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Combined Wedding Feasts

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked if it is permissible to hold two wedding feasts on the same day.

May I get the details on whether there is anything such as combined wedding feasts in Islam? Is it recommended?

For example, the elder brother and younger brother will get married in the same year but on a different month. They plan to combine their wedding feast on a single day. The reason being to save cost and energy of their family.

Thank you for answering.

It is perfectly fine because from a technical point of view. As long as both grooms are inviting people and both are providing food, then, there are technically two wedding feasts (walimas). 

It also fulfills one side of the Sunna and that is the sunna of simplicity.

Is it specifically recommended to have two separate places so that people remember very clearly that two couples got married? I don’t know. 

Please see The Fiqh of the Marriage Feast (Walima).

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Traveling without a Mahram

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about a mother traveling to a wedding without a mahram and attending a walima that involves music, dancing, and mixing.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

My mother is going to travel to turkey for a wedding next week without a male mahram accompanying her. My father let’s her go. In those weddings there is music, dancing, and mixing between men and women.

Should I go with my mother so she doesn’t travel without a male mahram? Or should I stay here and not go to this wedding.

You should know that talking with my parents about this most likely isn’t going to help because they aren’t really religious.

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Generally, the schools of law are quite restrictive with respect to ladies travelling without an accompanying unmarriageable kin (mahram) or husband. But there is a position in the Maliki school which allows safe, public and dignified travel for women. Contemporary jurists clarify that this is an acceptable dispensation to follow whenever there is a clear need or benefit in doing so.

Accordingly, you don’t need to accompany your mother on her journey, particularly if you may be pulled into compromising situations which you’d rather avoid. However, consider giving your mother some sincere counsel (nasiha) regarding avoiding any potential, un-islamic elements at the event. If she isn’t religious, don’t lecture her, as she’ll just ignore it, but say something sensible and straightforward that she is likely to accept.

Sometimes you need to give people the benefit of the doubt, and also weigh potential benefits and harms before deciding whether to attend such events. Family marriages are often sensitive occasions. Hence, it can be good to make an early appearance, bring a gift, congratulate the family and then make a discreet exit before things take a turn for the worst. Please note that this is general advice, so it may not be applicable in every single scenario.

(Baji, al-Muntaqa; Hattab, Mawahib al-Jalil; Zannati, Sharh al-Risala)

Please also see The Fiqh of the Marriage Feast (Walima) and Can I Travel by Plane Without a Mahram?

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


When Should a Walima Should Take Place?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

When should a walima should take place?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Scholars have mentioned different opinions on when a walima should take place. Some stated it should be held at the time of the marriage contract. Others stated that it should be held after the marriage contract but before consummation, or after consummation, or when the wife moves into her husbands home. [Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari]

In light of this, there is plenty of leeway regarding when you decide to host a walima ceremony in consideration to your individual circumstances. For more, please see:

The Fiqh of the Marriage Feast (Walima)

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Can You Separate the Nikah and Walima? [Video]

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Can you separate the nikah and walima?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

Photo: Unai Guerra

Are In-Laws Allowed to Interfere in Intimate Matters and Rule the Life of a Couple ?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

Does a cancelation of a religious marriage exist ?

Is it Islamic to force the bride to consume the marriage and disclose the matter to his family?

Are muslims allowed to interfere in intimate matters and rule the life of the couple ?

Are in-laws and the husband allowed to threathen the wife to divorce her if the mariage is not consumed rapidly?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

The matters you mention are not “Islamic.” Details of your private life should remain private. The new couple need to be sensitive of each other’s emotions and act in a way that will encourage the formation of a strong relationship. I’d suggest contacting a local reliable scholar to assist in the specifics of your situation.

Pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah), and ask Allah Most High to grant you facilitation and a way out. [see: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?]

This book may be a useful read: Six in the Bed, by Nancy Wasserman.

Please also see: In-Laws Leaving Me No Privacy: What is the Proper Response? and: A Wife’s Right to Housing Seperate From Her In-Laws

And consider taking the following free class: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life

And Allah knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

When Should the Wedding Feast (Walima) Be Done?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Salam,

What is the ruling on the time to wait between the marriage and the Walimah?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

In general, it would be from the sunna to consummate the marriage before the wedding feast (walima).

