Marriage and Wedding Activities that Oppose the Qur’an and Sunnah

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In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Bestower of Mercy.

Marriage and Wedding Activities that Oppose the Qur’an and Sunnah

By Abu Khadeejah Abdul-Wāhid

Men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers are allies and supporters of one another, just as Allāh (the Most High) said:

وَٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥٓ ۚ أُولَـٰٓئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ ٱللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

The believing men and believing women are friends, supporters and allies of one another. They enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, establish prayer, give the zakāh and obey Allāh and His Messenger. They are the ones upon whom Allāh will have mercy. Indeed, Allāh is Exalted in Might and Wise.” (At-Tawbah: 71) And Allah has mentioned that marriage and making a family is from the Sunnah of the Messengers (peace be upon them):

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلًا مِّن قَبْلِكَ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ أَزْوَٰجًا وَذُرِّيَّةً ۚ

And We have already sent messengers before you and assigned to them wives and descendants.” (Raʿad: 38)

Allah the Mighty and Majestic has legislated and encouraged marriage due to what it entails of both religious and worldly benefits. Muslim (no. 1400) reported that ʿUthmān said to ʿAbdullāh Ibn Masʿood (radiyallāhu ʿanhu): Should we not marry you to a young woman who may remind you of some of your times gone by?”

Ibn Masʿood replied: “Yes, if you say so, for I heard Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) say:

يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ

“O young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains eyes from casting evil glances, and preserves one from fornication. But those who cannot should take to fasting for it is a means of controlling the desires.”

Alhamdulillāh, we see in our times young men and women getting married and trying to avoid harām relationships—and in that, there is goodness and benefit. However, those getting married (and their parents) should avoid displeasing Allah and displaying ingratitude towards His bounties and blessings. This is where many of our youth and their parents fall short and become easy-going with sins. So beware, O Sunni/Salafi brothers and sisters of falling into disobedience, sins and opposing the Sunnah in matters such as:

  1. Exaggeration in dowries.

  2. Exchanging of engagement rings, or marriage rings—that is imitation of the unbelievers.

  3. Putting the bride and groom on stage for the guests among the women or even men to see them.

  4. Taking wedding photos and videos.

  5. Inviting singers, nasheed groups along with musical instruments to the wedding—or the playing recorded songs.

  6. Spending excessive wealth on a walīmah that is unaffordable.

  7. The bride and her friends wearing revealing or thin clothes that expose their nakedness or bodies beyond modesty—or the groom and his friends wearing the garments of the unbelievers, which are tight and hang below their ankles along with the hairstyles of the sinners and unbelievers (such as al-qazaʿ hairstyle of the kuffār).

  8. Spending the day and night in celebrations such that they leave off praying, or they delay the prayers.

  9. Spending what they refer to as the ‘honeymoon’ in sinful behaviour and sinful holidays, listening to music, watching movies, and behaving like sinners and unbelievers. Spending time together after marriage is not a problem, but it should not be in sinful environments.

1) As for exaggeration in the dowry such that the man does not have the ability to pay it is in opposition to the Sunnah. Al-Hākim reported in al-Mustadrak (no. 2742) from ʿUqbah Ibn ʿĀmir (radiyallāhu ʿanhu) that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: “The best dowry (ṣadāq) is the one that is easiest.”

Tirmidhi (no. 1114) reported that ʿUmar Ibn al-Khattāb (radiyallāhu ʿanhu) said:

أَلاَ لاَ تُغَالُوا صَدُقَةَ النِّسَاءِ فَإِنَّهَا لَوْ كَانَتْ مَكْرُمَةً فِي الدُّنْيَا أَوْ تَقْوَى عِنْدَ اللَّهِ لَكَانَ أَوْلاَكُمْ بِهَا نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَا عَلِمْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَكَحَ شَيْئًا مِنْ نِسَائِهِ وَلاَ أَنْكَحَ شَيْئًا مِنْ بَنَاتِهِ عَلَى أَكْثَرَ مِنْ ثِنْتَىْ عَشْرَةَ أُوقِيَّةً

“Do not exaggerate in the dowries of women. If doing so was honourable in the world or entailed piety in front of Allah, the Prophet of Allāh would have been the first of you to do it. I do not know of the Messenger of Allah giving any of his wives when marrying them, nor for any of his daughters, more than twelve Ūqiyyah.” Abu Dawood (no. 1628) reported from Hishām that an Ūqiyyah in the Prophet’s time was 40 Dirhams (silver coins).

