Can the Walima Be Limited to Close Family Members and before the Marriage Is Consummated?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


I read the walima article on this website. After reading, I had a few questions. I only want to do the walima (no other celebrations), and I’d like to receive as much baraka as possible, Insha’Allah.

Is it acceptable if the walima is simply a small dinner for the two immediate families?

According to what I’ve read (please correct me if I’m wrong), the best order is to perform the nikah first, then consummate the marriage, and finally, the walima. However, at least in our culture, people generally consider marriage consummation to be something that occurs after the celebration (walima or wedding if they are doing that). Is it still permissible under the sunna to consummate the marriage after the walima for this reason?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

It is permissible to have a small gathering for the walima and to limit it to just the spouses’ families; however, extending the invitation to other relatives, neighbors, and friends is recommended.

Excluding People

One should not exclude people based on their socio-economic status or any other non-religious reason.

Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) is narrated as saying: “The worst food is that of a wedding banquet (walima) to which only the rich are invited whilst the poor are not invited. And he who refuses an invitation (to a banquet) disobeys Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him & give him peace).” [Bukhari]

Timing of the Walima

Out of the various scholarly opinions, the Hanafi school has taken the opinion that the best time for the Walima is after consummating the marriage.

However, other valid scholarly opinions permit it to perform the walima before consummating the marriage, especially if one’s culture aligns with that.

The reason for this is that there are valid opinions from scholars that the best time for the walima is at the time of the marriage contract or when the wife is taken to the marital home.

Both opinions would necessitate that the walima is done before consummation.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.