However, there are differing positions regarding the time of the walima, and hence there is some leeway in the matter. For instance, some scholars held that the walima should take place after contracting the marriage, and others, that it should be held after both the contract and consummation. [Khadimi, al-Bariqa; Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Durr]

The jurists tend to limit the time period of the sunna walima to three days. Thereafter, feeding people would be permitted, and rewarding with a righteous intention, yet not a fulfilment of the specific post-wedding sunna meal.

See also: The Fiqh of the Marriage Feast (Walima) and: Questions Related to Having the Walima After Consumating Marriage

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Fiqh of the Marriage Feast (Walima)

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question: Can you please explain the various aspects related to Walima (marriage feast) in detail?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The Arabic word Walima (marriage banquet) is derived from the root word Walam, which literally means to gather and assemble. The Arabs used it for a meal or feast where people were invited and gathered. Later, the term became exclusive for the wedding banquet.

The Arabs used different terms for the various feasts they enjoyed. For example: al-I’zar on the occasion of a child’s circumcision, al-Khurs for a marriage not ending in divorce, al-Wakira on building a new home, al-Naqi’ah when a traveller returns home, al-Aqiqah on the seventh day after childbirth, al-Ma’duba for a general meal without any specific reason, etc. (See: Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, 9/300 & Ibn Qudamah, al-Mugni, 7/1)

The marriage feast (walima) is a Sunnah of our beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). It is an outward expression of gratitude and pleasure and a great means of publicising the marriage, which has been greatly encouraged.

Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) saw a yellow mark on Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (Allah be pleased with) and said: “What’s this?” He replied: “I have married a woman with the dowry being gold to the weight of a date-stone.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “May Allah bless you (in your marriage), perform a Walima, even if it is only with a goat.” (Sahih al-Bukhari,no. 4872)

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) himself provided a Walima after many of his marriages. He provided meat and bread on the occasion of his marriage with Zaynab bint Jahsh (Allah be pleased with her), Hays (a type of sweat-dish cooked with dates, cheese & butter) on the occasion of his marriage with Safiyya (Allah be pleased with her) and barley on another occasion. (See: Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)

Thus, it is a Sunnah and strongly recommended to have a Walima. Ibn Qudamah, the great Hanbali Imam, states in his renowned al-Mugni:

“There is no difference of opinion between the scholars, in that Walima is a prescribed Sunnah at the time of marriage, for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) ordered it and himself practiced it…..It is not necessary (wajib) in the opinion of most of the scholars.” (al-Mugni, 7/1-2)

The time of Walima

The scholars have disagreed as to the correct time of this Walima. There are many opinions. For example:

1) At the time of the marriage contract,

2) After the marriage contract and before consummation of marriage,

3) At the time of the wedding procession (bride leaving for her husband’s house). (Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, 9/287)

However, the majority of the scholars (jumhur) are of the opinion that Walima is a meal that is prepared after the marriage has been consummated. This was the practice of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), as explicitly mentioned in one narration.

Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that he was a boy of ten when the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) migrated to Madina. (He added): “My mother and aunts used to urge me to serve the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) regularly, thus I served him for ten years. When the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) passed away, I was twenty years old, and I knew about the order of Hijab more than anyone else, when it was revealed. It was revealed for the first time when the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) had consummated his marriage with Zainab bint Jahsh (Allah be pleased with her). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) in the morning was a bridegroom, and he invited the people to a banquet. So they came, ate, and then all left except a few who remained with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) for a long time….. (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4871)

Sayyiduna Anas (Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) consummated his marriage with a woman (Zainab), so he sent me to invite people for a meal.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4875)

The great Hadith master (hafidh), Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“The Hadith of Anas (quoted above) is clear in determining that Walima is considered to be after the consummation of marriage.” (Fath al-Bari, 9/199. Also see: I’la al-Sunan, vol. 10, p. 11)

It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“The marriage banquet (walima) is a Sunna and there is great reward in it. And it is carried out when the marriage is consummated.” (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 5/343)

Having said this, scholars mention that there is also scope in following the other opinions, thus if one had a Walima before consummation, it is hoped that one will gain the reward of Sunnah, Insha Allah.

