1) What is the Islamic Ruling on the Mendhi Ceremony?..2) Is it permissable to exchange gifts before the nikkah? (Eg. Boy’s family giving of presents to the bride to be)..3) After nikkah & walimah, does the groom take his bride to his parent’s house and bid farewell from there? (If they will be living on their own)

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I need advise on the following concerning nikkah.

1) What is the Islamic Ruling on the Mendhi Ceremony?
2) Is it permissable to exchange gifts before the nikkah? (Eg. Boy’s family giving of presents to the bride to be)
3) After nikkah & walimah, does the groom take his bride to his parent’s house and bid farewell from there? (If they will be living on their own)



In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh


Crisis in Marriage

Do I want to get there?


Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The Nikah with the most amount of barakah is the one with the least expenses”.

Unfortunately, today many marriages are void of barakah, and there is so much turbulence and grief in marriages. One of the major contributing factors to that is extravagance in our marriages. Travelling to Dubai just so that the colour of the toothpick matches the tablecloth, wedding cards, mehendi ceremonies, visiting beauty parlours, decorating the hall, photography, etc. are some of the many unislamic practices that have crept in our marriages. Mufti Jawed from Sri Lanka is a second year Ifta student. He is from the memon community. He has outlined the different unislamic practices in Muslim marriages and substantiated them from the relevant sources in response to the above query. This detailed fatwa is worth reading in full and should be passed over to as many people as possible. May Allah Ta’ala accept the efforts of Mufti Jawed Sallamahu and grant him barakat in his ‘Uloom. Ameen! 

Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Damat Barkatuh)
Darul Ifta – Camperdown


We acknowledge your zeal and enthusiasm for enquiring about the Shari’ah ruling in such aspects of life, and we encourage you to keep up with your efforts. Hence, we wish to explain briefly a few facts related to Nikah (marriage) before we proceed with answering the questions posed in the query.  


Unlike majority of the other religions and sects, Islam does not confine its teachings to the worshiping of the Divine Lord, but its teachings encompass all aspects of life, whether it is acts of ‘ibadah (virtuous deeds) like prayer, fasting, zakat and hajj or other aspects of life like business, politics, marriage, interpersonal relationships, cleanliness, etc. Consider the following Hadith of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam):

بنى الإسلام على خمس شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله ، وإقام الصلاة ، وإيتاء الزكاة ، والحج ، وصوم رمضان. (رواه البخاري)

The foundation of Islam consists of five things. To witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammed (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is the Messenger of Allah; and to be steadfast in prayers; and to give out charity; and Hajj; and to fast in the month of Ramadhan.

(Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.1 Pg.9/10 – Dar al-Fikr)

In the abovementioned Hadith, Islam is compared to a building. Basic beliefs and ‘ibadah are considered the foundation of the building whilst the other aspects of life form the actual building of Islam. Hence, as much as we exert our efforts to make the foundation strong, we should also portray the teachings of Islam in our weddings, businesses, interpersonal relationships, etc. for us to be called Muslims in the real sense. It was this Islam that had attracted the non-Muslims of the time of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) and virtually compelled them to accept Islam. It is very sad that the Muslims of today have confined Islam to the basic beliefs and ‘ibadah alone, and adopted the ways of the west in the rest of their affairs. It is important for us to learn the teachings of Islam in all these affairs and conduct ourselves according to these teachings.


A few broad rules of Shari’ah

Before we point out the unislamic practices taking place in Muslim marriages, we wish to elaborate a few teachings of Islam in order to understand the severity of those practices.

Extravagance: Islam does not prohibit us from spending and consuming, but Islam forbids us from being extravagant. Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Holy Quran:


… وكلوا واشربوا ولا تسرفوا إنه لا يحب المسرفين

… Eat and drink and do not be extravagant. Surely, He does not like the extravagant.

(Verse: 7:31)

Under the commentary of the abovementioned Verse, Mufti Shafi Saheb (Rahimahullah) explains that eating more than what is needed to remove hunger is not permissible. Similarly, eating so less that one is unable to fulfil his obligations, despite having the means, will also fall under the prohibition of israf (extravagance) mentioned in the Verse.

Hence, one should adopt moderation in his eating and drinking.

The implementation of moderation and abstinence from extravagance has also been emphasised in other Verses of the Holy quran.


إن المبذرين كانوا إخوان الشياطين وكان الشيطان لربه كفورا

Surely, squanderers (the extravagant) are brothers of satans, and the Satan is very ungrateful to his Lord.

(Verse: 17:27)

والذين إذا أنفقوا لم يسرفوا ولم يقتروا وكان بين ذلك قواما

(The true servants of Allah are) those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor miserly, and it (i.e. their spending) is moderate in between (the two extremes).

