Wedding Ceremony In Islam – Customs, Rituals & Traditions
Posted March 26, 2011on:
Wedding Ceremony In Islam – Customs, Rituals & Traditions
Written By Prinxess *IM*
Prophet Muhammad (peace be Upon Him) said:
‘The worst of the feasts are those marriage feasts to which the rich are invited and the poor are left out”. (Mishkat)
It is recommended that Muslims attend marriage ceremonies and marriage feasts upon invitation. Prophet Muhammad (peace be Upon Him) said:
“…and he who refuses to accept an invitation to a marriage feast, verily disobeys Allah and His Prophet”. (Ahmad & Abu Dawood)
Marriage (nikah) is a solemn and sacred social contract between bride and groom. This contract is a strong covenant (mithaqun Ghalithun) as expressed in Quran 4:21). The marriage contract in Islam is not a sacrament. It is revocable.
Both parties mutually agree and enter into this contract. Both bride and groom have the liberty to define various terms and conditions of their liking and make them a part of this contract.
The marriage-gift (Mahr) is a divine injunction. The giving of mahr to the bride by the groom is an essential part of the contract.
‘And give the women (on marriage) their mahr as a (nikah) free gift” (Quran 4:4)
Mahr is a token commitment of the husband’s responsibility and may be paid in cash, property or movable objects to the bride herself. The amount of mahr is not legally specified, however, moderation according to the existing social norm is recommended. The mahr may be paid immediately to the bride at the time of marriage, or deferred to a later date, or a combination of both. The deferred mahr however, falls due in case of death or divorce.
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Go and look for something even if it is a ring of iron.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5121) and Muslim (1425).
It is mustahabb to make the mahr simple and easy, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“The best of dowries is the simplest.” Narrated by al-Haakim and al-Bayhaqi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (3279). And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of marriage is the simplest.” Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (3300).
Jaheez – Dowry Taking from Girl’s Father
it is not permissible to force the wife or her guardian to provide it, but if the wife takes it and then gives some of it to her husband or gives some of her wealth to him, it is permissible to her to do that, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allaah has made it lawful)”[al-Nisa’ 4:4].
Allah has made the man the protector and maintainer of the woman, and one of the reasons for that is that he spends on her. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means” [al-Nisa’ 4:34].
Thus, asking about dowry and demanding high from girl’s side is one of the worse act i.e Dis-obeying Allah and rejecting the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. However its so sad, today we see in our islamic society many husband dislikes and torture their wife only for the reason of not getting the dowry from her. Such husbands or such In laws should fear Allah!
The assembly of nikah is addressed with a marriage sermon (khutba-tun-nikah) by the Muslim officiating the marriage. In marriage societies, customarily, a state appointed Muslim judge (Qadi) officiates the nikah ceremony and keeps the record of the marriage contract. However any trust worthy practicing Muslim can conduct the nikah ceremony, as Islam does not advocate priesthood. The documents of marriage contract/certificate are filed with the mosque (masjid) and local government for record.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made it his tradition (sunnah) to have marriage sermon delivered in the assembly to solemnize the marriage. The sermon invites the bride and the groom, as well as the participating guests in the assembly to a life of piety, mutual love, kindness, and social responsibility.
The Khutbah-tun-Nikah begins with the praise of Allah. His help and guidance is sought. The Muslim confession of faith that
‘There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His servant and messenger” is declared. The three Quranic verses (Quran 4:1, 3:102, 33:70-71) and one Prophetic saying (hadith) form the main text of the marriage.
This hadith is:
‘By Allah! Among all of you I am the most God-fearing, and among you all, I am the supermost to save myself from the wrath of Allah, yet my state is that I observe prayer and sleep too. I observe fast and suspend observing them; I marry woman also. And he who turns away from my Sunnah has no relation with me”. (Bukhari)
The Muslim officiating the marriage ceremony concludes the ceremony with prayer (Dua) for bride, groom, their respective families, the local Muslim community, and the Muslim community at large (Ummah)
Marriage (nikah) is considered as an act of worship (ibadah). It is virtuous to conduct it in a Mosque keeping the ceremony simple. The marriage ceremony is a social as well as a religious activity. Islam advocates simplicity in ceremonies and celebrations.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) considered simple weddings the best weddings:
‘The best wedding is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed”. (Mishkat)
- Mutual agreement (Ijab-O-Qubul) by the bride and the groom
- Two adult and sane witnesses
- Mahr (marriage-gift) to be paid by the groom to the bride either immediately (muajjal) or deferred (muakhkhar), or a combination of both
- Legal guardian (wakeel) representing the bride
- Written marriage contract (“Aqd-Nikah) signed by the bride and the groom and witnesses by two adult and sane witnesses
- Qadi (State appointed Muslim judge) or Ma’zoon (a responsible person officiating the marriage ceremony)
- Khutba-tun-Nikah to solemnize the marriage
The Marriage Banquet (Walima)
After the consummation of the marriage, the groom holds a banquet called a walima. The relatives, neighbors, and friends are invited in order to make them aware of the marriage. Both rich and poor of the family and community are invited to the marriage feasts.
