixed for city-dwellers at nineteen mithqáls of pure gold, and for village-dwellers at the same amount in silver. Whoso wisheth to increase this sum, it is forbidden him to exceed the limit of ninety-five mithqáls. Thus hath the command been writ in majesty and power. If he content himself, however, with a payment of the lowest level, it shall be better for him according to the Book. God, verily, enricheth whomsoever He willeth through both heavenly and earthly means, and He, in truth, hath power over all things.
n93.
No marriage may be contracted without payment of a dowry
The Synopsis and Codification, section IV.C.1.j.i.-v., summarizes the main provisions concerning the dowry. These provisions have their antecedents in the Bayán.
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&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.
n94.
for city-dwellers at nineteen mithqáls of pure gold, and for village-dwellers at the same amount in silver
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&A 87, 88).
n95.
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.
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 level. The intention is nineteen mithqáls of silver, specified in the Bayán for village-dwellers. This is more pleasing unto God, provided the two parties agree. The purpose is to promote the comfort of all, and to bring about concord and union among the people. Therefore, the greater the consideration shown in these matters the better it will be . . . The people of Bahá must associate and deal with each other with the utmost love and sincerity. They should be mindful of the interests of all, especially the friends of God.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, in one of His Tablets, summarized some of the provisions for determining the level of the dowry. The unit of payment mentioned in the extract, cited below, is the "váhid". One váhid is equivalent to nineteen mithqáls. He stated:

City-dwellers must pay in gold and village-dwellers in silver. It dependeth on the financial means at the disposal of the groom. If he is poor, he payeth one váhid; if of modest means, he payeth two váhids; if well-to-do, three váhids; if wealthy, four váhids; and if very rich, he giveth five váhids. It is, in truth, a matter for agreement between the bridegroom, the bride, and their parents. Whatever agreement is reached should be carried out.

In this same Tablet, 'Abdu'l-Bahá encouraged the believers to refer questions concerning the application of this law to the Universal House of Justice, which has "the authority to legislate". He stressed that "it is this body which will enact laws and legislate upon secondary matters which are not explicit in the Holy Text".
q87.
 
Question: Concerning the dowry for village-dwellers which is to be of silver: is it the bride or bridegroom who is intended or both of them? And what is to be done if one is a city-dweller and the other a village-dweller?
Answer: The dowry is determined by the dwelling-place of the bridegroom; if he be a city-dweller, the dowry is of gold, and if he be a village-dweller, it is of silver.