(Verse: 25:67)

Mufti Saheb (Rahimahullah) further explains that this ruling of moderation is not restricted only to eating and drinking, but will apply in clothing, living standards and every other aspect of life.

(Ma’arif al-Quran (English Translation) Vol.3 Pg.569/570 – Maktabah Darul Uloom Karachi)

Therefore, all unnecessary expences in a marriage will be regarded as extravagance and will fall under the prohibition mentioned above.

Imitating the disbelievers and transgressors: Islam prohibits us from following the ways and conducts of other religions and sects. Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Holy Quran:

ولا تركنوا إلى الذين ظلموا فتمسكم النار وما لكم من دون الله من أولياء ثم لا تنصرون

And do not incline towards the wrongdoers, lest the Fire should catch you, and you have no supporters other than Allah, then you should not be helped.

(Verse: 11:13)

It has been mentioned by reliable commentators of the Holy Quran that those who follow and imitate the nonbelievers and transgressors in personal looks, fashion and ways of living will fall within the ambit of the warnings mentioned in the abovementioned Verse.

(Ma’arif al-Quran (English Translation) Vol.4 Pg.678 – Maktabah Darul Uloom Karachi)

Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has prohibited us from following and imitating the ways of nonbelievers and transgressors:

عن ابن عمر قال قال رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم)، “من تشبه بقوم فهو منهم”. (رواه أبو داؤد)

It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Whosoever imitates or follows a nation, will be regarded from amongst them”.

Under the explanation of the abovementioned Hadith, it has been mentioned that whosoever imitates or replicates the clothing, etc. of the non-Mulims, or those Muslims who transgress the rules of Shari’ah, will also have a share in their sins. Similarly, whosoever imitates the pious from amongst the believers, will have a share in the rewards of those pious people.

(Bazhl al-Majhood fi hal Sunan Abi Dawud Vol.12 Pg.59 – Dar al-Bashair al-Islamiyah)

Moreover, the Jurists have explained that adopting practices that symbolise other religions and hold religious values could take one out of the fold of Islam. For example, wearing a Jewish hat, fastening a string around the body in pursuing the ways of Hindu priests, applying sindhoor upon the forehead, etc. are not permissible and could take one out of the fold of Islam.

يكفر بوضع قلنسوة المجوس على رأسه على الصحيح … وبشد الزنار في وسطه … وبخروجه إلى نيروز المجوس لموافقته معهم فيما يفعلون في ذلك اليوم

(Fatawa al-Hindiyyah Vol.2 Pg.276 – Maktabah Rasheediyah)

(Fatawa Mahmoodiyah Vol.19 Pg.550 – Jami’ah Farooqiyah)

Compulsion of what is not obligatory: The obligation of what is merely a preferable act is forbidden in Shari’ah. For example, it is preferable to read Quran and send the reward to the deceased, but people started gathering on stipulated dates (like the 3rd day after demise, 40th day, Thursdays, etc.) and regarded them obligatory; thus, Shari’ah prohibited such gatherings in spite of the gathering being for a virtuous act. If such is the ruling for virtuous acts, then the prohibition of the obligation of something that is not virtuous, and is merely a custom, will be more severe.

أن الإصرار على المندوب يبلغه إلى حد الكراهة فكيف إصرار البدعة التي لا أصل لها في الشرع.

(Al Si’ayah fi Kashf ma fi Sharh Wiqayah Vol.2 Pg.265 – Suhail Acedemy)

Hence, all practices in marriages that people regard as compulsory or give it the importance of a compulsory act of Shari’ah, will be considered impermissible in Shari’ah.

Innovation in Deen: If a person carries out an action thinking that it is part of deen, whilst it is not part of deen, he will be sinful for his actions, as he has included in Islam what is not part of it.

عن عائشة قالت: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ” من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس فيه فهو رد “. (رواه البخاري)

It has been narrated on the authority of ‘Aishah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Whosoever innovates in Islam that which is not part of it, such an action is rejected and futile”.

(Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.3 Pg.222 – Dar al-Fikr)

Actions done to show and please others: The ultimate objective of our lives in this world is to please Allah Ta’ala; hence, any action done to solely please the creation of Allah Ta’ala is disliked in Shari’ah. Consider the following:

وعن عبد الله بن عمرو أنه سمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: ” من سمع الناس بعمله سمع الله به أسامع خلقه وحقره وصغره “. (رواه البيهقي في ” شعب الإيمان “)

Mulla ‘Ali Qari (Rahimahullah) explains the meaning of the abovementioned Hadith that if a person does actions to show and please other people, Allah Ta’ala will make his bad habits known to everyone, and will ridicule him in this world.

