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Rulings and Sunnahs of marriage

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Jamal Ahmed



I have few questions regarding the nikkah and complete sunnah which should be followed from beginning to end. As I belong to Indian Family there are lot of traditions and innovations occurs daily with regards to marriage and nikkah ceremony and some of the tradition are just useless and look like its against the sunnah to me not sure about it thought so it would be good if you can give a detail of this to me or any books where in all sunnah of marriage is covered. I would list out few traditions and would be helpful greatly if you can add few points to that whether its correct or not.

1. What is sunnah from start to need to be followed in marriage i.e. from

looking from girl till walima and even after walima what is the rights

of both parties

2. In indian tradition it is common that while looking for girls they

look out for a wealthy family which can give them a heavy dowry and

usually men and women see both of them before marriage. Taking dowry

from women is not acceptable in my view can you give some idea in light

of the shariah

3. When both parties are ready for marriage then usually people from

both parties get together at any one of their house and fix the marriage

usually they decide about the further program like a dealing between

both parties (what will be exchange between them)

b. how much dowry one will get from girl family

c. how much mahr will be given to girl

d. who will be witness in nikkah

e. who will prepare the garments(cloths) for girl and boy

f. who will prepare jewellery for wedding

g. date for engagement and its programs

please give a complete details of this what should be done what should

not be done and anything extra

4. in [1] engagement there are different traditions which are followed in

few of them both girl and boys exchange rings but this is rare usually

ladies relatives from the boys home go to girl home with gifts

which include things like make-up kit, bangles, ring, jewellery, clothes, watch, mobile, chocolates, sweets and other

useful things along with that few of the people gives cash money like

10K  or even more depending on their capacity and there after few

days ladies from the girls house come into the boys house and bring in

the similar kind of stuff and gifts them and they too usually gives some

cash money

what is sunnah method for this and what should be done and what to


5. Now after engagement usually its tradition that till nikkah at the

end of every month or start of each month give the girls new clothes and

some cash for her to use it or save it. Is it require or permissible?

6. before marriage there are lot of traditions which are carried out.

a. usually relatives of both the families go to the house with sugar and

sweets and give it to one who is getting married and which results in

lot of sugar may be like if all is calculated then it counts till 15 kg

or even more sometimes and now a days there is trends which is called

sugar party where in there is big dawat kept and people and gives sugar

and money to the their respective family . Do such things have any place


b. There are many other functions held namely mehndi, haldi, sangeet and many more not sure how many they do. Is it valid to do these things and what is sunnah in that?

7. there are 2 kind of people i can say two ways they do the nikkah and

other ceremony

a. either nikkah first and then walima or

b. dawat first and then nikkah on next day at girls place. Usually its common at our native that they keep dawat 1 day before nikkah this is different from haldi program usually for eg in weekend wedding

haldi program is at friday evening and then on saturday there is dawat

for all relatives usually 1000+ people are there they prepare food and

sweets and gather usually family people of girls are also invited here

in. And on sunday they usually they take baaraat to girl places all men

and women usually 200 people are they approx from boy side and nikkah

take place usually at the hall where wedding is held and arrangement for

food and sweets are made and other custom traditions are held likely

reception type where in stage is setup and girl and boy sit and people

comes in and meet and give gifts and anything else. There is cake

cutting ceremony etc. Many people bring in DJ and bands for their

pleasure also. Not sure what is correct and what is not here?

second type is where in people keep haldi on friday and then take baraat

on saturday and nikkah is done there as all things happens as the above

and on sunday walima is kept and relatives comes in and many times

programs like kawalli and other things may be kept

there are very few people who  do it in this way they do nikkah on

Friday prayer and then sends the ladies relatives of their house to girl

and bring girl over home and next day walima is held and programs like

above may be held or may not be depending on persons personal thinking.

Other few questions which are of many concerns to most of people is if

couple dont have sex on night before walima then that walima is not

valid and first group usually give these reason to not keep walima

rather many ullema which i’m in contact with says it is not necessary

and nothing can be found in shariah regarding that. I’m too confused for

this issue.