Keep The Marriage Simplest
Marriage is a major step in one’s life. It’s a matter of great responsibility that should by no mean be taken lightly. However, it shouldn’t be complicated to the point if one doesn’t have enough cash to hold an elaborate ceremony with hundreds of guests, one can’t get married.
Quite simply, a marriage in Islam is solemnized by a nikah (marriage contract) and a waleemah (marriage feast) that follows once the marriage has been consummated.
The nikah constitutes of a proposal from one party (eejab) and acceptance from another (qubool) in the presence of witnesses. The walimah is simply a dinner to celebrate the marriage, since marriage is, after all, a joyous occasion.
The nikah can be held at the local masjid or at home, while the walimah can be anywhere: one’s apartment, backyard, or basement, the local masjid, a park, a restaurant, a community center, or anywhere else.
As well, on the occasions of nikah and walimah, long speeches and an elaborate program are not required. Remember, simple is beautiful!
Nowadays, we seem to have been so caught up in rituals and customs that we tend to waste enormous amounts of money and time on things that simply aren’t needed. Nikah and walimah are both sunnahs (traditions) of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), so doesn’t it make sense to try to commemorate these occasions in the same fashion as he did?
Anas (RA) describes one of the walimahs hosted by the Prophet (SAW):
“The Prophet stayed for three days at a place between Khaibar and Medina, and there he consummated his marriage with Safiyya bint Huyay (RA). I invited the Muslims to a banquet which included neither meat nor bread. The Prophet (SAW) ordered for the leather dining sheets to be spread, and then dates, dried yogurt and butter were provided over it, and that was the Walima (banquet) of the Prophet (SAW).” (Reported by Bukhari)
In another report, Anas (RA) says that the Prophet (SAW)
“gave a wedding banquet with Hais (a sort of sweet dish made from butter, cheese and dates).” (Reported by Bukhari)
There is nothing wrong with having an elaborate ceremony in a fancy banquet hall and full-course meal prepared by a caterer, but the fact of the matter is that neither of these are requirements for a successful marriage ceremony. If one wishes to hold the ceremony in a banquet hall with a full-course meal, that’s perfectly fine, but it shouldn’t be taken as a requirement.
I’m sure many of us loan large sums of money just so we can host fancy receptions for our weddings. Or even if we spend extravagant amounts of our own money, it’s sad because there are so many better uses for our hard-earned money. After all, the amount of money spent on the ceremony has no positive effect on the life of the couple.
The Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said:
“The marriage which is most greatly blessed is the one which is the lightest in burden [expense]. However, if people are well catered for, without extravagance and show, there is no problem with that either.” (Reported by Bayhaqi)
For sure, marriage an occasion to celebrate, but why waste enormous amounts of money on a celebration? It’s definitely not how our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) celebrated. In fact, wasting Allah’s bounties is something Allah has warned us against:
“But waste not by excess: for Allah loves not the wasters.”(Quran, 6:141)
It can be difficult to swim against the tide of fancy and extravagant marriages, but surely, it’s worth swimming against the tides that go against Allah’s command and the example set by the Prophet (SAW).
Let’s save all that money and keep it for better uses. That money is sure to be in demand once the honeymoon is over and the actual daily routine sets in. If we do that with the right intention, we’ll end up saving money and at the same time, we’ll be adding to our good-deed account as well. After all, who can’t use some extra cash, some extra good deeds, and a greatly blessed marriage (since the most greatly blessed marriage is the one that lightest in expense)?
Allah subahanwa’tala said in Quran, Follow me and My Messanger if you love me, Allah will love you too! Why are we so hesitant and reluctant to follow what the greatest personality of this universe did?! Rather we blindly follow the stupid and pathetic traditions in our wedding ceremonies! The acts of Jahliya, the acts of Shamelessness and the acts which leads to fitnah can never make your marriage successful and blessed! Dont obey your culture or your desires, dont follow your society Rather obey and follow the Golden path shown by Allah and His prophet peace be upon him
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