(Mirqat al-Mafateeh Vol.10 Pg.64/65 – Maktabah Imdadiyah)

Moreover, Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) resembles such actions to ascribing partners to Allah Ta’ala and regards them as Shirk Kahfi (a lower form of ascribing partners to Allah Ta’ala).

وعن شداد بن أوس أنه بكى فقيل له : ما يبكيك ؟ قال : شيء سمعت من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول فذكرته فأبكاني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : ” أتخوف على أمتي الشرك والشهوة الخفية ” قال : قلت يا رسول الله أتشرك أمتك من بعدك ؟ قال : ” نعم أما إنهم لا يعبدون شمسا ولا قمرا ولا حجرا ولا وثنا ولكن يراؤون بأعمالهم . والشهوة الخفية أن يصبح أحدهم صائما فتعرض له شهوة من شهواته فيترك صومه ” . (رواه البيهقي في ” شعب الإيمان” )

It has been narrated on the authority of Shaddad bin Aus (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that he was weeping one day. Thus, someone asked him as to why he was weeping. Upon this, he remarked that it is something I heard Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying; the memory of which makes me weep. He mentions that he heard Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying, “I fear upon my ummah the lighter from of shirk and desire’. He says that upon this I asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), “will your ummah ascribe partners to Allah Ta’ala after you?” Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “Yes; they will not worship the sun or the moon or stones or idols, but they will do actions to please others…

(Mishkat al-Masabeeh Pg.455/6 – Qadeemi Kutub khana)



Unislamic practices in a marriage

In the light of the abovementioned principles and the other teachings of Islam, let us examine a few practices generally found in Muslim marriages and the Islamic rulings regarding them.

Engagement Ceremony: Engagement is a mere promise to marry. Engagement ceremonies are a custom of the non-Muslims; hence, they will fall under that ruling of imitating the non-believers.

If one regards them as part of deen, then he will be also sinful for innovation in deen.

Even after the parties have agreed upon the engagement, a small feast is held in which stipulated persons are invited. They regard this to be compulsory and think that an engagement will not be done without this custom. This will fall under the prohibition of compulsion of what is not obligatory.

Grand feasts are held for the engagement  ceremony and lot of money is spent in that which is not necessary; hence, it will be regarded as extravagance which is prohibited in Shari’ah.

Gifts are received by the girl’s party from the boy. If the girl’s party demands such gifts, it will be regarded as bribery. Even if they do not demand the gifts, but it is a part of the custom to receive such gifts, the same ruling will apply. However, if no such custom prevails, then it will not be regarded as bribery.

( أخذ أهل المرأة شيئا عند التسليم فللزوج أن يسترده ) لأنه رشوة .


( قوله عند التسليم ) أي بأن أبى أن يسلمها أخوها أو نحوه حتى يأخذ شيئا ، وكذا لو أبى أن يزوجها فللزوج الاسترداد قائما أو هالكا لأنه رشوة بزازية .

(Rad al-Muhtar Vol.3 Pg.156 – H.M. Sa’eed Company)

(Fatawa Mahmoodiyah Vol.11 Pg.186 – Jami’ah Farooqiyah)


Premarital relationships: Delaying of Nikah is discouraged in Islam; hence, Nikah should be held as quickly as possible after the engagement.

عن أبي هريرة قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إذا خطب إليكم من ترضون دينه وخلقه فزوجوه إلا تفعلوا تكن فتنة في الأرض وفساد عريض (رواه الترمذي)

It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “when you receive a proposal from a person who is pious and has good habits, then get your daughters married to them. If you do not do so, it will result in the spreading of evil and corruption”.

(Jami’ al-Tirmizhi Vol.1 Pg.207 – H.M. Sa’eed Company) 

It has become a habit in some cultures to prolong the Nikah after the engagement; thus, the boy and the girl start meeting each other, or talking to each other on the phone, or chatting online. All of these are not permissible, as an engagement is only a promise to marry and the boy and girl still remain non-mahram (strangers) to each other.

(Apke Masail aur Unka Hal Vol.5 Pg.34 – Maktabah Bayyinat)

Gifts are exchanged between the two parties before Nikah. The exchanging of such gifts (especially on the day of Eid, birthday, when one party is travelling overseas, etc.) is regarded compulsory. This is compulsion of what is not obligatory which is prohibited in Shari’ah, as explained above; hence, will not be permissible.

Moreover, If these gifts are received by the girl’s party from the boy, they will be regarded as bribery as explained above.