Abu Dawood (no. 2105) reported that Abu Salamah said:

سَأَلْتُ عَائِشَةَ – رضى الله عنها – عَنْ صَدَاقِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَتْ ثِنْتَا عَشْرَةَ أُوقِيَّةً وَنَشٌّ ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ وَمَا نَشٌّ قَالَتْ نِصْفُ أُوقِيَّةٍ

“I asked ʿĀ’ishah about the amount of dowry given by the Prophet of Allah (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam). She (radiyallāhu ʿanhā) said “It was twelve Ūqiyyahs and a nashshun”. I asked, “What is a nashshun?” She said: “It is half an Ūqiyyah.”

So that is a total of 500 Dirhams, i.e., 500 silver pieces each weighing 3 grams, which comes to 1,500 grams of silver. Shaikh Ṣālih Al-Fawzān (hafidhahullāh) stated that this is the example to be followed—this was the dowry of his wives and his daughters—and when people go beyond that, they tend to exaggerate. So, here we have the best example from the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) with the best women, who are his wives and his daughters.

Being excessive in dowries and bridal gifts leads to harm and corruption—and from the greatest of corruption is that men and women delay in getting married, or they abandon getting married altogether. What is stranger than all of this, even greater in corruption and evil, and a clear imitation of the mushriks such as the Hindus is to demand from the bride’s family that they pay a bridal gift of gold, furniture, cattle, or a car!

2) As for the exchanging of rings upon an engagement of marriage (khitbah)—then that is an imitation of the unbelievers and if it involves the man wearing a gold ring, then that increases the sin. Muslim reported (no. 2090) from Abdullah Ibn ʿAbbas that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) saw a man wearing a gold ring on his finger. He pulled it off his finger and threw it way, saying: “You are taking a live coal from the Hellfire and putting it on your hand.”

Someone said to the man after Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) had left: “Take your gold ring and sell it for benefit.” He replied: “No, by Allah, I shall not take it after Allah’s Messenger has cast it aside.”

Shaikh Al-Albāni (rahimahullāh) said in Ādāb az-Zifāf (pp. 212-213): “The placing of the engagement ring on the finger of the bride-to-be is from the habits of the Christians—and we have been prohibited from imitating them. Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: ‘Whoever resembles a people is from them.’” (Ahmad in al-Musnad, 2/292)

3) As for sitting the bride and groom on an elevated stage so that the guests can watch them, then Shaikh Ibn Bāz (rahimahullāh) stated: “From the terrible sins is the erecting of a stage for the bride and groom to sit on in front of the female guests, so the groom is able to see women that are non-mahram to him and unrelated while they are in their most beautified state (at a wedding!)—and even the groom’s male relatives may enter, as may the bride’s male relatives—the result is freely-mixing and fitnah (corruption).” (See Ibn Bāz’s short treatise entitled Uncovering and its Dangers, ‘At-Tabarruj wa Khaṭruhu’)

Bukhāri (no. 5232) and Muslim (no. 2172) reported from ʿUqbah Ibn ʿĀmir (radiyallāhu ʿanhu) that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said:

إِيَّاكُمْ وَالدُّخُولَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ‏ فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفَرَأَيْتَ الْحَمْوَ‏ قَالَ الْحَمْوُ الْمَوْتُ

“Do not enter the gatherings of women.” So, a man from the Ansār said: “What about the brothers-in-laws of the wife?” He replied: “The male in-laws are [like] death.”

Mixing with in-laws of the opposite sex is not allowed just like mixing with cousins of the opposite sex is not permissible. This, as we have seen in the societies of the unbelievers leads to fitnah, corruption, indecent behaviour, fornication, and the destruction of families—and the same now takes place in some Muslim families, wallāhul-mustaʿān. So, let us close this door from the outset.