How many days?

The Hanafi jurists (fuqaha) are of the opinion that, a banquet up to two days will be considered to be a Walima, after which it will no longer be considered a Walima.

It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“There is nothing wrong in inviting people the next day after consummation or the day after. After that, marriage and Walima celebrations will come to an end.” (5/343)

It has also been reported from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) that he stated: “Walima on the first day is confirmed (haq), and on the second day, it is good (ma’ruf), and on the third day, it is showing off.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 3738)

Although scholars mention that if there is a need, such as not being able to invite everybody on one day, then it will not be wrong to invite them on separate days.

Who should be invited?

Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) states: “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).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4882)

It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“It is recommended to invite neighbours, relatives and friends.” (5/343)

Thus, one should invite family-members, relatives, friends, associates, scholars and pious people and others. It is wrong to invite only rich people or those who are regarded to be from the upper-class.

Accepting a Walima invitation

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “If one of you is invited to a wedding banquet (walima), then he must accept the invitation.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4878)

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Accept this (marriage) invitation if you are invited to it.” And Abd Allah ibn Umar used to accept the invitation whether to a wedding banquet or to any other feast, even when he was fasting. (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4884)

Due to the above and other narrations, many scholars regard the acceptance of a Walima invitation to be binding, and one will be sinful for refusing it.

The great Hadith and Sahfi’i scholar, Imam al-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) has mentioned various opinions of the scholars in this regard:

1) It is personally obligatory (fard ayn), except if there is an excuse,

2) It is a general obligation (fard kifaya)

3) It is recommended (mandub) (See: Nawawi, al-Minhaj, Sharh Sahih Muslim, 1080)

In the Hanafi Madhhab, the preferred opinion is that, accepting a Walima invitation is an emphatic Sunnah (sunnah al-Mu’akkada), and accepting other invitations is recommended (mandub). This is in normal cases, for if there is a valid reason, one will be excused from not attending.

Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“The (hanafi) scholars have differed as to the ruling of accepting a Walima invitation. Some have stated that it is necessary (wajib), in that it is impermissible to refuse. However the majority of the scholars mention that it is a Sunnah. It is better to accept it if it is a Walima invitation, otherwise (on other occasions) one has a choice to accept it, and to accept it would be better, because it creates joy and happiness in the heart of a Muslim.

When one accepts the invitation and attends the party, one has fulfilled the responsibility, regardless of whether one ate or otherwise, although it is better to eat if one is not fasting……It is stated in al-Ikhtiyar: “A Walima is an established Sunna. The one who does not accept it would be sinful, for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him& give him peace) said: “He who refuses an invitation (to a banquet) disobeys Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him & give him peace).” If one is fasting, then one should attend and make Dua, and if not, then one should eat and make Dua. However, if one neither eats nor attends, then one will be sinful….

This indicates that accepting a Walima invitation is Sunnah al-Mu’akkada, contrary to meals and invitations on other occasions. Some commentators of al-Hidaya have declared that it is close to being a Wajib.” (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr, 6/349)

In light of Ibn Abidin’s explanation, it becomes clear that accepting a Walima invitation is Sunnah al-Mu’akkada, and one must accept it. Refusing to attend will be offensive if not sinful, provided one does not have an excuse, and also that one was specifically invited to the Walima.

Simplicity

Finally, it should be remembered that, the simpler the Walima (and the marriage ceremony as a whole) is kept, the better it will be. At times, people spend thousands upon thousands in feeding people, a sum which can be used for other indispensable needs of the Muslims. And if the intention behind spending such an amount is to show-off, then this will be regarded a grave sin.

The idea here is to feed people with sincerity and simplicity. If one feeds people with the simplest of meals but it is from the heart, that is far better (and the food is also more enjoyable) than feeding them quality food, where the intention is not so sincere.

Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “The most blessed marriage (nikah) is the one with the least expenses.” (al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman & Mishkat al-Masabih).

And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Questions Related to Having the Walima After Consumating Marriage

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