Travelling overseas for wedding shopping: It has become a trend in many cultures to travel overseas to purchase goods for the wedding. A feeble excuse is made that the latest fashion in clothing is not available in the country. In the process, thousands of dollars are spent for plane tickets, accommodation, etc. This is pure extravagance and cannot be tolerated in Shari’ah.

Wedding cards: Thousands are spent in the printing of wedding cards with the latest designs and best quality. This will be considered extravagance and will not be permissible according to Shari’ah. If there is a real need to print wedding cards so as to inform people of the wedding, it will be permissible to do so, on condition that the wedding cards are simple and moderate. However, it has been noticed that many a time a guest is invited personally or over the phone and thereafter a card is also sent to him. This will not be regarded as permissible as it is apparent that there was no need for the card.  

Lighting up the house: Many parents take pleasure in decorating and lighting the house with colorful bulbs. This is a waste of money and electricity. There is no doubt in regarding this as extravagance, as there is no real need for this lighting as is done only to show other people, which is also prohibited.

Ceremonies before and after marriage: The ceremonies of marriage start a week or two before marriage, and close relatives are invited every day to these ceremonies. Ceremonies are also held a few days after the walimah, wherein the groom and close relatives are invited by the bride’s parents. A ceremony is also held on the day of Nikah. Special menus are prepared for each day, and large sums of money are spent in these feasts. Besides the other prohibited acts which take place in these ceremonies (some of which have bee elaborated below), there is no real need for these ceremonies. Inviting all relatives for a meal of walimah would suffice. Hence, the prohibition of extravagance will apply in this case. Moreover, although entertaining guests itself is something encouraged in Shari’ah, these ceremonies are regarded as compulsory and held merely to please other people, the prohibitions of which have been elaborated above. The ceremony of Nikah is considered as part of deen by some. This is incorrect and the person with such beliefs will be sinful.

Negligence in salah: Most of the ceremonies last till late at night, resulting in the forfeiting of Fajr salah. The people of the house are so engrossed in the preparations for all these ceremonies and entertaining their guests that they tend to forget salah, or delay it from its mustahab time. Resulting in negligence of salah itself is enough to render these ceremonies impermissible.

Music and photography: Loud music is played in the background in most of the abovementioned ceremonies and even on the day of walimah. Special photographers are called on the day of Nikah and walimah to video the whole ceremony and take pictures of the bride and the whole family. The male photographer is allowed to enter in the midst of all women and is also ordered to take pictures of the bride in different postures. The impermissibility of such practices needs no elaboration. However, it is very sad that these practices are still prevalent in spite of people being aware of their impermissibility and harms. Some houses have realised the harms of calling photographers, but photography still prevails through the medium of personal cameras and phones with cameras. They are only hiding their sins from people by not calling photographers, but they do not realise that Allah Ta’ala is watching them violating His commandments. Moreover, the fitnah does not stop here, but CDs and albums of theses pictures and videos are made, and those relatives who are non-mahram (with whom nikah is permissible) are given copies of these CDs. In some occasions videos and pictures of ladies functions are taken, wherein ladies who exercise strict purdah are present. Their pictures are taken without their knowledge and viewed by non-mahrams with whom they were exercising strict purdah. The act that is even more shameful is that parents show these videos and pictures to their young sons for them to choose their future wife. Even if these acts were not prohibited in Shari’ah, the modesty and bashfulness of a person with moderate thinking should stop him from such actions.

Intermingling of sexes: The prohibition of intermingling of sexes is not something alien to Muslims. However, due to affiliation with other religions and sects, they fail to understand that close relatives like cousins and sisters-in-law are also non-mahram, and purdah is obligatory with them too; and they freely mix with these relatives, especially in the ceremonies before Nikah. They make simple excuses like we grew up together, without taking into consideration that they are openly violating a command of Allah Ta’ala mentioned in the Holy Quran. The consequences of such violation of the commandments of Allah can be very detrimental, and could lead to kufr in cases where a person clearly refuses to accept such a law and regards it permissible.

Dandiya Raas: Dandiya Raas is a type of a dance wherein the dancers hold two sticks and energetically whirl and move their feet and arms in a complicated, choreographed manner to the tune of the music with various rhythms. Its impermissibility is obvious due to the involvement of music and the intermingling of sexes. Besides being affiliated with impermissible acts, the dance itself originates from the Hindu culture. Origins of Raas are traced back to the teachings of Hinduism, wherein they mention that their “Lord Krishna” used to perform Raas Lila. The sticks used in Dandiya Raas are said to represent the swords of Durga (one of the Hindu goddesses), and Dandiya Raas is performed by Hindus at Navaratri (Hindu festival) and in Durga’s honour. We have already made mention above that adopting practices that symbolise other religions and hold religious values could take one out of the fold of Islam. Hence, the severity of the matter cannot be ignored.

