Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: It is said that it is a “recommended sunnah” to consumate the marriage before walima. Please help me to understand that if it was a recommended sunnah surely the Prophet would have asked Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Auf if he had consumated the marriage before telling him to hold a walima when he came to learn he had wed. Rather, all the Prophet needed to know to advise him to hold a walima was knowledge that he had wed. Further, focusing on consumation takes celebration away from its real purpose, which is to publicise the marriage. Also, when was the waleema for his marriage to Aa’ishah held?

Answer: Walaikum Salam Warahmatullah,

1. The case in question is:

The Prohet saw Abdur-Rahman with yellowish perfume on, so The Prophet said: “What is this?” He replied, “I got married to an Ansari woman.” The Prophet asked, “What did you give in mahr?” He replied, “A gold stone or gold equal to the weight of a date stone.” The Prophet said (to him), “Make a walima even if with one sheep.” [Bukhari 2049, Muslim 1327]

There are many reasons why The Prophet (May Allahs peace and blessings be upon Him)  asked to make walima but did not ask about the consumation, like:

  • The Prophet (May Allahs peace and blessings be upon Him) at this particular occasion outlined the ruling related to the walima, and nothing else.
  • It could be that the custom back then was that the marriage is consumated instantly. Hence, there would not be any need to ask.
  • Proper manners entail, that it is something that is not asked about

Therefore, there is no reason to think consumation had not taken place just because The Prophet (May Allahs peace and blessings be upon Him) did not ask about it.

Also, the hadith mentions that Abdurrahman bin Awf is told to make a walima, but is he told to make it instantly? So even if he had not consumated the marriage, then he could have understood the words of The Prophet (May Allahs peace and blessings be upon Him) “make a walima” to mean “make a walima after the consumation”.

2. There is no particular need to have focus on consumation before the walima.

Consumating or not consumating the marriage is something that is left for the individual couple. Yes, it is recommended to consumate the marriage before the walima, but there can be many valid reasons why they may not consumate the marriage before the walima, and if that would be the case then there is no harm in holding the walima before consumation.

3. I don’t know when the walima to the marriage with Aisha was held. But there are narrations, that establish that The Prophet (May Allahs peace and blessings be upon Him) held walimas for his marriages, for instance:

“The Prophet did not give a better walima on the occasion of marrying any of his wives than the one he gave on marrying Zainab” [Bukhari 5167]

Since this is established from The Prophet (May Allahs peace and blessings be upon Him) and he taught the Sahaba to hold a walima, then he would probably also have held a walima after the marriage with Aisha, but we may just be unaware of when.

[Ayni, Umdatu al-Qari; ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari; Nawawi, Sharh al-Muslim]

And Allah knows best,
Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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