Regarding monetary exchange usually people who are invited for walima

and dawat at girl place there is exchange of envelopes take places usually 2-3 and some times more i give you detail of this

Usually a table is kept outside for food in dining area and after having

food people give envelope as a gift usually it has money depending on

their capacity and this is very common they consider.

Now after food most of time people gives ladies clothes and any similar

things to family and many time with cloths money is also given

Then there is stage setup as above there also they do the same thing

people give gifts and envelopes etc.

All above is given to family of boy and girls.

After that Family of boy and girls usually give some gifts to the

peoples who are there for wedding not all but near ones

which include coconuts, dinner set/any utensil, clothes, jewellry item or

any other similar gifts as per their capacity and relation with other person

there are many other exchange of gifts take place I’m not sure about it more.

My question to concern is do we need to take gifts in walima many ullema

said it’s not valid we cannot take gifts at all and usually such kind of taking money after food is not fully accepted. I want to know the shariah point of view for this in details please.

There after usually when baarat comes back there are many ceremony kept after that while coming back from girl place they usually go to some restaurants and have cake cutting ceremony and many other ceremony

usually like clicking photos etc. Thereafter when at home they kick the

bowl full of rice slowly and put legs in tray of red water and walk on

powder then in milk they put rings and both have to find them in it etc

and many more ceremony take place there after this traditions varies

from people to people. Then due to many guest at home and no privacy is

maintain at home couples goes to hotel for spending night and comes back

in morning.

Is these all programs permissible or this is just the bidat and take

away barakh from wedding. There after couples goes to some place for

tour and now there is few tradition which has kicked off and they say it

is religious rather then going to a tourist place couples go for umrah

and one thing which is very thing of concern is people do it now as a

tradition and go to take blessing I don’t find anything wrong but many

ullema said that it has become a tradition and we should stop if

possible as it will lead to many more problem and bidat later on. What

will be best for this?

Other thing to know is as we live abroad and usually at the time of

marriage there are people who are takes place it is like dowry from girl

but usually they take 10 lacks or more to get married and girls family

gives it not as dowry usually and gives dowry separate some time it is

same. Many people don’t take this type of amount or money but usually

the cost which is required processing visa and other thing like ticket

and other household stuff like cloths etc they take it from girls

family. Is it permissible to take such money?

I live in USA and usually processing visa take around 1 year of time

after nikkah and many people follow the tradition here which is ruqsati

and this is found in Sunnah but in this husband and wife are not allowed

to meet or have any of their wish fulfilled(sex) and etc.

What is best for me should I do nikkah and then ruqsati after 1 year

when she gets visa and keep walima at that time? Is there any other way

and what will be best and according to shriah so that I do not break the

Sunnah. Please give more detail about it as I’m not aware of anything

in this case.

These things are of much concern to me as I don’t want to start my

life which violates the Sunnah and is against the teaching of islam due

to our worldly benefits and pleasure and due to increase in money power

can capacity various innovation are being added in marriages. All the

act me or my family do is not to please any one but Allah and is Prophet

Sallahuailayhiwasalam. So please guide us in a way from start to end

what is tradition of Sunnah and how to follow it, be it any thing even a

small things we will try our best to implement it in our life and try to

steadfast on it. This is very big letter but I want to be as much

specific as I can so there wont be more confusion.

To summarize main thing I’m confused right now is

1.      How much mahr to be given

2.      What should be served in walima

3.      Ruqsati?

4.      Taking gift for walima

5.      Ticket money taking etc



  1. It is Sunnah to look at the girl you want to marry.  If you are happy you can give in a proposal for marriage.  If a man says to a woman in front of two witnesses “I married you and the woman says I have accepted” the marriage is finalized.  The khutbah is a Sunnah but not wajib.  It is also a Sunnah that a third person does the khutbah. Walimah is also a Sunnah act.  The only necessary part is the offer and acceptance in front of two witnesses.  It is necessary for the man to pay a dowry to the woman. 