The exchanging of gifts and dowry: The exchanging of gifts in itself is an act of virtue and encouraged in Shari’ah. However, it is an undeniable fact that the two parties are compelled to give out theses gifts. The relatives to whom gifts have to be given out are stipulated through custom; for example, a certain amount is stipulated for the mother-in-law, a certain amount for sister-in-law, etc. This is clear proof that these gifts are given through compulsion and not with the intention of giving gifts as such; hence, will not be permissible. The same applies to the giving out of dowry. There is no harm in a father giving out whatever he wishes to his daughter, as long as he is giving it from his own free will. However, in many cases the boy’s party demands the dowry; and even in the cases dowry is not demanded, the custom prevails that dowry has to be given and it is understood between the parties that the dowry will be given by the girl’s father. Some of them who are poor have to borrow money or take zakat in order to give a dowry. This is proof of compulsion of something not obligatory, which is prohibited in Shari’ah. Moreover, the giving out of dowry has taken the form of competition, wherein one Muslim tries to excel his fellow Muslim brother in buying a better dowry than the other. Some go to the extent of travelling overseas to buy the dowry. This undoubtedly will fall under extravagance. The ones who cannot afford do not wish to be left out, and spend over and above their means in keeping up with the competition. This results in people borrowing money from others, or taking zakat in order to have a marriage that would please others. The question remains that in spite of all the abovementioned, can we still regard the exchanging of gifts and the giving of dowry as permissible?

Ceremonies for showing gifts and dowry: In some cultures, special ceremonies are held to show the relatives what gifts were given out and what dowry was given out. A special ceremony (by the name of khoro in some cultures) is held, only for ladies, to exchange gifts of gold and cash, which had already been stipulated between the elders of the family. The exchange of gifts is done after the meal in front of all those present, and announcements are made as to who is giving the gift to whom and the value of the gift. The younger in age generally kisses the hand of the elder when receiving or giving the gift. Another ceremony (called vanna in some cultures) is held to show off what was given in dowry. The entire dowry given out is displayed, and each and every person invited has a look at the dowry. These are merely customs that are being followed for ages, and are against the teachings of Shari’ah as they are regarded compulsory. Moreover, the main objective of these ceremonies is to show off the goods to others, the prohibition of which has been elaborated above.

Mehendi Ceremony: This ceremony is held 2 to 3 days before Nikah. The bride-to-be and close relatives apply mehendi upon their hands and legs. In most mehendi ceremonies, music is played in the background and dandiya raas, or some other form of dance is performed. The prohibition of these things has been explained above. Money is also spent in having grand feasts on this day, resulting in extravagance. Some cultures carry out Hindu customs on this day, wherein the boy’s party come in a procession with lamps in their hands. This is mere imitation of disbelievers, which cannot be tolerated in Shari’ah. Moreover, a special cream (besides the mehendi that is applied on the hands and legs) is applied on the whole body of the girl. If this is done simply to beautify herself for her husband, it will be permissible and virtuous for her to do so. However, in some cases, applying of mehendi results in the negligence of salah, as the mehendi cannot be washed off until firm. If any salah is omitted or delayed from its preferable time due to the applying of mehendi, then such applying will not be permissible.

Unislamic dress code: Many Muslims adopt dressing that resemble with the dressing of the actors and actresses of Bollywood. Dresses worn by certain actors in certain films are ordered or custom made. This clearly falls under the rule of imitating the disbelievers and transgressors. Would we prefer to be resurrected amongst these actors and actresses on the day of Qiyamah? This is a very severe matter to which people do not pay much heed. Moreover, money is wasted in buying the branded and extravagant clothing and some even travel overseas to purchase clothing to keep up with the fashion, mention of which has already been made. The most money is spent on the bride’s dress for the Nikah and the walimah ceremonies. Thousands are spent on a dress she will never wear again in her life.

Visiting beauty parlours: Visiting of beauty parlours during the marriage ceremonies has also become a trend. The bride and close relatives spend hours in the beauty parlour to get there hair done and face made up according to the fashion set by the disbelievers. This will fall under the ruling of imitating the disbelievers.  In the process salahs are omitted and a lot of money is spent. Moreover, most of the make up used do no comply with the standards of Shari’ah, thus, could result in the invalidity of salah performed in them.

