Ceremonies of marriage
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One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
As Salaam Alaikum,
I am very grateful to Allah Taala that
he has selected a few people like yourself to guide the people on the right
path and follow His orders as shown by the Beloved Prophet Muhammed
(SAW) I have a question about the way a wedding should take place according to
the Sunnah and Shariah. I
mean the ceremonies that should take place and all. I am well aware of most
practices followed in our countries i.e.
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Your Question: I have a question about the way a wedding should take place according to the Sunnah and Shariah. I mean the ceremonies that should take place and all.
Islam has made the act and ceremony of marriage an extremely easy, inexpensive, and an absolutely uncomplicated affair; but unfortunately today we have added our own sets of difficulties, expenses and unnecessary complications and made it a burden upon ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Islam.
In Islam, there are three simple, uncomplicated steps that relate to a marriage:
The proposal from the groom to the family of the girl.
The actual nikaah ceremony
The walima or marriage feast after the Nikaah.
To get a fair idea of how marriages were done at the time of the Prophet (saws), it would be worth taking a look at this narration of how the Prophet (saws) married his beloved daughter, Hadrat Fatimah (r.a.) to Hadrat Ali (r.a.).
In Madinah, Fatimah lived with her father in the simple dwelling he had built adjoining the mosque. In the second year after the Hijrah, she received proposals of marriage through her father, two of which were turned down. Then Ali, the son of Abu Talib, plucked up courage and went to the Prophet (saws) to ask for her hand in marriage. In the presence of the Prophet (saws), however, Ali became over-awed and tongue-tied. He stared at the ground and could not say anything. The Prophet (saws) then asked: "Why have you come? Do you need something?" Ali still could not speak and then the Prophet (saws) suggested: "Perhaps you have come to propose marriage to Fatimah."
"Yes," replied Ali. At this, according to one report, the Prophet (saws) said simply: "Marhaban wa ahlan - Welcome into the family," and this was taken by Ali and a group of Ansar who were waiting outside for him as indicating the Prophet's (saws) approval. Another report indicated that the Prophet (saws) approved and went on to ask Ali if he had anything to give as mahr. Ali replied that he didn't. The Prophet (saws) reminded him that he had a shield which could be sold.
Ali sold the shield to Uthman for four hundred dirhams and as he was hurrying back to the Prophet (saws) to hand over the sum as mahr, Uthman stopped him and said: "I am returning your shield to you as a present from me on your marriage to Fatimah."
Fatimah and Ali were thus married most probably at the beginning of the second year after the Hijrah. She was about nineteen years old at the time and Ali was about twenty one. The Prophet (saws) himself performed the marriage ceremony. At the walimah. the guests were served with dates, figs and hais ( a mixture of dates and butter fat). A leading member of the Ansar donated a ram and others made offerings of grain.
Your Statement: there is a lot of Fitna too which goes around and I would like to avoid all that.
Islam has made the ceremonies of marriage easy for the believers, and it would be best to leave this occasion as simple as possible. If society adds or expects some rasms and rituals, then this occasion becomes a burden for the people of society, and an expensive proposition for most of the people.
Marriage is a happy occasion and there is absolutely no harm if one celebrates this joyous occasion by applying henna for the womenfolk, or playing the daff for music, or singing good legal songs, etc. The believers should at all times fear Allah Subhanah in everything they do, and should never ever transgress the boundaries laid down by Allah and His Messenger (saws) by allowing the free mixing of non-mehram sexes, playing illegal music, or singing songs of fahesha and indecency, etc.
When celebrating the joyous occasion of marriage, the believers must be absolutely careful of two things:
Doing any rites or rituals of a religious nature which are not proven from the Sunnah; like not allowing the man to leave the house before the walima, or keeping some iron in the house to ward off evil omens, or to tie some lemons or red peppers, etc. at the entrance of the door to ward off evil eyes, etc. All these and similar things are absolutely forbidden in the deen of Islam.
Unnecessary expenses like huge banquets on each and every occasion of engagement, at the henna, nikaah, and again at the walima; forced gifts to all the relatives of the bride and the groom, forced and demand of dowry from the family of the bride, etc. All these are absolutely unnecessary expenses and fall under the hated category of what the Quran calls israaf or being extravagant and spendthrift!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Israa verse 26-27:
26 And render to the kindred their due rights as (also) to those in want and to the wayfarer: but squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.
27 Verily spendthrifts are the brothers of the Shaytaan; and the Shaytaan is to his Lord, ungrateful.
What has unfortunately happened today is that people, especially the ones who have been blessed with abundant bounty from Allah Subhanah, have become extravagant in celebrating this joyous occasion, and some use this occasion to make their excesses be known to society by celebrating their marriages in a wasteful and excessive manner, and become engaged in out-doing others in their extravagance! Everything these people do when celebrating their occasions is, in a manner of speech over-the-top, to make a statement of their wealth and status for all to see!
This sort of illegal competition to outdo the Joness, and this absurd extravagance is absolutely hated in the sight of Allah Subhanah, whom the All-Mighty has called the brothers of the Shaytaan!!!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 26 Surah Ash-Shuaraa verses 151-152:
151 "And follow not the bidding of those who are extravagant
152 Who make mischief in the land, and mend not (their ways)."
It is the responsibility and duty of those who are blessed with abundance from the All-Mighty, that they should be especially careful when celebrating their marriages, and they should strive to celebrate these occasions as simply as possible so that the poor of the society are not burdened when it is time to get their daughters and their sisters married!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 25 Surah Furqaan verse 67: (The true servants of the Most Gracious are) Those who when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly; but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes);
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.106 Narrated by Abu Huraira
That the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: The worst food is that of a wedding banquet to which only the rich are invited while the poor are not invited. And he who refuses an invitation (to a banquet) disobeys Allah and His Messenger (saws).
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,