Marriage Plans: Wedding Outfits, Celebrations, Recording, Photographs

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Question

I have a few questions regarding marriage and would be very grateful if you could answer them. A few months ago a brother asked me to marry him and I have said yes. I have known him for a few months and he is a very good person, alhamdulillah, and he is working towards getting closer to Allah(swt) and I am sure insha’Allah in time we will help each other to get closer to our creator.

We are both Pakistani by origin. As you may already be aware in our culture our parents want big fashionable weddings. I myself have always dreamed of having a nice wedding, where I can celebrate with my family and friends insha’Allah. I do not cover (hijaab) yet and therefore would be wearing the Pakistani wedding outfit (lainga).

I have discussed marriage with the brother a few times. His father has a just had a spinal operation meaning that he will not be able to move for atleast 6 month to a year, this means he will not be able to leave the house as doctors have said he should not walk, stand or sit for more than 5 minutes at a time, as he is in too much pain.

The brother does not want any celebration of the wedding since his father would not be able to attend.

He wants the Nikkah to take place over the telephone so his father is present for the Nikkah at thier home, and I would be at my home (we both live in London).

The point is that I know that Islam asks us to respect our parents feelings etc. but I will be the one getting married to this Brother and I want to be present during the Nikkah, is this not unfair…is this allowed…and what would you recommend?

I have agreed to instead of having multiple wedding ceremonies to just have one walima ceremony, where both his family and my family would be present. He is against inviting alot of people as he feels it causes fitna between families and also feels that these celebrations are just fashion shows. He also does not want to have any type of celebration as his dad would not be able to attend.

He wants the Walima to be segregated and as I know this most likely won’t be possible I would arrange for seperate seating for men and for women which I have seen done before. I want to look good on the Walima insha’Allah and would like to wear a Pakistani wedding outfit. I would also like to take photographs and get it video taped…is this allowed?

Answered by: Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf

Assalamu alaykum

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful.

May Allah grant you reward for your quest for the truth.

A marriage is an Islamic thing and thus should be conducted in the most Islamic manner possible.

One extremely important point to remember is that marriage is not like math where one plus one is equal to two, however you look at it, come night or day. Marriage is the coming together of two strangers to live their lives together, with love, affection, and compromise, and worship Allah and seek to please Him. Each one is to assist the other in their progress in this world and the hereafter.

Hence, the most important things for a blissful marriage is guidance, assistance, and abundant blessings (baraka) from Allah. This is why the Sunna du’a to make for a newly-wed couple is:

“May Allah grant you blessing, May Allah shower his blessings upon you, and join you in goodness.”

This is the blessing that a couple needs at every moment of their married life.

However, many forget that it is an Islamic function and do many un-Islamic and purely cultural things at this time thinking it is only “once in a life” that this takes place so give it all you can. Recently one mother’s reasons for all the un-Islamic arrangements that had been made at her son’s wedding were, “Everyone had told me that my son was going to run away with some girl from college. Since he did not do that but married a girl of our choice, I am expressing my happiness at that.” If only she realized that the gratefulness should be for Allah, since He was the one who had protected her son.

Regarding the specifics of your case:

1. It would be Islamically correct to have the marriage take place at the groom’s house in the presence of his father. It is not necessary for it to be conducted in the locality of the bride’s family as is the custom. However, the masjid would be most preferable.

2. The more simple a wedding, the better it is. Imam Bayhaqi has related on the authority of ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:

“The marriage which is most greatly blessed is the one which is the lightest in burden (expense). However, if people are well catered for, without extravagance and show, there is no problem with that either.”

3. You are to be for your husband. He is surely correct in insisting on segregation. He is being protective over you and also following the ruling on segregation in the Hanafi school. This is a sign of Iman and something for you to be proud of.

4. Regarding photographs and video, he is correct in saying no to that as well, since it is a common tradition among people to come dressed “their best,” which nowadays includes being dressed in inappropriate attire in front of men. This is video taped and passed around among family members and friends where it is viewed by non-mahram (unmarriageable kin) men as well.

And Allah knows best
Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf

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