Grand wedding halls: Grand halls are booked for the day of the Nikah and walimah and thousands are spent in the decoration of such halls. This will also fall under extravagance. Some go to the extent of booking halls in luxury hotels that sell alcohol and pork in them. There is a fear of contamination of the liquor and pork in the food served; hence, Islam commands us to stay away from such places.

 قال الحسن بن على حفظت من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم دع ما يريبك

Hassan bin ‘Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu) says that amongst the teachings of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that I have preserved is, “leave what is doubtful for that in which there is no doubt”.

(Jami’ al-Tirmizhi Vol.2 Pg.78 – H.M. Sa’eed Company)

When asked about eating in restaurants of non-Muslims, Mufti Mahmood Saheb (Rahimahullah) mentions that it is better not to eat in such restaurants.

(Fatawa Mahmoodiyah Vol.18 Pg.37/39 – Jami’ah Farooqiyah)

Luxury cars: Using of luxury cars for the bride and the groom is also found in the practice of many Muslims. The main object behind using these cars is to show other people, which is prohibited. Money is also wasted in decorating the car, which is extravagance. Moreover, this practice stems from the Hindu culture wherein the bridegroom used to ride on a horse or elephant to the wedding ceremony. The Hindus then started replacing it with luxury cars. Hence, such practice will be regarded as imitating the disbelievers.

Corruption of walimah with unislamic practices: According to majority of the scholars, holding a walimah ceremony is sunnah. However, one can attain the reward of sunnah only on condition that the commands of Shari’ah are not violated. In walimahs today, we find many unislamic practices like extravagance, music, intermingling of sexes, etc. Hence, it becomes a means of acquiring sin rather than attaining reward.

The abovementioned are but few of the unislamic practices that take place in Muslim marriages. The broad rules of Shari’ah elaborated above could be used as a yard-stick in determining the Shar’i ruling in the rest of the practices that take place in marriages.


Islamic teachings regarding Marriage


Unlike other cultures and religions, Islam treats Nikah as a form of worship, and it is a means of attaining piety and closeness to Allah Ta’ala.

عن عائشة قالت قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “النكاح من سنتى فمن لم يعمل بسنتى فليس منى …” (رواه ابن ماجه)

It has been narrated on the authority of Aishah (Radhiyallahu Anha) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Nikah is from amongst my Sunnats, and whosoever does not follow my sunnah, is not from me.

(Sunan Ibn Majah Pg.132/3 – Qadeemi Kutub Khana)

وعن أنس قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ” إذا تزوج العبد فقد استكمل نصف الدين فليتق الله في النصف الباقي “

It has been narrated on the authority of Anas (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “When a person gets married, he has perfected half of Deen; and he should fear Allah in the other half”.

(Mishkat al-Masabeeh Pg.268 – Qadeemi Kutub khana)

Therefore, it is important for us to follow the commandments of Allah Ta’ala and the ways of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) regarding our marriages.

Islam teaches us that when looking for a partner, we should give preference to piety.


عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال “تنكح المرأة لأربع لمالها ولحسبها وجمالها ولدينها فاظفر بذات الدين …”. (رواه البخاري)

It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “A women is generally married either for her wealth, her lineage, her beauty or her piety. Be successful by marrying the pious.

(Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.6 Pg.150 – Dar al-Fikr)


After having found a suitable girl, the boy could either tell the womenfolk in the family to look at the girl and tell him how she is, or the boy could personally look at the face and hands of the girl. However, it will be permissible for him to look at her only once before marriage and on condition that he really has the intention of marrying her.

(Dars-e-Tirmizhi Vol.3 Pg.350/1 – Maktabah Darul ‘Uloom Karachi)

After having found a partner, we should hasten in conducting the Nikah.

عن أبي هريرة قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إذا خطب إليكم من ترضون دينه وخلقه فزوجوه إلا تفعلوا تكن فتنة في الأرض وفساد عريض (رواه الترمذي)

It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “when you receive a proposal from a person who is pious and has good habits, then get your daughters married to them. If you do not do so, it will result in the spreading of evil and corruption”.

(Jami’ al-Tirmizhi Vol.1 Pg.207 – H.M. Sa’eed Company) 


As far as the marriage ceremony is concerned, Islam permits and encourages us to have a walimah, but at the same time advices us to keep them as simple as possible.


وقال عبد الرحمن بن عوف قال لى النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم “أولم ولو بشاة”. (رواه البخاري)

‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf (Radhiyallahu Anhu) mentions that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said to me, “Conduct your walimah, even if it means slaughtering a sheep”.

(Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.6 Pg.173 – Dar al-Fikr)


عن عائشة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال “إن أعظم النكاح بركة أيسره مؤنة”. (رواه البيهقي في ” شعب الإيمان” )

It has been narrated by Ai’shah (Radhiyallahu Anha) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The most blessed wedding is that which has the least expenses”.

(Mishkat al-Masabeeh Pg.268 – Qadeemi Kutub khana)

Hence, the simpler the marriage, the more blessed it will be. As a result of this, there will be more love between the husband and wife; the children born from this marriage will be pious and the marriage will be a means of attaining success in the eternal Hereafter.


A few examples from the life of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and Sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum)


The proposal of Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu) to Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for His daughter:

عن علي قال … حتى دخلت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فلما أن قعدت بين يديه أفحمت فوالله ما استطعت أن أتكلم جلالة وهيبة فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “ما جاء بك ألك حاجة؟” فسكت فقال: “لعلك جئت تخطب فاطمة”، فقلت “نعم!” فقال: “وهل عندك من شئ تستحلها به” فقلت: “لا والله يا رسول الله!” فقال: “ما فعلت درع سلحتكها” فوالذي نفس علي بيده أنها لخطمية ما قيمتها أربعة دراهم فقلت عندي. فقال “قد زوجتكها فابعث إليها بها فاستحلها بها”، فإن كانت لصداق فاطمة بنت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. (رواه البيهقي في الدلائل )

Hadrath Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates, “… until I went to see Ralullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). However, when I sat before Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), I was unable to utter a word out of respect and awe for him. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) asked, ‘What brings you here? Is there something you need?’ When I remained silent, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, ‘Have you perhaps come to propose for Fatima?’ ‘Yes,’ I managed to reply. ‘Have you got anything to give as dower?’ Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) asked. ‘By Allah!’ I replied, ‘I have nothing’. ‘What has happened to the suit of armor I gave you?’ he asked. I swear by the being that controls Ali that the armor was the type made by the Hatma bin Muharib tribe and was barely worth four (hundred) Dirhams. When I informed Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that I still had it with me, he said, ‘Then I have handed her over in marriage to you, so send it to her as dower’. This was therefore the dower of Fatima (Radhiyallahu Anha), the daughter of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).     

The abovementioned incident shows the simplicity in the marriages of the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) and the modesty of the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum). 


Nabi’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) marriage to Zainab bint Jahsh (Radhiyallahu Anha):

عن أنس رضى الله عنه قال بنى على النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم بزينب ابنة جحش بخبز ولحم فأرسلت على الطعام داعيا فيجىء قوم فيأكلون ويخرجون ، ثم يجىء قوم فيأكلون ويخرجون ، فدعوت حتى ما أجد أحدا أدعو فقلت يا نبى الله ما أجد أحدا أدعوه قال ارفعوا طعامكم …(رواه البخاري)

Anas (Radhiyallahu Anhu) states, “To celebrate his marriage to Zaynab bint Jahash (Radhiyallahu Anha), Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) hosted a meal of bread and meat. I was sent to invite people to the meal and as they arrived, they ate and left. When I could find no more to invite, I submitted, ‘O Nabi of Allah, I cannot find anyone else to invite’. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then gave the instruction for the food to be taken away …

(Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.6 Pg.29 – Dar al-Fikr)

Note that no wedding cards were given out and the guests were not informed in advance. Moreover, Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) did not feel ashamed in inviting the guests group by group and not fitting them in one grand hall. The meal did not consist of a variety of food.


Nabi’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) marriage to Safiyyah bint Huyay (Radhiyallahu Anha):

عن أنس رضى الله عنه قال أقام النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم بين خيبر والمدينة ثلاثا يبنى عليه بصفية بنت حيى فدعوت المسلمين إلى وليمته فما كان فيها من خبز ولا لحم ، أمر بالأنطاع فألقى فيها من التمر والأقط والسمن فكانت وليمته …(رواه البخاري)

Anas (Radhiyallahu Anhu) states, “Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) 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 Walima meal that featured neither bread nor meat. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) instructed for a leather tablecloth to be spread. He then scattered dates cheese and butter unto it. This was the Walima of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) …  

(Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.6 Pg.149 – Dar al-Fikr)

Note the simplicity in the walimah meal. A leather tablecloth was spread and dates, cheese and butter were scattered. No meat was served!


