The engagement, reciting surah Fatihah, receiving the dowry and engagement ring, and accepting gifts are some of the things that prelude marriage and as a promise as long as the contract has not been concluded. As for the gold jewelry which a man gives to the one he wishes to marry, its ruling according to fiqh depends on whether it is a dowry or a gift. What determines its ruling is one of two things – a specified custom, or an agreement.
Dr Nasr Fareed Wasil says:
The engagement, reading the fatihah, accepting the dowry and gifts are part of things that prelude marriage and as a promise as long as the contract has not been concluded in its conditions and pillars. It has become the practice of people to begin with engagement before the marriage contract to create a good atmosphere between the two families.
It is suggested by Islamic law that the dowry is demanded from the husband during the marriage contract. If the contract is not completed, then the fiancée has no right to receive anything from it, and the fiancé may take it back. If the contract is completed, then the dowry has become the fiancée’s right.
As for jewelry like rings and gifts that the fiancé gives during the engagement, if these have been agreed to have been part of the dowry, or the custom recognizes these gifts as part of the dowry, then it is taken from the dowry, and it takes the previous ruling.
But if it is not agreed that it is from the dowry, and the custom is not taken as it is part of the dowry, then it takes the rule of gift.