As far as the rights of each party, the man is in charge of the family, therefore it is necessary for the wife to obey the husband in all permissible things.  The wife must guard her chastity, the wealth and property of husband in his absence.  She is not obliged to cook food, however if she prepares food to please her husband she will be rewarded.  If the wife wants to keep optional fats she should seek permission from the husband if he is present.  If the man calls the wife to fulfill his desires she must not hold back unless she has a valid reason. The wife must not let anyone who the husband does not approve of to enter the house whether that person is closely related to her.  The husband must allow her parents to come and see her once in a week but he does not have to let them in the house, although it is a part of good morals that he allows them in the house. For more details study ‘Discourses on Islamic way of life’, vol.2, pg. 78-125

The husband must provide food and water, clothes and a place to live. Raddul Muhtar, vol.3, pg. 573, darulfikr. For more details on this matter refer to the book called marriage in Islam by Molana Abdullah yusuf Qasmi.

You can find it in pdf form http://www.deoband.net/uploads/2/1/0/4/2104435/marriage_in_islam.pdf

The husband must treat the wife kindly and must not hit her or abuse her.  Allah says “and live with them in kindness, for if you dislike them, perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” Surah nisa ayah 19.

If the husband and wife want a smooth life then they should fulfill each other’s rights instead of demanding for their own rights.  Allah says “They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.”   Surah baqarah ayah 187. They both should love each other, protect and care for each other.  They should conceal each other’s faults, just like clothing protects the body and conceals the defects. 

  1. The family of the bride are allowed to give their daughter something when they are departing with her which is called jaheez.  The prophet peace and blessings be upon him gave his daughter a pillow, a container and a shawl.  However, there should be know extravagance, pomp and show, because all these are impermissible. 

  2. The family can get together to decide and plan about the marriage as long as there is no free mixing and any other haram activities.  As for the dowry from the bride’s side, it should be simple and the groom’s side should not demand anything.  The bride’s side should remember that it is not necessary to give anything as a way of dowry to their daughter.  The groom is not obliged to give anything to the bride or her family besides the Mahr. 

  3. In Islam there is nothing as engagement ring and other customs.  All these events have haram elements in them like imitating the disbelievers etc.

  4. All these events have nothing to do with Islam, thus they should be avoided.

  5. There is no other dawat in Islamic nikah except for the walimah which is prepared from the groom’s side.  Rukhsati should be very simple, either the father and brother of the bride can drop her off at the groom’s house or the groom himself can pick her up, he can also take someone with him like his father etc. there should be no big group of people going to the bride’s house and have big feasts and exchange gifts and carry out other customs.  Usually exchanging gifts is a rewardable act, but because in these occasions they are exchanged to show off, or that people might taunt them if they don’t give anything, similarly, usually they give gifts in expectation of gaining gifts on their wedding etc.   For these reasons people should avoid exchanging gifts at weddings.

  6. It is better to have the walimah after the first night but there is nothing wrong if it is delayed for convenience. 

  7. If bride and groom want to go Umrah or any other place they can do so as long as they do not hold it necessary.  

  8. The girl’s family are not obliged to give any financial support to the groom.  It will be a favor from their side if they help him.  Therefore, it is not allowed for the groom to demand any money for his needs, for example his visa etc. 

  9. After the nikah takes place there should not be any restrictions in between the husband and wife’s relation.  It is better to have rukhsati and nikah on the same day, unless there is a harm in doing that, in this case you can delay it for as long as there is need. 

  10. Minimum mahr is 10 dirahams which is 30.61 grams of silver or its value in money.   Or mahre fatimi which is 500 dirhams which comes up to 1530.5 grams of silver or its value in money.  You can also give a mahr which is usually given in that family or whatever you are capable of.  There should not be any extravagance or show. 

  11. Walima should be simple without extravagance and show.  You can serve whatever you can easily afford.  It does not have to be something which is customary.  It can be sheep cows or other suitable food, it does not have to be meat.

For further details on this topic you can refer to the following books:

1) Islahi khutubat (Discourses on Islamic way of life part 2 of mufti taqi usmani  2) Ashraf’s blessings of marriage. 3) Marriage in Islam by maulana Abdullah yusuf Available pdf form. 4) Islahur rusoom by maulana ashraf ali thanawi, it talks about all the wrong customs.  . 

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Maulana Jamal Ahmed

Checked and Approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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