4) As for photography and videoing at weddings, then that is among the major sins. Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbal reported in al-Musnad (2/26) that the Messenger said: “The most severely punished of the people on the Day of Resurrection are the image-makers (al-muṣawwiroon)—it will be said to them, ‘Put life into what you have made!’” And, this is even worse when it is images of women, and we consider that these images are for showing off the women in their most beautified forms and spreading them among the people! Is there any husband, father, son, or brother who is happy that these images of their closely related womenfolk are circulated among the people?!

5) As for the presence of hired singers who sing and play musical instruments at weddings, then this too is a great sin and act of disobedience in front of Allah. Bukhāri (no. 5590) and Muslim (no. 2128) reported from Abu Mālik al-Ashʿari (radiyallāhu ʿanhu) that Allāh’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: “There will be a people at the end of time who will make permissible fornication, silk (for men), wine and musical instruments ―Allah will cause the earth to swallow them up.” Ibn Bāz explained that the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) put musical instruments alongside fornication, wearing of silk for men and the drinking of wine (alcohol)―and all these things are harām. So, this proves that music is harām also―including musical instruments and singing along with them. Imām Al-Awzāʿī (d. 157 H, rahimahullāh) stated: “Do not enter a walīmah (wedding) where there is singing and music.”

However, Allah and His Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) permitted the women to sing and strike a simple drum (duff) at this time of enjoyment and pleasure in their own separate gathering.

6) As for spending excessively on weddings and feasts, then that is not from the Sunnah. You see people who are not wealthy hiring large hotels and banqueting halls that they cannot afford—and having to borrow money which they find hard to pay back. It is a must that we are moderate and not excessive. Allah the Most High said:

وَكُلُوا وَٱشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوٓا ۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُسْرِفِينَ

“And eat and drink but be not excessive in extravagance. Indeed, Allah likes not those who commit excess.” (Al-Aʿrāf: 31)

7) Women should be careful how they dress at weddings—they should not wear clothing that is immodest that may reveal some of their nakedness, even if it is among women. The Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) informed of a time when there will be “women who will be dressed but appear to be naked” (Muslim no. 2128)— this means that she will be partially covered and parts of her limbs will be uncovered seeking to show off her beauty and beautifications. It also refers to women who wear thin clothes, so the skin underneath is visible. These are garments of immodesty that do not serve to conceal her but instead expose her. And he (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said, “They will incline to evil and make others incline to it,”— this means she has inclined away from decency and virtue towards disobedience, and evil―she has lost her morals, and perhaps stops praying and worshipping Allah―and falls into immorality and fornication. Furthermore, she invites other women to sin and corruption—and those women who are weak in imān end up following her.

Shaikh Ibn ʿUthaimeen (rahimahullāh) was asked about attending a gathering such as a walīmah where various sins and acts of disobedience are taking place, so he answered: “Attending would be obligatory only if the person can change the evil by his presence. However, if he is not able to change the evil, then his attendance is evil and harām upon him. It is not allowed for him to obey his parents in this matter, and it is not allowed for a woman to obey her husband—and that is even if the father and mother get angry and upset if their son or daughter do not attend these celebrations. And this is not considered as ill-treatment of the parents because this refusal is in obedience to Allah. It is established from the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) that he said:

لاَ طَاعَةَ فِي مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّمَا الطَّاعَةُ فِي الْمَعْرُوفِ

“There is no obedience [to anyone] in disobedience to Allah. Indeed, obedience is only in that with is good.” (Muslim no. 1840, Bukhāri no. 4340)

Evil is sin is never to be obeyed—and there is no obedience to the creation in disobedience to the Creator, al-Khāliq.” (Fatwā dated, 16/09/1409 AH)

The same can be said about the groom and bride who demand from their parents that they aid them in evil and sin—the parents should put their foot down, not support their children, nor fund them or agree to the wedding until they remove sins and disobedience to Allah from their wedding plans!

In finishing, we say: All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and may Allah extoll the mention of His Messenger Muhammad in the highest company of angels, may the peace and blessings of our Lord be upon him, his family, his Companions and all who truly follow him until the Day of Resurrection.

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    • As-salāmu-alaikum-wa-rahmatullāh

      This should generally be avoided. The masjid should not become a place for these marriage events.

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