Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I am currently planning a wedding. We both would like a simple wedding with immediate family at the masjid, small and inexpensive. But he is under the impression that we will just go to the masjid at random and do a nikah. Whenever I bring up a wedding date, or what dress I would wear, he seems to be taken off guard.
I am not sure if he thought that we would just go to the masjid in jeans and do a nikah. I said I would like to bake a cake for our wedding, and he said that these are Western wedding traditions. Am I being unreasonable for wanting to look my best and wanting to bake a cake? Can you advise what the sunnah of wedding celebrations are?
It is completely proper and appropriate to want to look your best for your wedding. Most girls dream of this moment, and when it is done Islamically, it should be treated as a once-in-a-lifetime special time of completing half of your religion.
Permissibility of Anything Modest
Baking a cake is also commonly done among Muslims, and the simplicity of baking it yourself attests to your modesty, asceticism, and not imitating non-Muslims. Setting a wedding date is obvious. If he doesn’t understand that there must be a date to have the wedding, then just tell him that the imam requires a set date in order to be made available.
Don’t be upset with your fiance’s reactions, men generally are clueless when it comes to wedding celebrations. I guarantee you that when he sees you in your dress and gets a slice of the cake, he will be very happy that you planned it all and realize the magnitude of a nikah.
I recommend that you don’t discuss all the details with him but that you go ahead and do what is important to you. Get your flowers, for your hair or otherwise, get your jewelry, get your dress, get a proper outer garment for the mosque, bake your cake, invite your family perhaps with e-vites, and take care of any details that you might want. Also, consider getting him a small wedding gift.
Marriage of Zainab
Consider this hadith of the Prophet and his marriage to Zaynab bint Jahsh: Thabit said, “The marriage of Zainab daughter of Jahsh was mentioned before Anas b. Malik. He said I did not see that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, held such a wedding feast for any of his wives as he did for her. He held a wedding feast with a sheep.“ [Abu Dawud]
May Allah bless your union and give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadh] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.