Dressing of the woman of Madina in the time of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam):

وعن عبد الواحد بن أيمن قال حدثنى أبى قال دخلت على عائشة رضى الله عنها وعليها درع قطر ثمن خمسة دراهم ، فقالت ارفع بصرك إلى جاريتى ، انظر إليها فإنها تزهى أن تلبسه فى البيت ، وقد كان لى منهن درع على عهد رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – ، فما كانت امرأة تقين بالمدينة إلا أرسلت إلى تستعيره . (رواه البخاري)

‘Abdul Wahid bin Aiman narrates from his father who says that one day he went to ‘Aishah (Radhiyallahu Anha) and she was wearing a coarse dress costing five Dirhams. ‘Aishah (Radhiyallahu Anha) said, “Look at my slave-girl who refuses to wear it in the house. I had a similar dress during the lifetime of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Every woman in Madian desiring to appear elegant (before her husband) borrowed it from me.”

(Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.3 Pg.194 – Dar al-Fikr)

The abovementioned portrays the simplicity of the women of Madina in the time of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). They did not waste money in buying a dress to adorn themselves in front of their husbands, which is in fact permissible in Shari’ah. On the other hand, the brides of today spend thousands in buying a dress to show and impress other people, which is prohibited in Shari’ah.


Repercussions of not following the teachings of Islam

The Ummah today is facing the repercussions of following the ways of the disbelievers, and being extravagant in there weddings.

From the time a girl is born in the house, the fathers are worried and start saving up for the marriage and dowry. In some Indian villages, the fathers feed the daughters with poison when they are born, due to the abovementioned worry.

Dowries are demanded even from the poor, and they go to the extent of taking zakat. We receive many questions in Ramadhan from people asking if it is permissible to give zakat to a person who needs money to give out his daughter’s dowry.   

So many Muslims are left homeless all around the world; but Muslims still feel it is fair and permissible to waste so much money in weddings.

The marriages are devoid of all blessing due to the extravagance that takes place; hence, we find that the rate of divorce amongst the Muslims is very high. Moreover, the children born from such weddings tend to disobey their parents, and parents go around seeking for a solution, whilst the actual cause was not following the teachings of Islam in the weddings.

The Islamic way of life was supposed to be a means of attracting non-Muslims towards Islam; but since the Islamic morale has left the wedding, the wrong image of Islam is portrayed to the onlookers and media.  The non-Muslims see no difference between their religion and Islam and are not attracted towards it.


A few frequently asked questions

Hereunder, we mention a few questions that are frequently asked by people when they are educated with the teachings of Islam in regards to marriage;


Q1. What is wrong in spending so much when we have got the means to do so?

A1. The money we possess is an amanat (trust) given to us by Alah Ta’ala. One of the questions we will be asked on the day of Qiyamah is regarding our money, how we earned it and where we spent it. We will not be able to move from our places unless we answer these questions. Hence, it will be incorrect of us to spend our wealth contrary to the commandments of Allah Ta’ala. We have also elaborated above that extravagant weddings are devoid of the blessings from Allah Ta’ala. Moreover, by being extravagant in our weddings, we set high standards fro those who cannot afford it, and they end up taking loan or asking for charity.


Q2. We do not spend only in our wedding ceremonies, but we also do a lot of community work and give out a lot of charity, then why should it not be permissible?

A2. Besides what we have already mentioned in the first answer, we would also like to ask that if it is the case, then why is it that there are still so many Muslims in the world that are in need of charity? To what level have we Muslims fulfilled our obligations of seeing to there needs?


Q. How can we keep away from the customs that we have inherited from our forefathers?

A. The infidels of Makkah made the same excuse when Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) called them towards Islam. They asked Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as to how they could leave the religion of their forefathers for the religion that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) had brought. Quran speaks of the same regarding the nations of past, when their Prophets brought the message of Allah to them. At the same time Quran also mentions what was the fate of these nations, and how they were destroyed. We ask these people, do you wish the same fate for yourselves by giving preference to the custom of your forefathers over the commandments of Allah? We have to decide for ourselves whether we want to please the people of this world or Allah Ta’ala.

To end thereof, we should make an effort in educating the Muslim community with the teachings of Islam in regards to Nikah. We should also try to approach the elders of the family and explain to them the consequences of these practices. If all efforts fail, we should refrain from them ourselves. When more people start refraining from such ceremonies, the others will realize their wrong and mend their ways. If we keep going with the flow, people will start thinking its permissible and such actions will continue in our children. May Allah Ta’ala give us all the ability to stay away from practices that bring the wrath of Allah Ta’ala. 

As far as the questions posed in the query are concerned, the issues of mehendi ceremony and exchanging of gifts before Nikah have already been discussed. We could not locate any specific ruling in regards to taking the bride to the parents’ house to bid farewell. However, if this is a custom that is regarded compulsory in your culture, then it will be obligatory to leave out this practice, since it will fall under the ruling of compulsion of what is not obligatory.   

And Allah knows best


Ml. Abu Yahya,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah