A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|THE ISLAMIC WAY OF NIKAH /WALEEMA|
|07/25/02 at 12:44:37|
|THE ISLAMIC WAY OF NIKAH AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WALIMA|
Translated by Memoona Sajjad
Buraida bin Haseeb (RA) narrates that at the wedding of Ali (RA) with the Prophet (SAW)'s daughter Fatima (RA), the Prophet (SAW) insisted on the importance of holding a walima for every wedding.
According to Anas (RA), the day after Safiyah (RA) was presented to the Prophet (SAW) as his bride by Umme Salim, he (SAW) asked his companions to contribute a small part of whatever surplus of food they had. The Prophet (SAW) then invited his friends to a marriage feast which was prepared out of the dried dates, oil and cheese that the Companions (RA) had brought. They feasted together on a leather tablecloth and drank rain-water from a spring nearby. This was the walima of the Blessed Prophet (SAW). (Bukhari)
The recommended way of nikah in Islam does not allow a huge train of wedding guests which becomes financially burdensome for the bride's family. In fact, the bride's family are not obliged to entertain the wedding guests in any way. All kinds of extravagant ceremonies and customs that have become atteched with weddings have absolutely no place in Islam.
The huge expenditure on weddings that has become almost a compulsion in our Hindu-ised culture, often leaves the families of the marrying couple deeply in debt. According to the Islamic way, however, two witnesses and a moderately-sized congregation of the people present wherever the nikah takes place are enough. If possible, the grooms side may arrange for some dried dates or sweets, or any little titbits to be distributed among the company present.
In the time of the Prophet (SAW) and the Four Caliphs, inviting distant relatives from far and away only to collect huge party for the wedding was inconceivable. You might be surprised to know that the Companions, even while living in the small community of Medina and having so deep a respect and love for the Prophet (SAW), often did not oblige the Prophet (SAW) to attend their weddings. In contrast to this, we love to 'honour' our wedding ceremonies by obliging ulema and eminent religious leaders to undertake long journeys in order to grace the occasions with their presence. According to a tradition narrated by Anas (RA), when Abd ur Rahman bin Auf (RA) told the Prophet (SAW) that he had married, the prophet (SAW) wished that Allah would bless the union and asked him to hold a walima, even if he could only afford to spare a single goat for it.
The walima, as we can see, is a duty recommended by the Prophet (SAW) and exemplified by his own Sunnah. The walima is a marriage feast held by the husband after the consummation of the marriage, to be arranged strictly within the groom's financial means. Friends, relatives and the needy in the community should be invited to the walima. In a way, the walima is an __expression of gratitude and thanksgiving to Allah for bringing about the union. It does not call for unnecessary expenditure on the husband, as it must be held in simplicity, according to the financial means of the newly-married couple. For instance, Abd ur rahman bin Auf (RA) was ordered by the Prophet (SAW) to do his walima even if he could only arrange it by means of slaughtering a single goat. The Prophet (SAW)'s own walima at his marriage to Safiyah (RA) was simple and frugal. An extravagantly done walima is odious to the very spirit of Islam. According to the Prophet (SAW), the nikah most blessed by Allah is the one on which the least has been spent. (Bahiqi).
On the authority of Abu Huraira (RA), the Prophet (SAW) said that a walima feast that ignores the rights of the poor and needy in the community is devoid of the blessing of Allah.
Allah (SWT) has provided us with the best rules for leading our lives and spending our times of joy and sorrow. If we take into consideration these principles that teach us how to give __expression to our joys and sorrows, such times will become a means to earn us His pleasure and blessing, and bring us enduring success of the hereafter. If we act out of our own desires while ignoring what Allah wanted of us, our lives will be deprived of His blessing. Such a kind of life only invites Allah's ire and calls disgrace on our own selves. If the society is cleansed of all kinds of un-Islamic traditions and bidah, the Ummah will be blessed with prosperity in the long run, particularly in our own country where pomp and extravagance at weddings has become a curse and a social evil. With the prayer that Allah may help us regulate our lives according to Islam's golden rules of moderation. Ameen
Jazak Allah Kahir
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board