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Waleemah (Wedding Feast)

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:bismillah:

 

What is a Waleemah?

 

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)

 

It is an outward expression of gratitude and pleasure and a great means of publicising the marriage, which has been greatly encouraged.

 

Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam

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It is a Sunnah

 

The marriage feast (walima) is a Sunnah of our beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace).

 

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]

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Food for the Waleemah

 

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. [sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim]

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Simplicity in a Waleemah

 

Anas Radhiyallahu Anhu states,

 

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam camped at a place between Khaybar and Madinah for three days. It was here that he consummated his marriage to Safiyyah Radhiyallahu Anha, after which I invited the Muslims present to a Walimah meal that featured neither bread nor meat. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam instructed for a leather tablecloth to be layed. He then spread dates, cheese and butter unto it. This was the Walimah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam.” [bukhari]

 

 

Question: There is a couple that are planning to make Nikah (get married) next month, but do not wish to have a Walimah as the boy has just converted to Islam and has no Muslim family to help with the Walimah. What advice could be given to the couple regarding the Walimah?

Answer:
The Waleemah feast is Sunnah and not a compulsory act. If it is left out, no sin will be incurred. It is a misconception to think that a Waleemah has to be a lavish feast, with many people invited. The alternative is that two or three people are invited with the intention of Waleemah and something simple is served, e.g. a few glasses of milk, or tea and biscuits, etc. Issues such as venue, amount or types of food are immaterial. We advise the boy gives a simple Waleemah by inviting a few Muslim friends and a few members of the girls family. The latter may assist in preparations etc.

Prepared by: Moulana Yusuf Laher

Checked and approved by: Mufti Siraj Desai

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Who to Invite

 

Walima is a feast that is presented to relatives, the poor and needy people as a token of thanks after nikah and meeting of the bride and groom.

Source

 

 

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

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Haraam Activities in a Waleemah

 

There is no harm in inviting a large number of people for a Walimah if one can afford to do so. But, the wedding functions held today are not the Sunnat Walimah feasts. The Shariah does not prohibit a large number of persons participating in a Walimah. The Shariah’s condemnation is directed to the un-islamic features and haraam acts which take place at wedding functions and for which the motive is nothing but pride and show.

Source

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Accepting the Invitation

 

Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said,

 

“The worst food is the food of the marriage banquet from which those are left out who would like to come; and to which those are invited who refuse to come. He who rejects an invitation disobeys Allah and His Messenger.” [sahih Muslim]

 

In another narration of Sahih Muslim the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The worst food is the food of the marriage banquet to which the rich are invited and from which the poor are left out.”

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Time of the Waleemah

 

There are various views among the scholars regarding the time of walimah:

 

  • at the time of nikah
  • after the nikah
  • when the bride and bridegroom meet in privacy
  • after the couple have met in privacy
  • from the time of nikah till after the couple have met in privacy

 

The preferred view is that the walimah should take place after the bride and bridegroom have met in privacy (i.e. up to two days after the couple have met in privacy. After that, it will be an ordinary feast, not walimah).

 

Hence, if there is a feast at the time of nikah, it will be regarded as walimah according to the view of some scholars, although according to the preferred view, it will not be regarded as walimah (instead it will be regarded as an ordinary feast). In any case, a feast at the time of nikah will be permissible, provided that the gathering is free from haram and sinful elements. [1] 

 

   And Allah knows best.

   Source

 

Ideal time for a Walimah

Question

Assalamu alaykum,

When is the ideal time to have a Walimah?

 

Answer

Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

 

The Walima should be held within the first three days and not prolonged to beyond that. [Fataawa Mahmudiyya, Vol. 13, Pg. 206].

 

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Wassalaam,
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)

Iftaa Department,

Euro-Sunni & Islamic Research and Welfare Academy
 

 

Q: Can one have the walimah the same day of the nikah (marriage)?

A. Waleemah may be held the same day as the Nikah, but after it, not before. And to comply with the Sunnah, the boy and girl should spend a few moments in seclusion after marrying and before the Waleemah. It is not necessary for them to engage in sexual relations in those few moments.

Moulana Yusuf Laher

Checked and approved by: Mufti Siraj Desai

 

 

Q. When should one have a Walimah? Before the consummation or after the consummation of the marriage? Also, how does one consummate a marriage?

 
(Question published as received)
 
A. The Walimahs of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasilla were immediately after the consummation of marriage. Hence the Sunnah method of Walimah is after the consummation of marriage.
 
A Walima after the Nikah and before the consummation will also be valid. (Kifaayatul Mufti)
The consummation of a marriage refers to a time of privacy between the husband and wife where they are able to have conjugal relations, irrespective of whether they have conjugal relations at that time or not. Thus if this moment of privacy is attained, the marriage is considered to be consummated.
 
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
Confirmation:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
 
Fatwa Department

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

Council of Muslim Theologians

 

 

 

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Bride's father contributing towards a Waleemah
 

Question

1. In a Walimah, will it be permissible and within sunnah if the brides father contributes some money and physically assist in the Waleemah preparation?

 

2. Is it permissible to delay the Walimah after the expiry of three days? 

 

 

Answer

1. The Walimah meal is essentially an invitation from the groom. If the bride's father, of his own will, wishes to contribute monetarily or physically it is permissible and there is no bar from doing so.

 

2. This is permissible, though it is best to have the Walimah soon after consummation of the Nikah.

 

 
Mufti Shafiq Jakhura
Iftaa Department, Darul Ihsan Islamic Services Centre
 
I concur with the answer:
Mufti Zubair Bayat

Ameer, Darul Ihsan Islamic Services Centre

Source

 

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The Fiqh of the Wedding Feast (Walima)

 

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

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa

Leicester , UK

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Is a bring and share Walima permissible?
 
Q. Is a bring and share Walima permissible where every person brings food to share at a Walima?
 
(Question published as received)
 
A. There is no prohibition in bringing and sharing food at a Walima to assist the groom or his family in hosting a Walima. This following is part of a Hadith relating to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam's marriage to Sayyidatuna Safiyya Radhiyallahu Anha as recorded in Sahih Bukhari:
 
Sayyiduna Abdul Azzi Bin Suhaib Radhiyallahu Anhu reports from Sayyiduna Anas Radhiyallahu Anhu, “…, whilst on the way, Umm Sulaim Radhiyallahu Anha dressed her (Sayyidatuna Safiyya Radhiyallahu Anha) for the marriage (ceremony) and at night sent her as a bride to Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, 'Whoever has anything (food) should bring it.' He spread out a leather sheet (for the food) and some brought dates and others brought butter. So they prepared a dish of Hais (a kind of meal) and that was the Walima (the marriage banquet) of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam!
 
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
 
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
 
Confirmation:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
 
Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

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